Faculty of Information Technology

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Information Technology
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Malaysia Second semester 2014 (Day)


This unit gives an introduction to formal languages, basic logic programming, models of computation, and computational complexity. It looks at what computers can and cannot compute. Topics include finite state automata, regular expressions, grammars, computable functions, Turing machines, polynomial-time reductions, and NP-completeness.


At the completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  • use propositional logic, predicates and quantifiers to represent and analyse problems in the theory of computation;
  • construct Finite Automata, Nondeterministic Finite Automata, Context-Free Grammars, and Turing Machines to describe languages;
  • convert Regular Expressions into Finite Automata;
  • convert Finite Automata into Regular Expressions;
  • find a Regular Grammar for a Regular Language;
  • find a parse tree, leftmost derivation and rightmost derivation for a word in a Context Free Language;
  • know how to show a Context Free Grammar is ambiguous;
  • use Turing Machines to represent computable functions;
  • demonstrate the limitations of the models of computation considered;
  • show a language is not regular, or not context-free, or not recursive;
  • show a problem is NP-complete.


Examination (3 hours): 70%; In-semester assessment: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Two 1-hour lectures
  • Either one 2-hour tutorial or one 2-hour laboratory (usually alternating weeks)

(b.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • A minimum of 8 hours of independent study per week for reading, working on exercises and assignment(s).

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


FIT1029 and 6 points of level 1 (or above) mathematics



Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: