How to Succeed in CS 240 (with a bit of effort)

CS240 includes a lot of detailed information that supports the “big ideas” that we will gain an understanding of during the course. Here are some suggestions for approaching the course material and lectures that can help guarantee that you get the most out of it.

  • Read the required material before the class where it will be presented. This way, you are reinforcing what you already understand with another explanation. If you come to class without the reading, the material will be very hard to absorb in one sitting.
  • Start the assignments a couple of days before they are due. The problems are the kind that can benefit from going away and coming back later when you are stuck.
  • Study and do assignments with others from the class and with the course assistant when you can. Obviously, your assignments should reflect your own work, but getting an explanation of a concept from a peer is often an effective way to make it sink in.
  • Focus on the main concepts and not just the details. For example, don't just memorize the steps to convert a DFA to an NFA, but understand how the conversion works in principle. The steps then become easy to remember.
  • Talk to me or the course assistant if you have any questions! We are here to help.