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Courses Taking Automata Theory and Analysis of Algorithms together?

  1. May 17, 2016 #1
    So i'm at a bit of a cross roads. For this summer semester, due to class restrictions I can only take either operating systems with Automata Theory, or Analysis of Algorithms with Automata Theory. I've heard from many people that Algorithms is a nightmare, and i'm not sure if taking Automata with algorithms is a smart idea. I don't have any withdrawals left to drop the class if i can't handle it, so it's either i don't take it and potentially save myself from a train wreck, or bite the bullet. I'm also working part time during the summer but i can minimize my hours if need be. If i choose to not take it, I would have to pay 700~ out of pocket which would hurt my finances but i think i can handle it. I could use some major feedback and opinions on this, how hard is algorithms? And would it be academic suicide taking Automata with it? I don't know what to expect..
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2016 #2
    It really depends on you. When I was a student I did not have any interest in CS theory. My focus was on computer architecture, operating systems, and networks. When I took analysis of algorithms I hated it. That attitude made it difficult. Over a decade later, as a working software engineer, I love studying algorithms! I don't think the material is hard if you enjoy it. If you are completely put off by the notion of algorithm analysis, you may find it to be a bit of a struggle.

    To complicate matters, the class can be taught a couple different ways. One way is very mathematical (see Robert Sedgewick's "Analysis of Algorithms" book), while the other way is a bit more intuitive (see Steve Skiena's "Algorithm Design Manual" book).
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