CPSC 225:
Intermediate Programming

   Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
   Hobart and William Smith Colleges

   Fall, 2007.

   Instructor:  David J. Eck.

   Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 1:55 to 2:50, Room Eaton 110.
   Lab:  Tuesday, 11:55 to 1:20, Gulick 208.

About This Course

CPSC 225 builds on the material covered in CPSC 124. In Introductory Programming, you spent most of your time learning about the basic building blocks of programs, including variables, control structures, classes, and methods. Intermediate Programming builds on this work in several directions. A large part of the course will be devoted to more advanced building blocks such as recursion, linked data structures, and Java's Collection Framework. But in addition to this, you will learn more about designing and coding complex, robust, and efficient programs. And you will be introduced to some professional programming tools such as the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment and the CVS version control system.

In the past, this course has been taught using the C++ programming language. Although it's a good idea for programmers to know more than one programming language, teaching the course in C++ meant going over a lot of the same material that had already been covered once in CPSC 124, and that in turn meant leaving out some of the material that is typically covered in a second programming course. Starting this term, CPSC 225, like CPSC 124, is being taught in Java. Hopefully, this will make it possible to teach a deeper, more interesting, and more useful course.

The textbook for the course will consist of several chapters from my on-line textbook, Introduction to Programming Using Java, which can be found on the web at http://math.hws.edu/javanotes. You do not have to purchase a textbook; a printed copy will be given to you during the first week of classes.

Labs and Assignments

This course has a required lab component. The labs will reinforce the material that we are covering in class, but they will also introduce new ideas and techniques from time to time. For example, at some point during the term, one of the labs will introduce you to the debugging facilities that are included in the Eclipse IDE. Another lab will introduce CVS, a system that can keep track of multiple versions of a program so that you can easily recover from unwise changes. CVS also makes it easier for several people to cooperate on a programming project.

Every lab will involve some programming. You should not expect to complete the lab during class; completing the labs is part of your homework for the course. In most cases, all the work for a lab will be due at the beginning of the next lab period. In a few cases, the lab will get you started on a longer programming project that will be due several weeks later.

A few labs will require you to work together with one or two other students in the class on a team programming project. Others will require you to work on your own. Unless otherwise specified for a particular assignment, you should not get any help on assignments except from me or, when working on a team project, from your teammates.

In addition to programming assignments, there will be a few short writing or design assignments. Your responses to these assignments can be word-processed or hand-written. Labs and assignments together will count for 35% of your grade for the course.

Final Programming Project

In addition to the weekly labs and assignments, you are required to complete a larger-scale final programming project that will be due at the end of the semester. It will count for 15% of your grade for the course. This final project can be either an individual or a team effort; a team project will, of course, have to be more ambitious than a typical individual project. We will discuss the requirements for the project in more detail later in the course, but part of the assignment is to choose the project that you will work on, so you should start thinking about it now!


There will be two in-class tests, which will be given on Friday, September 28 and on Friday, November 2. The final exam for the course will take place at the time scheduled by the Registrar's office: Tuesday, December 12, 1:30--4:30 PM. I will give a couple of practice quizzes before the first exam, but they will not count as part of the grade for the course.


Your numerical grade for the course will be computed as follows:

            First Test:            15%
            Second Test:           15%
            Final Exam:            20%
            Final Project:         15%
            Labs and Assignments:  35%

I reserve the right to adjust your grade downwards if you miss more than one or two classes or labs without a good excuse. In my grading scale, an A corresponds to 90--100%, B to 80--89%, C to 65--79%, D to 50--64%, and F to 0--49%. Grades near the endpoints of a range get a plus or minus.

Office Hours, E-mail, and Web

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. My regular office hours will be posted on my door, as soon as my schedule is fixed. Office hours are times when I promise to try my best to be in my office. I do not generally make appointments during my office hours, since they are times when I am available to students on a first-come, first-served basis. When necessary, I am happy to make appointments for meetings outside my scheduled office hours.

My e-mail address is eck@hws.edu. E-mail is good way to communicate with me, since I usually answer messages within a day of the time I receive them.

There is a short Web page for this course at http://math.hws.edu/eck/cs225/index_f07.html. I will post weekly readings and assignments on that page.

Tentative Schedule

Here is a very tentative weekly schedule of topics for the course. Note that in addition to the topics listed here, we will spend some time on tools and techniques such as Eclipse, the Eclipse debugger, and CVS. In addition, throughout the course, we will be discussing program design and style. In the last two weeks, we will cover one or two topics that go beyond the core required material of the course. The topics will be selected based on student interest and applicability to final projects. Possible topics include networking, advanced GUI programming, threads, and various sections of Java's standard API.

Week Of Topic Reading
Aug. 27 Eclipse, Javadoc, and review of programming techniques from CS 124. Style guide and other handouts.
Sept. 3 Exceptions and assertions and writing robust programs. Sections 8.3 and 8.4; Sections 8.1 and 8.2 are recommended but not required.
Sept. 10 Analysis of Algorithms and writing efficient programs. Section 8.6.
Sept. 17 Recursion and Quicksort. Section 9.1.
Sept. 24 Linked data structures; Linked Lists.
TEST on Friday, September 28.
Section 9.2.
Oct. 1 Abstract Data Types, Stacks, and Queues. Section 9.3.
Oct. 8 Binary Trees. Section 9.4.
Oct. 15 Generic Programming and the Java Collection Framework.
Fall Break, Monday, October 15.
Section 10.1.
Oct. 22 Lists, Sets, and Maps in the Java Collection Framework. Sections 10.2, 10.3.1, and 10.3.2.
Oct. 29 Hash Tables and Programming Examples.
TEST on Friday, November 2.
Sections 10.3.3 and 10.4.
Nov. 5 More about Object-Oriented Programming. Selections from Chapter 5 (from Part I of the textbook).
Nov. 12 Streams and Files. Sections 11.1 and 11.2.
Nov. 19 Programming with Files.
Thanksgiving Break, November 21 -- 23.
Section 11.3.
Nov. 26 Student Choice  
Dec. 3 Student Choice  
Dec. 12 Final Exam, Tuesday, December 12, 1:30--4:30 PM.