COMP 314/315: Problem Solving Strategies

This course allows students to sharpen problem-solving skills along with, or as part of, the ACM Programming Team. Groups generally work on old competition problems on alternate weekends, with short follow-ups during the next week.

Credit Hours

For 314: 1; For 315: 2


For COMP 314:

COMP 271: Data Structures (or corequisite)

For COMP 315:

COMP 314: Problem Solving Strategies


This course started as a means to give ACM programing team members academic credit for their participation. The class work will be designed to help these people. We will mostly work old programming team competition problems, alone and in groups, and discuss strategies for solving such problems effectively. You do not need to be interested in the official team to find these problems and the discussions about them interesting. You do NOT need to agree to be on the team to be in the class. You are welcomed to be in the class if you just want to sharpen your problem solving skills. The competition problems are reasonable ones to work on with or without the competition.

By enrolling in the sequence 314-315 over two years, you satisfy 3 units of elective credit in Computer Science department majors.

In keeping with the programming competition format, we will arrange a schedule to meet about every two weekends for a 5 hour practice/problem solving session, with a weekday followup discussion for 1-1.5 hours on a weekday in the following week.

The organizational meeting to agree on practice and discussion times will be in the afternoon in the first week of classes. The time will be posted.

Contact Dr. Harrington if you cannot attend that session. Try to let him know ahead of time your available weekend times through October.


Ability to work in small groups, quickly and accurately assessing and solving focused problems involving many sorts of programming knowledge.


Semester/Year Instructor URL
Fall 2013 Dr. Harrington