This syllabus is a living document; please be aware that many elements on this page will change throughout the semester, including the course schedule. It is the student's responsibility to review this page periodically for updates.
Welcome to CS21. This course will introduce fundamental ideas in computer science while also teaching you how to write computer programs. We will study algorithms for solving problems and implement solutions in the Python programming language. Python is an interpreted language that is known for its ease of use. We also introduce object-oriented programming and data structures. A deeper coverage of these topics will be presented in CS35.
This course is appropriate for all students who want to learn how to write computer programs and think like computer scientists. It is the usual first course for computer science majors and minors. Students with advanced placement credit or extensive programming experience should place out of this course and instead begin with CS31 or CS35.
By the end of the course, we hope that you will have developed the following skills:
|WEEK||DAY||ANNOUNCEMENTS||TOPIC & READING||LABS|
|1||Jan 21||Introduction to Python and Unix
§2.1, §3.2; Skip §2.1.3
|Lab 0: linux & xemacs|
|2||Jan 28||Numbers and Strings
|Lab 1: First programs|
|3||Feb 04||Booleans, If/else
|Lab 2: Numbers and Strings|
|Feb 06||Quiz 1
|4||Feb 11||While loops
|Lab 3: Conditions and Booleans|
|5||Feb 18||Functions, objects
|Lab 4: while loops and random numbers|
|Feb 20||Quiz 2
|6||Feb 25||Graphics, using objects||Lab 5: Baby Names|
|7||Mar 04||Top-Down Design, File I/O
§4.6, Chapter 6
|Lab 6: Graphics and Objects|
|Mar 06||Quiz 3
Trace question 8
|8||Mar 18||More Top-Down Design
|9||Mar 25||Searching, Analysis of Algorithms
§9.1, §9.3.1-9.3.3, §10.1
|Mar 27||Quiz 4|
|10||Apr 01||Sorting, Analysis of Algorithms
|Apr 10||Quiz 5|
|12||Apr 15||Defining new classes
|13||Apr 22||Linked lists
|Apr 24||Quiz 6|
|14||Apr 29||Advanced Topics, Wrap-up|
Final exam (9am-noon)
CS21 Ninjas are student mentors who will assist me in class and run evening study sessions in the birds' nest (Sci 256). The CS21 Ninjas (student mentors) are: Terry Martin, Laina Chin, Karl Sadueste, Izzi Baskin, Alex Simms, Winnie Ngo and Justin Cosentino. Terry and Laina will be helping out in our class. You will get to meet the other ninjas in the lab and in the study sessions.
You are invited -- and encouraged -- to participate in Ninja evening study sessions to prepare for quizzes, to discuss programming concepts, and to get friendly assistance in working on lab assignments. Our CS mentoring team is dedicated to helping students, who have no prior knowledge of computer science, learn to program in Python while keeping their senses of humor intact. As an added bonus, snacks will be provided at the sessions. The sessions are held:
|Weekly Evening Ninja Sessions|
|Wednesdays||7—9pm||Sci Center 256|
|Thursdays||7—10pm||Sci Center 256|
This course features weekly lab assignments which are the largest component of your course grade. Lab attendance is required by all students, unless you have already completed and submitted the lab assignment for the week. Additionally, the CS labs are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for you to use for CS21 lab assignments. While you must attend the lab session for which you are registered, you may optionally attend additional lab sessions, provided space is available. In case of space constraints, students registered for the lab will have seating priority.
|Weekly Lab Sessions|
|1:05—2:35pm Tuesdays||Knerr||Science Center 256|
|2:45—4:15pm Tuesdays||Knerr||Science Center 256|
|1:05—2:35pm Thursdays||Ylvisaker||Science Center 256|
|2:45—4:15pm Thursdays||Waterman||Science Center 256|
If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Leslie Hempling in the Office of Student Disability Services, located in Parrish 130, or e-mail lhempli1 to set up an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. Leslie Hempling is responsible for reviewing and approving disability-related accommodation requests and, as appropriate, she will issue students with documented disabilities an Accommodation Authorization Letter. Since accommodations may require early planning and are not retroactive, please contact her as soon as possible. For details about the Student Disabilities Service and the accomodations process, visit the Office of Student Disability Services.
You are also welcome to contact me privately to discuss your academic needs. However, all disability-related accommodations must be arranged through Leslie Hempling in the Office Of Student Disability Services.
To receive an accommodation for a course activity, you must have an Accomodation Authorization letter from Leslie Hempling and you need to meet with me to work out the details of your accommodation at least one week prior to the activity.
Quizzes will be given at the beginning of class on the days posted in the Schedule. Please look over these dates carefully and contact the professor in advance if you cannot be in class for a quiz.
If you are not present at the start of class on the day of a quiz, but make it to class before the end, then you may take the quiz. Otherwise you will receive a zero for that quiz.
Lab assignments will be posted on the Schedule on Sunday and will be due before midnight the following Saturday night. You are strongly encouraged to start early and to attend the study sessions for extra practice.
You will submit you assignments electronically using the handin21 program. You may submit your assignment multiple times, but each submission overwrites the previous one and only the final submission will be graded.
Late assignments will normally not be accepted. If you have a legitimate reason for needing extra time, such as an illness or needing to leave campus, you must contact the professor at least a day before the deadline to have your request for an extension considered.
Even if you do not fully complete an assignment, you should always submit what you have done to receive partial credit.
Programming is not a dry mechanical process, but a form of art. Well written code has an aesthetic appeal while poor form can make other programmers and instructors cringe. Programming assignments will be graded based on style and correctness. Good programming practices usually include many of the following principles:
Academic honesty is required in all your work. Under no circumstances may you hand in work done with (or by) someone else under your own name. Your code should never be shared with anyone; you may not examine or use code belonging to someone else, nor may you let anyone else look at or make a copy of your code. This includes, but is not limited to, obtaining solutions from students who previously took the course or code that can be found online. You may not share solutions after the due date of the assignment.
Discussing ideas and approaches to problems with others on a general level is fine (in fact, we encourage you to discuss general strategies with each other), but you should never read anyone else's code or let anyone else read your code. All code you submit must be your own with the following permissible exceptions: code distributed in class and code found in the course text book. In these cases, you should always include detailed comments that indicates on which parts of the assignment you received help, and what your sources were.
Failure to abide by these rules constitutes academic dishonesty and will lead to a hearing of the College Judiciary Committee. According to the Faculty Handbook: "Because plagiarism is considered to be so serious a transgression, it is the opinion of the faculty that for the first offense, failure in the course and, as appropriate, suspension for a semester or deprivation of the degree in that year is suitable; for a second offense, the penalty should normally be expulsion."
Please contact me if you have any questions about what is permissible in this course.