Syllabus for Introduction to Computer Science I

Instructor: Dr. John F. Santore
Phone: 508-531-2226
Office: Science Center 333

Instructor Web Page:
Course Web Page:

Office Hours:
Mon 10-11am
Tues 7:30-8:30pm (after my evening class)
Wed 2-3pm
Fri 10-11am
or by appointment

I also will take appointments if you cannot make my other office hours, however, I generally have meetings and work prepared for a day or two ahead so plan on about 48 hours from the time I get your request to us being able to meet.

Course Description:

This is the first semester course in computer science. It offers an introduction to computer science and programming principles using python as the programming language of instruction. We will cover basic object oriented techniques, including classes and objects. We will also cover the basic computer science tools such as selection, definite and indefinite repetition, methods and parameters. We will cover good programming techniques and will reinforce them in this class.

Out Comes:

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • understand the fundamental syntax & computer programs
  • understand the fundamental control and loop (iteration) structures
  • program simple algorithms, such as counting, summing, and finding maximum/minimum
  • Implement, test, and debug simple recursive functions and procedures
  • understand the basic data structures used in programming (such as arrays and array lists).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic recursion.
  • argue effectively about the merits and possible unintended consequences of a computing implementation
  • effectively write or present about the impact of computing on society. Students should extrapolate from historic lessons learned from unintended consequences of computing to the current computer solutions.


Python Programming Edition: 3rd

Author: Zelle ISBN: 978-1590282755

Class Requirements and grading:

Programming projects: 50%
Exams: 40%
Everything else (quizzes, participation, homeworks etc): 10%

Project work:

Since you can't really understand a programming language, or the important computer science concepts without working and practicing with them by writing programs in that language, there will be several programming projects in this class.

There will be a number of projects  in this course. Each lab is to be completed individually. You must get a passing grade in the project portion of the class in order to pass this class. Projects are to be turned in on time. Late projects will be penalized 50% for each day that they are late (i.e if you turn it in the day after it is due, your best possible score is 50%, a second day late will receive 25% credit for a perfect lab. It is therefore almost always best to submit whatever you have on time.


There will be two exams, a midterm and a final exam. The midterm be worth 20% of your final grade. The final will be work 20% of your final grade. Exams will be given on at their assigned times. If you have a legitimate reason for missing an exam, see your instructor before the scheduled exam time to arrange for reasonable accommodation. If you miss the exam without prior approval, you will forfeit the exam. (emergency room visits and the like excepted of course)

The midterm exam is scheduled on Thursday Oct 20th

The final exam will be scheduled by the university last exam is late this year, don't make travel plans before then.

Students with special needs:

Anyone who has special needs should contact me in the first week of classes so that reasonable accommodations can be agreed on.

Academic Integrity:

See   for a complete description of the academic integrity procedure at Bridgewater.

Academic integrity will be taken very seriously in this class. All individual work must be your own. If you cheat or otherwise represent the work of others as your own. You will receive an F for the course.

Guidelines for proper academic integrity:

Discussing problems with your classmates can help you understand the problems and kinds of solutions to those problems that you will learn about in this class. In an effort to make in clear what sort of discussions are appropriate and encouraged in this class and which cross the line to academic dishonesty I use the following guidelines: You may discuss any out of class problem I assign in this class with your classmates or other so long as no one is using any sort of recording implement including, but not limited to, computers, phones, pens, pencils, tablets etc. This lets you talk about theoretical solutions without sharing the actual implementations. As soon as anyone in the group is typing, writing etc, all conversations must stop. You may look at someone else's program code only very briefly in order to spot a simple syntax error. As a rule of thumb, if you find yourself looking at someone else's code for more than about 30-45 seconds it is probably time to stop. If you are having trouble with your program, come to the instructors office hours for more help.

All in class exams and quizzes are closed book and closed neighbor. If you are found using a data storage device of any kind during one of these evaluations, you will be failed for the course.

Standards for in class behavior:

You are all adults and are expected to act as adults in this class. While questions are encouraged in this class, if a particular line of questioning is taking us too far afield, I will ask the student to come by my office hours or to see me after class.

Cell phones, pagers, electronic organizers and other devises should be silenced while in class. If you work of EMS or something similar, please turn your cell phones/ pagers etc to vibrate mode so that you are not disrupting others in the class.

In the unlikely case of trouble makers in the class, those who are simply attempting to disrupt the class will be asked to stop; those who will not, will be referred to the college for appropriate action.

I do not take regular attendance. Because of the census day regulations, I'll have to take occasional attendance. You are adults and are paying for this class. If you miss a class, you are expected to get notes from a classmate and familiarize yourself with the material that was covered before returning to class. I do find from dealing with students in the past that attendance at lecture is highly correlated with doing well in my classes.

At this point the instructor will give his standard "this is not high school you are responsible for your performance but I'll be glad to help those who seek it" speech.

Tentative Schedule:

Week Topic Assignment
Week 1 Intro intro assignment
Week 2 Basic Programming and math in python first program
Week 3 simple graphics, using objects in python
second program
Week 4 I/O an simple sequences
third program
Week 5 functions and parameters
forth program
Week 6 control structures
fifth program
Week 7 review and midterm
Week 8 computers and society I

Week 9 simple algorithms I (min/max/average etc)
sixth program
Week 10 recursion
Week 11 collections and simple algorithms II (searching and sorting
seventh program
Week 12 more advanced graphics and GUIs

Week 13 Ethics and computers and Society II
8th program
Week 14 Object oriented? Testing
last  program              
Week 15 Review