- Final Exam Review Sessions Monday May 10 in CS lab: 10am-12pm, and 2pm-4pm
You can attend either or both session. Come with questions for
the professor to answer..
- Ninja Final Exam Review Session: Sunday, May 9, 7-9pm
- Final Exam Information content, format, tips for preparing and taking the final exam.
- Final Exam (May 12, 7-10pm, room 101 Sci Cntr)
MWF 9:30–10:20, Sci Cntr 240
Professor: Tia Newhall
2-3 Weds, and by appointment
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 CS 35.
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 CS 33 or CS 35.
Goals for the course:
By the end of the course, we hope that you will have developed the
- Given a program, be able to simulate on paper how a computer would
execute the program, and show the results that would be produced.
- Given a problem, be able to design a clear, concise, and
correct pseudocode algorithm to solve it.
- Given a pseudocode algorithm, be able to successfully implement it in
- Be able to use top-down design to sub-divide a large problem into
reasonably-sized modular sub-problems.
- Given several algorithms for solving the same problem, be able
to analyze which algorithm would be more efficient in terms of running
- Develop debugging and unit testing skills. Consistently use
these skills while implementing programs.
- Learn to work as part of a team to solve problems starting from
design and continuing through to implementation.
Student Support Coordinator:
(office: 257 Sci Ctr phone: x6062)
CS21 Ninjas (student mentors):
John Dinh, Christina Duron, Ivana Ng, Ashley Oudenne, Nick Rhinehart
The CS Ninjas will assist me in
class and run study sessions in the main CS lab (Science Center 240) on
the following evenings:
||Sci Center 240
||Sci Center 240
You are invited -- and encouraged -- to participate in these study
sessions to prepare for quizzes, to discuss programming concepts, and
to get friendly assistance in working on homework 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, free food
will be provided at the sessions.
The CS lab is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for you to use
for CS21 lab assignments.
In addition, the CS21 professors will be in the CS labs
at the times listed below to help CS21 students with lab assignments.
You are not required to attend any of these sessions, but you should
take advantage of them to get assistance with your lab assignments.
Any CS21 student is welcome to attend any/all session.
* if there's a campus collection, the Friday lab will be 2-3pm in
the overflow lab.
|| Science Center 240
|| Science Center 240
|| Science Center 240
Accessing the CS labs after hours
You can use your ID to gain access to the computer labs
at nights and on the weekends. Just wave your ID over
the microprox reader next to the lab doors. When the green
light goes on, just push on the door handle to get in
(the door knob will not turn). If the green light doesn't
go on, then we need to enter your microprox number
into the system. email firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have problems with this. If the building is locked, you
can use your ID to enter the door between Martin and Cornell library.
For this class, your ID will give you access to the labs in rooms
238 and 240.
How to Succeed in CS 21
The primary introduction to course material is through class lecture.
Additionally, we often do lab exercises during class. This
is an important part of the learning process, as these exercises give
you immediate experience with the material we are covering.
Read the material before you come to class.
Don't worry about total comprehension, but at least get a feel for
what we will be covering that week. If you have some understanding of
the material coming into class, it will be easier for you to ask
questions during class, rather than later when help may not be
Ask questions if you don't understand.
This means both during class and while doing lab assignments . This class
continually builds on previous material, so if you don't understand
something one week, it will continue to be a problem the next week,
and the week after that, and so on. If you need help, ask your classmates
(make sure you have read the "Academic Integrity" section below first),
attend the lab and study sessions, come talk with me during my office hours,
or email me your question.
Start the lab assignments early.
I realize this one is not always easy to do, but if you can get in the
habit of doing this, you will be much better off. If you get
stuck early (i.e., not two hours before it is due), there will be time
to look for help. In addition, if you start early enough, you can
take a break, go do something else, and come back later. I find I
always have at least a few new ideas when I come back to a problem
after a break. If you wait until the last minute, you can't do this.
Practice, practice, practice.
The only effective way to
learn the material and pass the quizes and exams is to consistently
do the labs. Finish all of the assigned programs (and do some extras,
for fun!). Even if you don't get them done on time, they will still
help you learn the material.
Seek help early and often.
Because course material builds
on previous material, it is essential to your success in this class
that you keep up with the course material. If you are having difficulty
with a programming assignment, if you didn't follow something covered
in lecture, if you feel you need some extra help understanding or
practicing some of the course material, or if you just want to discuss
something from a lecture, an assignment, or the text, please come to
my office hours.
Attend CS21 Labs and Study Sessions.
The student Ninjas
hold evening study sessions each week.
You are encouraged to participate in these sessions. The Ninjas
will help you prepare for quizzes, will provide additional instruction
in programming concepts, and will provide friendly assistance on
your lab assignments. The CS 21 professors hold lab sessions each
week. You are encouraged to attend these to get help with lab assignments.
Academic accommodations are available for students with disabilities who
are registered with
Student Disability Services
in the Dean's office.
Students in need of disability accommodations should schedule an
appointment with me early in the semester to discuss accommodations for
this course that have been approved by the Dean's office. All requests
must come through an accommodation letter from the Dean's office. To
receive an accommodation for a course activity, your meeting with me must
be at least one week prior to the activity.
Contact Tracey Rush at the Dean's office and follow these steps for
Grades will be weighted as follows:
Programming assignments will typically be assigned in class at the
beginning of the week and will be due before midnight the following
Tuesday 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 not be accepted
except in extreme situations and only if you contact me before the
deadline. Even if you do not fully complete an assignment, you should
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:
- A comment at the top of the program that includes
- Program authors
- Date or Dates
- A brief description of what the program does
- Concise comments that summarize major sections of your
- Meaningful variable and function names
- Function comments that include: (1) description of what function does;
(2) description of input values (parameter values); (3) description of
- Well organized code
- White space or comments to improve legibility
- Avoidance of large blocks of copy-pasted code
Also, look over the Python Code Style Guide
for more details and some
examples of good code style.
Academic honesty is required in all work you submit to be
graded. With the exception of your lab partner on lab
assignments, you may not submit work done with (or by)
someone else, or examine or use work done by others to
complete your own work.
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 sharing solutions after the due date
of the assignment.
All code you submit must be your own with the following
permissible exceptions: code distributed in class, code
found in the course text book, and code worked on with an
assigned partner. 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.
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. You may discuss assignment specifications
and requirements with others in the class to be sure you understand the
problem. In addition, you are allowed to work with others to
help learn the course material. However, with the exception
of your lab partner, you may not work with others on your
assignments in any capacity.
``It is the opinion of the faculty that for an intentional
first offense, failure in the course is normally
appropriate. Suspension for a semester or deprivation of
the degree in that year may also be appropriate when
warranted by the seriousness of the offense.'' - Swarthmore
College Bulletin (2008-2009, Section 7.1.2)
Please see me if there are any questions about what is permissible.
Reading Assignments are from the required Textbook:
||TOPIC & REFERENCES
||INCLASS & ASSIGNMENTS
||Using Unix (240 SciCntr):
Tues: 4-5, Wed: 8-9pm
|Introduction to Python and Unix
getting started guide: Python and Unix for lab assignments
|In class: Mon
Assn: lab 0
||Add/Drop ends Friday
practice Quiz 1
|Numbers and Strings
|In class: Mon, Wed,Fri
Assn: lab 2
Ch. 7 and p. 247
|In class: week3
Assn: lab 3
||practice Quiz 2
notes on the Graphics Library
|In class: week 4
Assn: lab 4
|In class: week5
Assn: lab 5
||practice Quiz 3
||while Loops, More Functions
Notes on strings and lists as objects
Notes on using the random library
|In class: week 6
Assn: lab 6
||Top Down Design, File I/O
Chapt. 9, 4.6
notes on File I/O
|In class: week 7
||Searching, Analysis of Algorithms
|In class: week 8
Assn: lab 7
||practice Quiz 4
||Sorting, Analysis of Algorithms
notes on File I/O
|In class: week 9
Assn: lab 8
|In class: week10
Assn: lab 9
||practice Quiz 5
||Defining new classes
|In class: week 11
Assn: lab 10
||Object Oriented Design
Linked lists handout
|In class: week 12
Assn: lab 11
||practice Quiz 6
|In class: week 13
Assn: lab 12
||Advanced Topics, Wrap-up
||In class: week 14
Final Exam (May 12, 7-10pm, room 101 Sci Cntr)
Links that are related to the course may be posted here. If you have suggestions for links, let me know.