Course Syllabus

Overview

CMSC 131 is an introductory course in computer programming using the Java Programming language. While this course presupposes no prerequisite knowledge on the part of the student, successful students will bring a willingness to think conceptually, and an attention to detail. This course is organized around several topics:

  • The nature of algorithms as problem-solving activities;
  • The elements of programming.
  • The mastery of basic technology, such program-development environments, and the University-developed automated testing and evaluation software that will be used by students in various courses throughout the undergraduate study of computer science.
  • Computing in a broader context: Ethical and cultural considerations.

Although this course uses the Java language, the concepts, structures, and methodologies presented are language-independent, and are essential to the student's understanding and use of any software development environment.

General Information

Recommended Text

No textbook is required for this class. Students who wish to have a text, however, should use

Title Authors ISBN
Java Foundations Introduction to Program Design and Data Structures Lewis, J. Depasquale, P, Chase, J. ISBN10:0-13-337046-1

 

Piazza Links

Please use:

piazza.com/university_of_maryland_college_park/fall2014/cs131/home

in order to Link to Piazza. All students should have received an email invitation to join the Piazza group for this class.

Please note that Piazza is used to facilitate your communication with other students and staff. While we encourage you to use Piazza to ask questions and discuss topics related to this class, you are strongly cautioned not to post any code fragments or solutions to any work assigned in this class. Posting partial or complete code fragments may violate the Academic Integrity regulations (see the section below for the details) and result in Administrative actions taken against the offender(s).

Grades

Your grade is determined by the percentages indicated in the table below. Please note: these are approximate and may be adjusted at the end of the semester as circumstances may arise that require modification.

Item Approximate Percentage of Grade
Projects 40%
In-Recitation Labs 10%
Quizzes 5%
2 Midterm Exams 24% (12% each)
Final Exam 21%

 

Attendance

Students are expected to attend all Lectures and Recitations. Although some instructional material will be available on this site, its use is intended to supplement and not to supplant classroom instruction. Students should consult this site daily as new information, such as changes in assignment delivery dates, or meeting times that may result because of weather or other circumstances, will be be published as Announcements. 

Overall course organization

The course follows the structure outlined on the Modules page. Modules will typically contain a copy of the slides and other classroom materials used during instruction, links to external sites, where appropriate, as well as downloadable instructional materials.

 

Instructor & TA Contact Information

Name Contact (Email) Office Hours & Location
Tom Reinhardt tomr55@cs.umd.edu M, F 9:30am-11am in AV Williams Office 3239

 


Recitation Sections: Teaching Assistants & Contact Information
  

Sections: Teaching Assistants, Times & Locations
Section Teaching Assistant Day: Time Room (CSIC)
0301 Sravanthi Bondugula MW: 12-12:50pm 2118
0302 Ujjwal Goel MW: 12-12:50pm 2120
0303 Sravanthi Bondugula MW: 1-1:50pm 2118
0304 Ujjwal Goel MW: 2-2:50pm 2118
0401 Ahmed Elgohary MW: 3-3:50pm 2118
0402 Ahmed Elgohary MW: 4-4:50pm 2118
0403 Xuetong Sun MW: 3-3:50pm 3118
0404 Xuetong Sun MW: 4-4:50pm 3118

 

Teaching Assistants: Office Hours & Locations 
Teaching Assistant Email (contact info) Office Hours Room (AV Williams)
Ujjwai Goel ujjwalgoel4iitm@gmail.com Tu: 12:30 - 2:30pm; Tr: 12:30 - 2:30pm 1112
Ahmed Elgohary aagohary@gmail.com M: 5:00 - 7:00pm; W: 5:00 - 7:00pm 1112
Sravanthi Bondugula sravb@cs.umd.edu M: 3:30 - 5:30pm; W: 3:30 - 5:30pm 1112
Xuetong Sun jedysun66@gmail.com Tu: 2:30 - 4:30pm; Th: 2:30 - 4:30pm 1112
Xi Yi yixi1992@gmail.com Tu: 2:45 - 5:45pm; Th: 2:45 - 5:45pm 1112
Abhay Kumar jai.abhayk@gmail.com Th: 3:30-5:30pm; F: 12:30-2:30pm 1112
Jonggi Hong jonggi.hong@gmail.com Tu: 10am-Noon; Th: 10am-Noon 1112

 

Additional Tutorial Services provided by the University

In addition to your Instructional staff, the University's Academic Achievement Program (AAP) provides tutors for this course through the Academic Success and Tutorial Services (ASTS). Interested students are encouraged to visit their website or contact their offices at 301.405.4736.

Policy re: absence from class

Any student who needs to be excused for an absence from a single lecture, recitation, or lab due to a medically necessitated condition shall:

  • Make a reasonable attempt to inform the Instructor of his/her illness prior to the class;
  • Before returning to class, the student must complete the "report illness" option on the grades server attesting to the date of their illness.  This note is assumed to be signed when submitted due to user authorization and therefore is an acknowledgement by the student that the information provided is true and correct. Providing false information to University officials is prohibited under Part 9(i) of the Code of Student Conduct (V-1.00(B) University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct) and may result in disciplinary action.

Note: self-documented excuses may not be used for any Major Scheduled Grading Event as defined below, and it may only be used for 1 quiz and 1 in-class lab exercise during the semester (assuming that the absence is for a valid reason, such as sickness or a personal emergency). Any student needing to be excused for a prolonged absence (2 or more quizzes or Labs), or for a Major Scheduled Grading Event, must provide written documentation of the illness from the Health Center or from an outside health care provider. This documentation must verify dates of treatment and indicate the time frame that the student was unable to meet academic responsibilities. In addition, it must contain the name and phone number of the medical service provider to be used if verification is needed. No diagnostic information will ever be requested.

Major Scheduled Grading Events

The out-of-class-time projects, multiple quizzes or labs, the two midterms and the final exam comprise the major grading events for this course.  The project due dates will be posted as each project is assigned, and the exams are scheduled as follows:

Event Date & Location Time
Midterm 1 13 October (Monday) in class During regular lecture
Midterm 2 19 November (Wednesday) in class During regular lecture
Final

December 16 (Tuesday)

TBA.

4-6pm

 

Procedures for making-up missed assignments

Students who miss a second quiz, a second in-class lab exercise, an exam or require an extension on a project must submit written documentation within one week of that grading event that provides valid documentation for the reason for the absence.  

Note: Projects will not be excused, but a later submission deadline can be given.  Projects that are submitted late (within 24 hours of their posted Due Date) incur a 20% penalty. Projects will not be graded that are submitted after their Late Date.

When a quiz or lab exercise is missed with valid documentation (self-documented for one and external-documented for all others), the grade will be averaged as if that graded event did not happen.  Valid reasons for an absence include, but are not limited to

  • Illness: This must be accompanied by a Physician's Note, indicating the dates of the illness; we do not require that the document indicate the specific nature of the illness.
  • Personal/Family emergencies: For example, death in the immediate family, or automobile accidents. Note, automobile accidents must be supported by a Police Report filed at the time of the accident. Please discuss family illness, etc., with your Instructor.
  • Computer and software-related problems do not constitute a reason for extended time on a project.

As a result of any of these situations, the assignment may be re-submitted at a later date, or, if circumstances permit, additional arrangements may be made on a case by case basis.

In any event: requests for exceptional consideration must be made in writing within one week of the delivery date. Do NOT post requests for reconsideration of Project or Exam grades later than one week of the date they were graded/returned to you.

Appeals

Students may appeal the grade on a particular item on either of the mid terms or the final exam. Student appeals must be presented in writing within one week of the administration of the exam in question.

Note: student appeals will result in a re-evaluation of the item in question, and, in some cases, the entire examination. As a result of this re-examination, additional points may be rewarded or deducted from the student's score.

DSS & Accommodations

Students who qualify for DSS testing should present their documentation to the Instructor within the first two weeks of the semester. Note: TAF forms should be given to the Instructor during normal Lecture no later than one week before the scheduled examination. The Instructor will check the appropriate items, provide additional information for post-examination handing, sign the form, and return it to the student.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that forms are submitted to DSS in a timely and appropriate manner. Do not depend upon the Instructor to edit and post email transmissions in place of signed forms.

Academic Integrity

Given the size of these classes and the nature of the work undertaken, issues of Academic Integrity are taken seriously. If you have not already done so, you should review the University's Policy on Academic Integrity (which is available at the Office of Student Conduct Link) and ask your Instructors or TAs if you have any questions. In addition to what is provided in the code, you should know that the posting or use of software solutions for assignments in this (or any other class at the University of Maryland) is a violation of Academic Integrity and will be vigorously pursued. This includes, but is not limited to, the posting of code fragments on Piazza or in any application that is accessible to other students.

Unforeseen Events

A variety of unanticipated circumstances may arise that would require changes to dates and/or several provisions of this document. In these cases, the Instructors reserve the right to make such changes; in these events, every effort will be made to keep you informed in a timely manner. You should monitor this site frequently because the Announcements is one tool that is used to communicate changes to instruction and/or general information. Email notifications will also be posted through the Course Reflector.

In any event, you are responsible for monitoring your classes through the various means made available to you.

Course Evaluations

Your participation in the evaluation of courses through CourseEvalUM is a responsibility you hold as a student member of our academic community.  Your feedback is confidential and important to the improvement of teaching and learning at the University as well as to the tenure and promotion process.  CourseEvalUM will be open for you to complete your evaluations starting about two weeks prior to the last day of the term before exams begin.  Please go directly to the website (www.courseevalum.umd.edu) to complete your evaluations.  By completing all of your evaluations each semester, you will have the privilege of accessing online evaluation reports for the thousands of courses for which 70% or more students submitted their evaluations.  You can access results at www.CourseEvalUM.umd.edu, the same link you use to submit your evaluations.  Click View Past Results instead.

 

Use the CourseEvalUM URL and choose Take Evaluations to discover upcoming evaluation dates:  www.CourseEvalUM.umd.edu

Course Summary:

Date Details