Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Hobart and William Smith Colleges Spring 2013. Instructor: David J. Eck (firstname.lastname@example.org) Textbook: Available on line at http://math.hws.edu/javanotes/ Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 12:20--1:15 PM Room Eaton 111. Lab: Thursday, 1:30--2:55 PM Room Gulick 208.
Computer Science 124 is an introduction to computer programming. Programming is the art of explaining to a computer what you want it to do, in exact detail and in a language that the computer can understand. Programming is only one part of computer science, but it is the most basic and most central part. It is an activity that requires you to think logically, to solve problems, to express yourself clearly, and often to endure a certain amount of frustration as you try to get your programs to work. The result, though, can be very rewarding.
This course has no prerequisites, although a general familiarity with computers would certainly be helpful.
In this course, we will use the Java programming language. Java was introduced in 1995. In the years since then, it has become one of the most important languages for real application development. It is a very versatile language. Java can be used to write regular desktop applications and to make "applets" that can appear on Web pages. Many complex interactive Web sites are written using Java on the Web server, and it can be used to write applications for many types of mobile phones. Even high-performance scientific programming has been done in Java. Java has also become perhaps the most popular language for teaching programming.
Instead of a regular textbook, we will use an on-line text that I wrote for this course. The book can be found at http://math.hws.edu/javanotes/ We will cover Chapters 1 through 7, with a few topics omitted. I urge you to read the book on-line or to download a PDF version for easier reading on your computer, but if you would like a printed version, you can order one. See the links at the bottom of http://math.hws.edu/javanotes/ for more information.
This course has a required lab component. The labs give you a chance to get hands-on experience with the computer and with programming while someone is nearby to help you get through the trouble that inevitably arises. I will make a "lab worksheet" available on-line for each lab. For a few of the labs, you will have the option of working with a partner. Aside from that, the labs are individual work.
Each lab will involve some programming. There might also be a few questions for you to answer in writing. Your lab report will consist of your answers to the programming and other exercises. It is quite possible that you will not finish all the exercises during the Thursday lab period. That is to be expected. Completing the lab exercises is part of your homework for the course.
Lab reports will generally be due at the beginning of the following lab. In some cases, the lab will be a starting point for a longer programming assignment that you can work on for several weeks.
In general, lab reports and programming assignments will not be accepted late (although in extraordinary cases, with sufficient reason, you might persuade me to accept them one or two days late).
The computer programs that you turn in should be your own work or, in cases where you work with a partner, the work of you and your partner. You can get a certain amount of help from the Professor and from Teaching Assistants, but you should not discuss the details of your programs with anyone else, you should not look at the programs of other people in the class, and you should not use code that you find on the Internet or in books, unless that is specifically allowed for a given assignment.
Inevitably in a programming course, it seems that a few people will turn in work that is not their own. You should understand that it is usually easy to detect copying of programs -- even when a program is modified to try to disguise its source. Copying a program, or letting someone else copy your program, is a form of academic dishonesty and will be treated as such.
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science sponsors several colloquium talks every semester. They are usually scheduled at 4:00 or 4:30 PM. This semester, a number of talks will be about computer science, including a few by job candidates for a computer science faculty position. It would be a good experience for you to attend these talks. To encourage you to attend at least one of them, you can get one point of extra credit on your final grade for the course for attending one of the computer science talks, and you can get one and one-half points for attending two or more talks.
Talks will be announced in class and by email. If you attend a talk, be sure to let me know that you are there!
Quizzes will be given at the beginning of some classes. Quizzes might or might not be announced in advance. There will be about a dozen quizzes. Quizzes might cover material from assigned readings before that material is covered in class, so it is important to keep up with the reading! It is not possible to make up quizzes that you miss. However, your two lowest quiz grades will be dropped.
There will be two in-class tests in addition to a final exam. The tests will be given on Monday, February 25 and on Wednesday, April 10. The final exam will take place during the officially scheduled exam time for the course, which is Tuesday, May 14, at 1:30 PM.
The final exam will be comprehensive, covering material from the entire term, with some emphasis on material covered during the last part of the course.
Your numerical grade for the course will be determined as follows:
First Test: 15% Second Test: 15% Quizzes: 10% Final Exam: 20% Labs and Assignments: 40%
Letter grades are assigned as follows: 90-100: A; 80-89: B; 65-79: C; 55-64: D; 0-54: F. Grades near a cutoff get a + or -.
I assume that you understand the importance of attending class. While I do not take attendance in every class, I expect you to be present unless circumstances make that impossible. Participation in lab is particularly important, and I do take attendance at lab. If you miss a lab without a good reason, you can still turn in a lab report for that lab, but your grade on the lab report will be reduced.
If you miss a quiz, test, or final exam without an extremely good excuse, you will receive a grade of zero. If you think you have an excuse for missing a test, please discuss it with me, in advance if possible. If I judge that your excuse is reasonable, I will -- depending on the circumstances -- either give you a make-up quiz or test, or I will average your other grades so that the missing grade does not count against you.
Although it should not need to be said, I expect you to maintain a reasonable level of decorum in class. This means that there is usually no eating or drinking in class. Cell phones are turned off. There is no walking in late or walking in and out of the room during lecture.
Disability Accommodations: If you are a student with a disability for which you may need accommodations, you should self-identify and register for services with the Coordinator of Disability Services at the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and provide documentation of your disability. Disability related accommodations and services generally will not be provided until the registration and documentation process is complete. The guidelines for documenting disabilities can be found at the following website: http://www.hws.edu/disabilities
Please direct questions about this process or Disability Services at HWS to David Silver, Coordinator of Disability Services, at email@example.com or 315-781-3351.
My office is room 313 in Lansing Hall. My office phone extension is 3398. I am on campus most days, and you are welcome to come in anytime you can find me there. I will announce office hours and post them on my office door and on the course web page as soon as my schedule is determined, but note that your office visits are certainly not restricted to my regular office hours!
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail is good way to communicate with me, since I usually answer messages within a day of receiving them.
The home page for this course on the World Wide Web is located at http://math.hws.edu/eck/cs124/index_s13.html. This page will contain a weekly guide to the course and links to lab worksheets. You will want to bookmark this page. This courses does not use Blackboard.
Here is a tentative schedule of readings for this course. We will try to keep approximately to this schedule. We will not cover every topic in every section -- but it would be a good idea for you to read the first seven chapters of the book in their entirty, if you really want to learn Java. I also recommend reading the end-of-chapter exercises and reading their solutions on-line.
(Note that we will cover some of the material from Chapter 6 in labs before we get to Chapter 6 on this schedule.)
|Jan. 23 and 25||Chapter 1, especially 1.1, 1.3, 1.4;
Introduction to Linux and Java (in lab)
|Jan. 28 and 30; Feb.1||Sections 2.1 to 2.4|
|Feb. 4, 6, and 8||Sections 2.5, 3.1, and 3.2|
|Feb. 11, 13, and 15||Sections 3.3 to 3.5|
|Feb. 18, 20, and 22||Selections from Sections 3.6 to 3.8|
|Feb. 25 and 27; Mar. 1||TEST on Monday, February 25, on Chapters 1 to 3.
Sections 4.1 and 4.2
|Mar. 4, 6, and 8||Sections 4.3 to 4.5|
|Mar. 11, 13, and 15||Sections 4.6, 4.7, and 5.1|
|Spring Break, March 16--24|
|Mar. 25, 27, and 29||Sections 5.2 and 5.3|
|Apr. 1, 3, and 5||Sections 5.4 to 5.6|
|Apr. 8, 10, and 12||TEST on Wednesday, April 10, on Chapters 4 and 5.
Section 5.7; Selections from Chapter 6
|Apr. 15, 17, and 19||Selections from Chapter 6|
|Apr. 22, 24, and 26||Sections 7.1 to 7.3|
|Apr. 29; May 1 and 3||Sections 7.4 and 7.5|
|May 6||Last day of class; wrap up the course!|
|May 14||Final Exam: Tuesday, May 14, 1:30 PM|