teaching machines

CS 330 Lecture 4 – Regular Expressions


  • what ?s
  • the gauntlet
  • state machines/DFAs
  • DFAs are regular expressions
  • bingo


  • Walk through http://regexone.com.
  • Write expressions to match:
    • Lines ending with a hyphenated word.
    • Words with an internal uppercase letter.
    • Lines lacking a semi-colon at their close. Don’t match lines that have a semi-colon followed by whitespace.
    • Instances of the identifier i. Don’t match other occurrences of i.
  • 1/4 sheet.

While You’re Waiting

  • We’re going to play some regex bingo later on. You and a partner make a 3×3 grid of randomly generated strings. Include upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, whitespace, and punctuation. Keep the strings short. There’s no free space.

State Machines



#!/usr/bin/env ruby

txt = IO.read('eg.txt')
puts txt.scan(/[0-9]/)
puts '--------------'
puts txt.scan(/\S+@\S+/)
puts '--------------'
puts txt.scan(/\.\s+[a-z]/)
puts '--------------'
puts txt.scan(/<b>.*<\/b>/)
puts '--------------'
puts txt.scan(/<.*?>/)


asdf asdf 1 234 456
asdfkl sdf kdfklads f <b>56</b>
asdfk foo@foo.com
The dog is <b>luscious</b>. The cat is blah. those who walk on rainbows peak at middle age.


Can brains handle X?
Brains have handled X for years
They’re on to Y now


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