CS 112 -- Introduction to CS II (in Java) -- Summer 2017

 

Prerequisites

CS 111 or programming proficiency in some language, plus an interest in working hard to develop your skills as programmers!

Course Description

This course will introduce you to advanced programming techniques in Java. It has five goals :

  1. Introduce you to programming in the Java platform, and reinforce concepts (such as recursion) introduced in CS 111. We will also continue to develop your ability to plan, write, and debug programs which satisfy a specification, and which can be understood easily (and maintained) by humans.
  2. Provide you with a "cookbook" of the most important data structures used in advanced programming;
  3. Introduce you to the study of algorithms, both as they relate to the data structures being considered, and as a separate object of study;
  4. Take the first steps in developing your ability to analyze the efficiency (running time) of algorithms, from two (increasingly less abstract) points of view:
  5. Introduce you to the "science" of computing -- how do computer scientists think?

The overall goal is to provide you with a firm foundation for further study in computer science.

 

Course Materials and Handouts

We have no single textbook for the class; instead we will use various online resources and I will provide my Powerpoint slides as PDF files on the web site. In most cases, you will have something to read, or view, before the lecture.

However, for the first 2-3 weeks of the course, where we will be learning Java, I suggest using the following website, which contains tutorial lessons, with executable code snippets (linked from the class web site):

Learning Java Online

In addition one of the following two texts is strongly suggested as a resource for learning Java:

The first is a classic and concise introduction to the language:

Java in a Nutshell, by Evans and Flanagan.

Author:
Benjamin J Evans, David Flanagan
ISBN:
9781449370824
Publication Date:
07/22/2014
Publisher:
O'Reilly Media, Incorporated

You may order this from Amazon (I recommend getting the Kindle version and the Amazon Cloud Reader) or find previous editions online (the parts we use will be unchanged in the various editions). I will be referencing both of these resources as we go through the first week of the course.

The second is a beautiful online textbook of Java, which contains much more explanation and examples than the first suggestion. Use whichever one suits you! Here is the link:

Introduction to Programming Using Java, Seventh Edition, by David Eck.

Finally, a third resource is the following online tutorial in Java:

LearningJavaOnline

You do not need to look at all three of these, but choose whichever one suits you, or find additional resources (say, YouTube videos)!

Other reference material will be provided on the web site, and anything else may be found using Google (your best friend when programming in Java!).

Topics

A detailed week-by-week roadmap, keyed to readings, handouts, and assignments, will be maintained on the course web page.

Policies

Lectures

Homework Assignments

Tutoring Hours and Piazza

Tests

Grades

ALSO: In order to receive a passing grade (C) towards the concentration (or for transfer credit), you must achieve a passing grade in both the homeworks (at least 60% of assignments, or 30% in your final overall average) and tests (at least 60% among both midterm and final, or 30% in your final overall average).

These percentages are tentative and may be changed at my discretion at any time.

I will drop the lowest homework assignment when calculating grades at the end of the term. Please do not strategize about this, as you never know when random events will conspire against you and make you unable to finish an assignment!

Miscellaneous

Policy on Academic Conduct

Collaboration Policy

Collaboration policy for this class is as follows. The last point is particularly important: if you don't make an honest effort on the homework but always get ideas from others, your exam score will reflect it.

Violations of Collaboration Policy

Violations of collaboration policy fall into two categories: ones that are acknowledged at the time they occur (for example, in clearly marked comments in your code) and ones that are unacknowledged. Acknowledged violations (e.g., using someone else's code for a method you didn't know how to write yourself, and stating clearly in your code that this is not your own work) will result in an appropriate reduction in the grade, but will not be considered cheating.

Unacknowledged violations of the collaboration policy--for example, not stating the names of your collaborators, or any other attempt to represent the work of another as your own--will result in an automatic failing grade and will be reported to the Academic Conduct Committee (ACC). The ACC often suspends or expels students deemed guilty of plagiarism or other forms of cheating. I have served on the ACC and have seen it happen. I will assume that you understand the CAS Academic Conduct Code (read it if you haven't).

If you are uncertain as to whether a particular kind of interaction with someone else constitutes illegal collaboration or academic dishonesty, please ask me before taking any action that might violate the rules; if you can't reach me in time, then at the very least include a clear explanation of what happened in your homework write-up to avoid being treated as a cheater. Citing your sources is usually the easiest way out of trouble.

Policy about Extensions to Homework Deadlines or for Individual Exceptions

As the semester goes on, I will start to get requests for individual and private extensions to homework deadlines for various reasons (illness, broken laptop, religious holidays, etc.).

The short answer to such requests is: No, in the interest of fairness, I can not give any individual an exemption from a homework deadline. Everyone is held to the exact same standard. If there is any reason to extend a deadline, I will announce it publicly and everyone will know about it.

The longer answer is: If I start giving people individual and private chances to improve their grade, in addition to the obvious unfairness, by the end of the term, about 5% of the class is asking for extensions on each homework (trust me, I've been teaching 112 for 30 years). In a class this size, that would mean about 30 individual extensions on *each* homework. The concept of a deadline just becomes moot, and keeping track of it all is completely impossible---by the end of term I want someone take me out in back of MCS, shoot me, and put me out of my misery.

I want to live, and I want you all to have an equal opportunity to do well in the class, so I and my staff spend a great deal of time on tutoring (between tutoring hours and my office hours, usually 17 hours a week), plus Piazza, but I do not *ever* give extensions or accept excuses for missing homework deadlines.

To mitigate the harshness of this policy, I do three things:

(1) I do not count a homework late until some fraction of an hour after the deadline;

(2) I drop the lowest homework, as specified above;

(3) I will also announce at the end of the term that you can write me an email if you feel there were extenuating circumstances that the "drop the lowest" policy does not cover. I do not guarantee I will accept your petition, but I will absolutely read it and consider it. Usually, it does not end up affecting your grade anyway.

If there is some truly exceptional circumstance getting in the way of your work, please talk to me and we will have a conversation with the Dean and with all of your professors about how to get you through it.

Happy to talk with anyone about this policy, which is designed to be fair to all, reasonably efficient, and keep me (almost) sane. Thanks for your understanding.