Main Course Webpage

General information


Here are some guidelines for electronic communication (email and bulletin board postings). These are meant to help you get answers more quickly by allowing us to better cope with the potentially high volume of email we receive.

Giving feedback

Rather than wait until the official course evaluations at the end of the term, by which point it's too late to make a difference, please feel free to get in touch with me at any point during the term with any suggestion or complaint that you have about any aspect of the course. In particular, don't hesitate to let me know if there are aspects of the course that you particularly like, so that I can keep them that way, or if there are specific aspects that you dislike, so that I can make changes (or discuss with you my reasons for doing things that way).

If you are uncomfortable bringing your concerns directly to me, you might consider mentionning it to your TA so that they can pass them on to me. Failing that, feel free to use any means that make you more comfortable to give me feedback: writing a letter and slipping it under my door, sending anonymous e-mail, etc. (But don't abuse that: it's hard to get a discussion started when you cannot reply to the other person, and some of those issues undoubtedly require discussion!)

Note that this does not mean that I will accept unfounded complaints! If you have a complaint or criticism that you are ready to discuss in a reasonable manner, that's great. If you are merely unhappy but you have nothing constructive to say (e.g., "this course is terrible", with no thought about why or how it is terrible), then you should wait and think it over until you come up with something more concrete that we can work with. Remember that the goal is to help improve the course, not just to vent. But in that case, please do think about it and let me know!

Contact information


Name: François Pitt
Email: fpitt [at] (this is the best way to reach me)
Phone: 1 416 978-3707
Fax: 1 416 946-7132 (please include my name on all faxes)
Office: Room BA 4264 (Bahen Centre for Information Technology, 40 St. George Street)
Mail: Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3G4 (CANADA)
MWF 12-1, TR 2:30-3:30

Tutorials and Lectures

Lectures take place WF2 in room BA 1220.

Tutorials take place M2,

Note that here will be a tutorial on the first week (September 13th), though it will be more of an introductory lecture, with review of the prerequisite and background material for this course.

See the second page of the Course Information Sheet (PDF) for a complete calendar of important dates and course events.

Grading scheme

Work Weight
6 Exercises: 12% (2% each)
3 Assignments: 24% (8% each)
2 Term Tests: 24% (12% each)
1 Final Examination: 40%

Policy on special consideration ("Petitions")

If you are unable to complete homework or if you miss a term test due to major illness or other circumstances completely outside of your control, please contact your instructor immediately in order to receive special consideration. Note that special consideration will be considered on an individual basis and will not be given automatically—in other words, you risk getting a mark of zero for missed work unless you contact your instructor promptly.

In the case of illness, medical documentation must be supplied on the standard University of Toronto Student Medical Certificate (PDF). You can also obtain a paper copy of this certificate from your college registrar or in your registration handbook. (A simple "note" from your doctor is unfortunately not acceptable.)

Policy on remarking requests

All remarking requests must be received within one month of the date when the homework or test was returned. It is your responsibility to check your CDF email regularly (for work returned electronically) or to pick up your work from the instructor during office hours (for work returned on paper during lecture or tutorial).

Your mark will decrease if the marker sees something that was incorrectly awarded too high a mark.

Please be specific when you write up your request: either clearly demonstrate that the marking scheme was not followed correctly, or ask questions about specific elements in the marking scheme. Note that marks are awarded based on merit, not on need—that is the only fair way to award marks—so statements like "I worked really hard" or "I really need those marks" are unfortunately not good reasons.

If you are comparing your work to that of another student, hand in both tests or include both CDF usernames in your request.

If you are still not satisfied after getting back your remarked homework or test (or after having a meeting with the marker), contact your instructor to discuss your situation.

Textbook and references

Required textbook

The textbook will be used for readings and exercises throughout the term.

The author maintains a list of errata for the textbook.

Additional references

LaTeX links

LaTeX is a general-purpose typesetting system that makes it easy to generate high-quality documents, particularly when formatting mathematical formulae.

Source files

Tutorials, guides, references, etc.

Useful links