Syllabus for Introduction to Computer Science I -honors

Instructor: Dr. John F. Santore
Phone: 508-531-2226
Office: Hart 220

Instructor Web Page: http://webhost.bridgew.edu/jsantore/
Course Web Page: http://webhost.bridgew.edu/jsantore/Spring2009/cs1-h/

Office Hours:

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 is also an honors course so there is a little bit more to this course than the standard course. It offers an introduction to computer science and programming principles using python as the programming language of instruction. (Note that this is primarily a computer science course and not a programming course.) 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 repition, methods and parameters. We will cover good programming techniques and will reinforce them in this class. We will then learn how to do all of this in java at the end of the semester. The goal of this class is for you to leave with an effective working knowledge of the basics of computer science, programming, and the Java language upon which to base the rest of your CS studies upon.


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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 30% 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 accomidation. 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 Monday March 2nd

The final exam will be Wednesday, May 6 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

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 http://www.bridgew.edu/handbook/policiesprocedures/academicintegrity.cfm  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, pdas, pens, pencils, phones 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.

For those who find that they are in over their heads:

Computer Science is a hard subject. Most people can master it only with hard work. A few may well find themselves in over their heads without realizing it earlier. Getting an excellent grade in this course (an 'A' or a 'B') will require you to earn it through your performance in the regular course material. For those having exceptional difficulty, I will offer the opportunity to do an extra credit scholarly paper later on in the semester. The paper will be worth up to a 5% increase in your grade, but it cannot raise your grade above a 'C'.

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 responsable for your performance but I'll be glad to help those who seek it" speech.

Tentative Schedule:

Week Topic Assignment
Week 1 Introduction to class and programming intro assignment
Week 2 basic I/O, strings and other data types first program
Week 3 control: selection, repitition and functions. second program
Week 4 working with windows and simple 2d graphics; event driven programming third program
Week 5 more 2d graphics and event driven programming forth program
Week 6 classes and objects; sprites fifth program
Week 7 midterm and social issues
Week 8 spring break
Week 9 building a larger application sixth program
Week 10 patents and trademarks homework
Week 11 software design seventh program
Week 12 social issues II python, java and programming.
Week 13 Translating your skills to Java first java program
Week 14 Translating your skills to Java second java program              
Week 15 Translating your skills to Java and review