CSE2304 Algorithms and Data Structures , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Lloyd ALLISON
Clayton : Lloyd ALLISON
Malaysia : LOKE Kar Seng

This subject discusses concepts and techniques which are fundamental to the science of programming. Topics include analysis of best, average and worst case time and space complexity; introduction to numerical algorithms; recursion; advanced data structures such as heaps and B-trees; sorting algorithms; searching algorithms; graph algorithms; and numerical computing.


Those passing the subject will be able to solve new problems with a computer, i.e. extract the abstract problem from a description of a real-world situation, design an efficient computer algorithm to solve the problem, analyse alternative algorithmic solutions in terms of correctness and time and space requirements, and implement the selected algorithm as an efficient computer program in the designated computer programming language on the designated platform.


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed [ CSE1303 ] , or equivalent. You should have knowledge of this material: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/courseware/cse2304/Open/Prereqs.html before starting the unit.



Unit relationships

CSE2304 is a core unit in the BCS, BDS, and BSE degrees. It is a core unit of the BSc major in Computer Science. It is a prerequisite for various 2nd and 3rd year units.

You should have knowledge of this material http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/courseware/cse2304/Open/Prereqs.html from CSE1303 and 1st-year Maths units, or equivalent, before starting CSE2304.

You may not study this unit and CSC2040, DGS2131, RDT2131, in your degree.
Texts and software

Required text(s)

See "recommended".

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements:

  1. Linux or other Unix operating system.
  2. The current `gcc' C-compiler.


Hardware requirements:

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate several hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

M. A. Weiss. Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in C. Addison Wesley 1997.

Library access You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.
Study resources

Study resources for CSE2304 are:

Lecture notes, tutes and pracs are available at http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/courseware/cse2304/

(Printed copies of the lecture notes are also available at the book shop.)

Structure and organisation



Study Guide

Key Dates

1 abstract data types (ADTs) see home page
2 verification and examples see home page prac 0, week 2
3 analysis of complex sorting algorithms see home page tute 1
4 dynamic programming paradigm; time and space complexity see home page prac 1, week 4
5 table ADT and its implementations see home page tute 2
6 more on the table ADT see home page prac 2, week 6
7 algorithms on strings; graphs see home page tute 3
8 path algorithms on graphs see home page
9 spanning trees on graphs see home page prac 3, week 9
10 directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) and algorithms on them see home page tute 4
11 numerical data, accuracy and algorithms see home page prac 4, week 11
12 recursion; algorithm design see home page tute 5
13 algorithm design and analysis (summary) see home page prac 5, week 13

The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment for the unit consists of 5 assignments with a total weighting of 30% and an examination with a weighting of 70%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

Pass the exam, and also pass the practical work. Each is a hurdle.


Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Closed book exam (70%), practical work (30%); each is a hurdle. If either hurdle is failed then the highest mark that you can get for this subject is 44% (N).


Assessment Requirements


Due Date


prac 1 week 4 (in the prac) 6 %
prac 2 week 6 (in the prac) 3 %
prac 3 week 9 (in the prac) 9 %
prac 4 week 11 (in the prac) 3 %
prac 5 week 13 (in the prac) 9 %
Examination 3 hour(s), closed book Exam period starts 5th June. 70 %

Assignment specifications will be made available http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/courseware/cse2304/. Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

Practical work will be marked in the practical laboratory itself.


Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be disallowed unless otherwise agreed to by the lecturer or head tutor. If there is a valid reason for missing the practical an alternative exercise may be set.


This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made in writing with supporting documentation (e.g. doctor's certificate) as soon as possible. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass - acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory -  failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignments will be marked in the practical laboratories.


Feedback Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


  1. With practical demonstrator or tutor in the laboratory or tutorial.
  2. By email. NB. Must use your Monash account and include CSE2304 in the subject line.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the 2nd-year notice board and on the unit's home page for the current year. Check them regularly. Failure to read notices is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

See: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/courseware/cse2304/ for the current year.

Consultation Times

See the lecturer's time-table via the unit home page. Also see the "csse help-room" time table.


If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Dr Lloyd Allison
Phone +61 3 990 55205
Fax +61 3 990 55157

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All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 27, 2006