Theory of Computation

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2020
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

T R 2-3:20pm

Dr. Catherine V. Stringfellow (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Automata, Computability and Complexity
Elaine Rich (Pearson)

Course Objectives


General Objectives

  1. To familiarize students with the foundations and principles of computer science
  2. To learn fundamental principles of the recognition and classification of formal languages


Specific Objectives: Upon completion of the course students should be able:

  1. to learn how to create deterministic and non-deterministic automata to accept languages
  2. to understand formal languages and grammars and the machines that recognize them, as wells as the Chomsky hierarchy
  3. to convert between equivalent structures, such as regular expressions to FA, NDFAs to DFAs, etc.
  4. to understand Turing machines, and write Turing machine programs
  5. to understand the concept of computability

Course Expectations

Primarily lecture and class participation.  Every student will be required to present assigned problems to the class.  The problems will come primarily from the homework assignments. 

Grading Standards

 Final grades will be based on the following criteria. 


percentage of grade

Quizzes, Boardwork and participation


Homework assignments (including JFLAP)


Two exams


Final (Wed. May 8, 3:30-5:30pm)


Grades may be determined according to this scale (approximate):

A         90% ‑ 100%                                        B         80% ‑ 89%

C         70% ‑ 79%                                          D         60% ‑ 69%


Final Exam

05/14/2020 1-3pm

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy


Makeup Exams and Quizzes:  There is one midterm and one final exam.  The only acceptable reason for missing an exam is with a valid university excuse (e.g., excuse from the doctor, death in the immediate family, etc.)  A makeup exam will only be given to those students who have a valid excuse.  If you know ahead of time that you will miss an exam, please see me.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Other Policies


** Students should refer to the current MSU Student Handbook and Activities Calendar and the MSU Undergraduate Bulletin for policies related to class attendance, academic dishonesty, and student responsibilities, rights and activities. For more information on plagiarism and how to avoid it, see

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

>Calendar Attachment

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at