In this course, we will continue sampling the perspectives and methods of computer science. The most apparent difference you will observe is the change in notation for expressing algorithms, from Python to Java. Although there will be some review of elementary matters in order to get you up to speed in Java, a major focus of the course will be the use of object-oriented analysis and programming, and we will try to get there as soon as possible. Along the way, we will develop tools to analyze the efficiency of algorithms, methods for writing more efficient algorithms, and ways to write more complicated data structures. This course will involve much programming. I will give you a broad range of programs from many disciplines, since it is important for computer scientists to apply their knowledge to other areas. Finally, we will consider the notion of computations with changing state by looking "under the hood" at computers.
Instructional Staff and Contact Information
San Skulrattanakulchai will be the classroom instructor and Choong-Soo Lee will be the lab instructor. For information about our availability, see our contact info.
World Wide Web
All course materials will be available through my World Wide Web page. The URL for this course is http://homepages.gac.edu/~mc28/S2011/. After this syllabus I will give hard-copy hand-outs only to those students who ask for them.
Our main textbook is Introduction to Programming In Java: An Interdisciplinary Approach by Robert Sedgewick and
The textbook authors maintain a website for the book
We will also use selected sections of Concrete Abstractions: An Introduction to Computer Science by Max Hailperin, Barbara Kaiser, and Karl Knight. You will not have to buy this, since it is available for free on the web.
Class and Lab Attendance Policy
Attendance, both physical and mental, is required. I reserve the right to lower your
grade if I feel you are missing or showing up late too often.
Should you need to miss a class or lab for any reason, you are still responsible for
the material covered in there. This means that you will need to make sure
that you understand the reading for that day, that you should ask another student
for the notes from that day, and that you make sure that you understand what was covered.
If there is an assignment due that day, you should be
sure to have someone hand it in. You do not need to explain why you missed a class
unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
If you have influenza-like symptoms (temperature over 100 with headaches, sore throat, or cough), please call Health Service. If they say that you stay home, you should do so, and I request (but do not require) that you email me.
Projects and Lab Days
In the course of the semester, you will complete somewhere between 7 and 10 projects -- I do not yet know how many
there will be. In each case, I will indicate what I expect of you, though not as completely as was done in MCS-177.
A project report that meets those expectations is due at the start of class on the date specified. If you turn in
the report late, your grade will drop 5% per day late or fraction thereof. If you are too sick to complete
a report on time, you will not be penalized. Simply write "late due to illness" at the top of the report, sign
your name and hand it in. Other circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we will meet in the OHS 326 computer lab. One or more of those lab days will be provided for you to work on each project. However, you will often need to spend additional time on the project outside of class.
Some of the lab days are not for project work. Instead, the syllabus lists a topic from the textbook with the prefix "In lab:". On these days, I will be covering material from the book, somewhat like on a class day, but in an environment where I can ask each of you to try things out on your individual computers. (By contrast, in the classroom, only one student at a time can use the keyboard of our shared computer.) For each of these days where a textbook topic is covered in lab, the same topic is listed on the following class day. We will have this extra class time to go over the topic some more if you need it. Any remaining time will be available for us to talk about topics that are not in the textbook.
I do not currently intend to assign you homework, but reserve the right to do so, should I fell that it would benefit you.
There will be two intra-term tests and a final. I intend to give you two hours for the intra-term exams, which I will schedule in the evenings (with alternate times for those who have obligations in the evening). The final will be two hours, and all of the tests will count the same value in you final grade (see below). I will publish the time for the final when it is set.
You will receive a score out of a 100% scale for each of your tests and projects. These scores will be on the standard 90-80-70-60 scale. Your test and final scores will be averaged, and that will be half of the course grade. The other half will be the average of your project scores. However, there are two caveats to the rules given above:
- If I believe certain of the labs are significantly longer than the others, I will give them a higher weighting factor.
- If I do assign homework, I will modify the computations slightly, probably by reducing the projects part.
Please point out any arithmetic or clerical error I make in grading, and I will gladly fix it. You may also request
reconsideration if you feel I have been especially unjust.
As noted above, I reserve the right to lower your grade if I feel you are missing or showing up late too often to classes or labs.
Any substantive contribution to your project report by another person or taken from a web site or publication should be
properly acknowledged in writing. Failure to do so is plagiarism and will necessitate disciplinary action.
The same standards regarding plagiarism apply to team projects as to the work of individuals, except that the author is now the entire team rather than an individual. Anything taken from a source outside the team should be be properly cited.
One additional issue that arises from the team authorship of project reports is that all team members must stand behind all reports bearing their names. All team members have quality assurance responsibility for the entire project. If there is irreconcilable disagreement within the team it is necessary to indicate as much in the report.
As a student at Gustavus you are expected to uphold the Honor Code and abide by the Academic Honesty Policy. A copy of the honor code can be found in the Academic Bulletin and a copy of the academic honesty policy can be found in the Academic Polices section of the Gustie Guide.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Art of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) work together to ensure "reasonable accommodation" and non-discrimination for students with disabilities in higher education. A student who has a physical, psychiatric/emotional, medical, learning, or attentional disability that may have an effect on the student's ability to complete assigned course work should contact the Disability Services Coordinator in the Advising Center, who will review the concerns and decide with the student what accommodations are necessary. Disability Services Coordinator Laurie Bickett (6286) can provide further information.
Help for Students Whose First Language is not English
The Writing Center has on staff a part-time tutor with professional training in ESL/ELL instruction. Students can schedule work with this tutor by contacting the Writing Center. Students may bring their instructor's documentation concerning their ELL status. Where it is appropriate, faculty may choose to allow such students more time to complete either in- or out-of-class writing assignments. For further information, contact the Academic Advising Office.