CSci 157 Syllabus, Easter Semester, 2017
CSci 157 is the first course in Sewanee's introductory computer science sequence.
The course explores elements of computing that have reasonably close ties to the architecture of computers, compilers, and operating systems. The course takes an imperative view of problem-solving, supported by programming in the C programming language. Some topics include:
imperative problem solving: top-down design, common algorithms, assertions, invariants
C programming: syntax and semantics, control structures, functions, parameters, macro processing, compiling, linking, program organization
concepts with data: data abstraction, integer and floating-point representation, string representation, arrays, unions, structures, linked list data structures, stacks, and queues
machine-level issues: data representation, pointers, memory management
GNU/Linux operating system: commands, bash scripts, software development tools
Office: Woods Laboratories 134
Telephone: extension 3595
- Monday, Wednesday: 1:30 - 3:30 pm
- Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00 am - 12:00 (noon)
Readings and examples for this course are under development. As noted in the day-by-day schedule, complete readings, examples, projects, and labs are available for some parts of the course. However, materials for other parts of the course are part of a multi-year development project, and these materials may be spotty:
Class sessions marked with an asterisk (*) are under development, and readings may be incomplete or non-existent. When complete readings are not yet developed, references to standard textbooks (identified below) are given.
When class sessions are marked with a plus sign (+), labs reflect past offerings of the course. These laboratory exercises have worked well in the past, but they have not been reformatted and refined recently, and they may not have the polish of the recently updated materials.
When a course segment is marked with a hyphen (-), the project at the end of the segment should be considered under revision. As with labs, these projects have been used successfully in past offerings of the course, but they likely will be refined further in the future.
Students in this course should have a ready reference for the C programming language. Some labs include only a brief discussion of a topic, and students will need to do additional reading to understand the general context and the details of the material. Use of a textbook can be an effective means to study this material in appropriate depth.
The following two books provide the needed background, but these book target different audiences. CSci 157 students are strongly encouraged to obtain one of these references for use in this course. CSci 157 students need NOT obtain both of these references.
K. N. King, C Programming: A Modern Approach, Second Edition, W. W. Norton, 2008, ISBN 978-0393979503.
- Targeted audience: Introductory CS students who are beginning their exploration of imperative problem solving and C
- Approach: Teaching manual including many examples and much narrative
- Style: Narrative with definition of terms and extended discussion
Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie, The C Programming Language, Second Edition, Prentice Hall, 1988, ISBN 0-13-110362-8 (paperback), 0-13-110370-9 (hardback).
- Targeted audience: computing professionals who already know many computing concepts (but not C)
- Approach: Reference book — the standard reference for the C programming language
- Style: Terse with use of common technical terms
Additional references follow:
Henry Walker, An Introduction to C Through Annotated Examples, http://www.walker.cs.grinnell.edu/c/index.html
The GNU make Manual, Free Software Foundation, 2006.
Eric Huss, The C Library Reference Guide, University of Illinois Student Chapter, 1997.
The MyroC documentation that identifies MyroC operations defined for the Scribbler 2 robots in C.
Musical scale data: Frequencies of notes in a well-tempered Western scale may be specified either as separate notes or using a struct data structure.
The eSpeak package that identifies speech-synthesis capabilities for use in C programs.
Course Work will involve a combination of several activities. Submission instructions vary somewhat according to the type of the assignment.
Supplemental Problems extend the range of problems considered in the course and help sharpen problem-solving skills. Through the semester, five supplemental problems will be required. Supplemental problems numbered 6 or above may be done for extra credit, with these constraints:
- No more than 2 extra-credit problems may be turned in during the last week of classes (April 27-May 3, inclusive).
- Extra credit may not raise a student's average on assignments above 120%.
Note: Supplemental Problems are to be done individually; students should not talk to others in the class or to other students about these problems.
Module Laboratories and Projects: Topics in this course are organized into eight modules and a few supplementary labs. Modules include laboratory sessions and conclude with a integrative project.
Laboratory sessions introduce specific features of Sewanee's computing environment, highlight concepts and constructs introduced in class, allow instructor assistance in a "hands-on" setting, and supplement normal office hours. Approximately four labs require a formal write-up, explaining what work you have done, showing any programming you have done, indicating tests or experiments run, and giving your conclusions. Labs designated [Required] on the Tentative Class Schedule are required -- labs designated [Extra Credit] may be done for extra credit. In order for extra-credit labs to provide reasonable benefit, any such lab being submitted for credit must be turned in within 1 week of when it is scheduled for coverage in class. As with written homework, extra credit may not raise a student's average on laboratories above 120%.
Note: As a special incentive for mastering the laboratory exercises, between a third and a half of the problems on each test and on the exam will be taken from the laboratory exercises (with only slight editing).
Projects: Each of the eight modules concludes with a project, involving both a computer program and associated commentary; and each project is a required part of the course.
Collaboration on labs and projects encouraged: Many lab activities and projects should be done in groups of two or three, although you may work individually on labs after Lab 8. Only one write-up is expected per group.
Hour Tests: Three hour tests are scheduled for Wednesday, 15 February, Friday, 10 March, and Wednesday, 26 April.
Exam: An in-class final exam for this course is scheduled Saturday, May 6, at 7:00 pm.
Extra Credit Opportunities: This course provides numerous ways for earning extra credit.
Supplemental Problems: As noted above, Supplement Problems numbered 6 or higher may be submitted for extra credit, subject to these constraints:
- No more than 2 extra-credit problems may be turned in during the last week of classes (27 April-3 May, 2017).
- Extra credit may not raise a student's average on assignments above 120%.
Labs: Some laboratory exercises on the schedule are designated as being available for extra credit. To earn points, turn in a lab write up within 1 week of when it is covered in class. As with Supplemental Problems, extra credit may not raise a student's average on assignments above 120%.
Additional extra credit opportunities may be announced through the semester.
Since many of these courses-related activities involve in-class discussion, small-group activities, and collaborative lab work in pairs, all students are expected to attend each class. A modest number of absences might be anticipate for college-sponsored activities, for emergencies, and for illness (see notes below). However a history of several unexcused absences may have a significant impact on grades on various course componenents and on the final course grade.
Planning and development of materials for this course represent an extensive effort:
- Preparation and refinement of the course's structure and materials exceed 4100 hours.
- Course materials include about 200 Web pages involving almost 100,000 lines of text (in HTML with php).
- Sample C code includes over 275 programs.
- In case you are interested, this course materials script provides current statistics on materials for this course.
Although the developers have read, re-read, and refined the materials extensively, one can be confident that typographical errors remain.
If you find an error, if something does not read well, if deadlines on one page do not seem to match those stated on another page, etc. — don't panic (or use colorful language). Rather, please talk to the instructor (nicely please). Thanks!
While the schedule for this course is expected to evolve, a Tentative Class Schedule is available at schedule.php.
In addition, a reasonably detailed, day-by-day outline of course work is available through the base page for each module.
The University of the South offers alternative options to complete academic work for students who reserve religious holy days. Please contact me within the first three weeks of the semester if you would like to discuss a specific instance that applies to you.
Normally, laboratory write-up, project, or program is due every third class meeting. Laboratory exercises, projects, and supplemental problems all require work to be submitted in paper form at the start of class. Work submitted more than 10 minutes after the start of class will be considered late and thus subject to a late penalty.
Deadlines are shown on the Tentative Class Schedule , and work is due at the start of each class specified. A penalty of 25% per class meeting will be assessed for any assignment turned in late, even work submitted in the middle or the end of a class. For example, paper printed at the start of class will inevitable be turned in after the start of a class, and thus will be considered late. Print your materials well before the start of class!
Exceptions to the deadline policy and its penalties:
- An extension of at least one class period is automatically granted if the department's Linux network is down for an unscheduled period of three or more hours during the week preceding the assignment.
- Difficulties sometimes arise with printing through PaperCut. When such difficulties arise, you should contact the instructor (either at the start of class or via email). Note, however, that difficulties with PaperCut do not impact deadlines for emailing materials.
- Students arriving late to a class should turn in the paper form of the work as soon as they arrive in the classroom. In such cases, the assignment will be considered on time if (and only if) the email submission was received before the class began.
Although dates for labs, programming assignments, tests, and the final exam are firm, I understand that circumstances arise when you are not able to attend class.
- When circumstances are known ahead of time (e.g., academic activities, athletic events), I expect you to make arrangements with me before the activity occurs. Normally, we will identify an alternative date for the due date or test.
- When circumstances cannot be reasonably anticipated (e.g., illness, family emergencies, serious injury), I expect you to notify me as soon as is reasonably possible. (Email is fine.) In the case of medical problems that require you to miss several classes, I expect a written note from a medical professional or counselor that indicates that your health interfered with the course activity. (I do not need to know any details of the medical problem, but I do need to know that you sought help and that the medical professional believed meeting the deadline would likely interfere with your health.)
Absolute Deadline: All homework must be turned in by Wednesday,
May 3, at 5:00 pm;
laboratory reports, projects, or programs received after that time will not be counted in the grading of the course.
Collaboration often will be allowed on laboratory exercises and problems from the textbook, but collaboration normally will NOT be allowed on supplemental problems and tests. To avoid confusion, the rules for collaboration on homework are included in the specification of each assignment.
Work on labs and projects in this course is often done collaboratively (in pairs, occasionally in a group of three). Many studies suggest substantial benefits to learning with this type of group work. However, to be successful, collaboration requires partners to actively participate.
- Each partner should come to class and actively participate throughout the class session.
- Partners should make arrangements to meet as needed in the lab outside of class to finish labs or projects.
- Each partner has an obligation to show up and actively participate during out-of-class, planned sessions.
Failure to meet one's responsibilities to a group not only impacts the individual, but also impedes the education of the partner. Thus, except in exceptional circumstances (e.g., illness, family emergencies, serious injury), failure to follow through with one's responsibilities as a partner may have a significant impact on one's course grade and/or one's standing in the course. See Responsibilities for pair programming for details.
All work in this course is governed by the rules of the college regarding academic honesty. In summary, standard practice requires that you must acknowledge all ideas from others.
When working on homework, either individually or in a group, you may use any written source. However, the normal rules of citation must be followed, as described in the Student Handbook.
- You must cite statements in the textbook, if you use them to guide your work.
- Although the Web can be useful for reference, you are advised that much material on the Web is of poor quality.
- You are responsible for the quality of what you turn in, regardless of the source of the material.
When you work in a group on an activity, the names of all students in the group should appear at the top of the first page. Turning in work with multiple people listed as authors implies that all members of the group agree with what is presented. If a group member does not agree with some part of the work, the group should continue to discuss and revise the material until agreement is achieved. In summary, a group activity is a joint effort, and all group members have equal responsibility for the finished product.
When you work on an activity yourself, but consult others, then you should include a statement identifies whom you consulted on what material. This includes conversations with class members, tutors, lab assistants, other students, faculty, and any other people involved. If you consulted one person on several parts on an assignment, you may summarize the collective help in an "Acknowledgment Section" rather on the individual problems — as long as the work makes clear who helped on what. Overall, all consultations on problems must be cited for each problem or exercise.
Cell phones, text-messaging devices, and other social-networking connections may not be used in this class. If you bring such equipment to the classroom, it must be turned off before the class starts and stay off throughout the class period. Use of such equipment is distracting to those nearby and will not be tolerated.
The University of the South is committed to fostering respect for the diversity of the University community and the individual rights of each member of that community. In this spirit, and in accordance with provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the University seeks to provide students with disabilities the reasonable accommodations needed to ensure equal access to the programs and activities of the University. If you have a disability and require accommodations in this course, you have the responsibility of presenting your instructor with a copy of your academic accommodations letter from the University Wellness Center (931.598.1270). Accommodations will not be provided without this documentation, and accommodations cannot be applied retroactively. Additional information about disability accommodations can be found here.
If you have questions about physical accessibility, please inform your instructor so that we can ensure an accessible, safe, and effective environment.
This instructor's grading philosophy dictates that the final grade should ultimately be based upon each student's demonstration of her or his understanding of the material, not on the performance of the class as a whole nor on a strict percentile basis. The following scheme is proposed as a base for how the various assignments and tests will be counted in the final grade.
|Lab Write-ups: 15%
|Supplemental Problems: 20%
|Hour Tests: 25%