The midterm takes place on Thursday, Oct 13, 2011, in class (10:00-11:50am for section 03, 2:00-3:50pm for section 01).
There will be two midterm review sessions on Wednesday 10/12/11: by Aakash at 1pm in room 70-2400 and by Ketki at 7pm in room 76-1235 (notice that this session is not in the Golisano building as there are no classrooms available).
General midterm information:
Study Chapters 1 and the posted notes, plus homework problems (you should also be comfortable with discrete math,
though the midterm will not contain a direct question on that material).
- Midterm format:
The midterm will consist of 5 problems, each worth 10 points. The lowest scored problem will be ignored
and your grade will be computed as the sum of the best four scores.
- The midterm will be closed book and notes, but you may bring one sheet of letter-sized paper with your own hand-written notes.
You may write on both sides.
- One problem will be a proof of nonregularity using the pumping lemma. I recommend the mentoring center for getting practice with this
type of proofs.
- You do not have to memorize proofs from class or the book but you should understand them.
- You should be able to apply the constructions from the proofs, like the subset construction (to convert an NFA to a DFA),
the minimization construction, NFA to regular expression, regular expression to NFA,
union of the languages accepted by two FA's (the cartesian product construction), etc. Be prepared to apply the constructions literally and
not simplify the result.
- The midterm can not be made up except for real emergencies in which case proper documentation
(like a doctor's note) will be required. If at all possible, you should contact me prior to the midterm. Oversleeping, cars that
don't start etc. do not constitute a valid excuse.
- The midterm is worth 30% (or 25% if your final exam grade is higher than the midterm grade) of your course grade.
However, your course grade will never be more than one letter
grade higher than the average of your midterm and final. In addition, if the average of your midterm and final
is below 55%, you fail the course.
- To get some idea of the format of the midterm and the level of difficulty of the questions, you can look at a sample midterm:
pdf. This is just to get some idea. The sample midterm does not guarantee anything about the
topics of the questions on your midterm and it does not guarantee the exact level of difficulty of the questions on your midterm.
- I recommend you to solve the sample midterm on your own before you check the solutions of the sample midterm.
- Additional practice problems from the book:
Furthermore, make sure that you understand all examples from class/book and the answers to all homework problems.
The midterm may also contain problems that do not fit into any of the above categories (but, of course, knowledge of Chapter 1 is sufficient to solve them).
- Follow constructions from class/book: Exercises 1.4, 1.5, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.16, 1.19, 1.21, 1.28
- Design finite automata: Exercises 1.6, 1.7, 1.12, 1.13
- Design regular expressions: Exercises 1.17, 1.18
- Design your own construction or fix an incorrect construction: Exercises 1.11, 1.14b, 1.15, 1.40 (harder)
- Nonregularity by the pumping lemma, closure properties, or the Myhill-Nerode Thm: Exercises 1.29, 1.30, 1.46, 1.47
- Regular vs. nonregular: Exercise 1.49