22c016 Computer Science I (Fall 2010)
- Time, Location, Instructors, Prerequisites, Textbooks
- General Information
- Miscellaneous Announcements: The University of Iowa Policies
- The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Policies and Procedures
Time, Location, Instructors, Prerequisites, Textbooks
Monday-Wednesday-Friday 9:30-10:20 room 1505 Seamans Center (Main Lecture, Section AAA)
Discussion Sections meet on Tuesdays, at six different times and locations published on the Isis course information system. In addition, for make-up quiz and exams or help sessions, there can be additional meetings at times and locations yet to be determined.
Professor: Ted Herman, 201M MacLean Hall, Telephone: 335-2833, Email: ted-herman AT uiowa.edu (replace AT by "@" and remove spaces), Office Hours: 10:30-11:30 after class (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). The office hours may change during the semester, and the place for office hours may move from my office to computer labs or other larger spaces, so that I can help more students and see problems interactively at the keyboard.
Important Note any email regarding this course should have  somewhere in the subject line
(otherwise, the email may be discarded by a spam filter)
Teaching Assistants: The teaching assistants for the course are Ben Hesford, Tyler Jensen and Valerie Galluzzi. The web page for the course will have contact information and office hours for the teaching assistants. During the semester, grading of exams, quizzes, and homeworks will be shared by the teaching assistants, and it likely will not always be the same person who grades your work. Scores of exams, quizzes and homeworks will be posted through ICON.
Course Prerequisites: Students are not required to have previous computer programming experience, but basic knowledge of how to use a computer (simple word processing, using a web browser) is assumed; students should have some competency with basic arithmetic and algebra (formally, this means 22M:005 or MPT II score of 20 or above or MPT III score of 10 or above).
Textbooks: There is no required textbook for this course. Reading notes will be published via the course web site. Students are welcome to use supplementary texts to learn Python, though this is not required. Several textbooks and tutorials are available for free via the Internet. A few of these are:
The Python Tutorial (not so easy!)
Many books for learning Python have been published. Here are a few (the ones by Iowans listed first):
Python Programming by John Zelle.
Problem Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures Using Python (Advanced Textbook, too advanced for this course, but Iowa author, so listed anyway.)
Hello World! Python for kids!
Computing Facilities: All students in this course will get accounts and passwords to log in and use Computer Science computers. These computers have the software installed that students will use to experiment with Python, write programs and submit homeworks.
Goals and Objectives of the Course
Computer Science I (Fundamentals) is an introductory course on computer programming with emphasis on problem solving techniques. The course is a basis for computer science major and minor curricula, and also useful to other majors as an initial exposure to programming. Lectures are three times per week, with an additional discussion section once per week. Concepts are presented in the context of working examples and exercises. The key programming topics include data types, functions, objects and classes. The first twelve weeks of the course will exclusively use Python (programming language). Python can be used interactively and can be accessed on Linux/Unix, Mac, and Windows platforms.
Computer Science I is a four-credit course (four fifty-minute sessions per week). The official university policy is to expect about two hours of work, outside of class, for each credit unit. Thus a typical expected workload would be about eight hours per week outside of class. This is not a course where students read or write essays. Most of the time will be on experimenting with programs and on studying programming language conventions and techniques to understand concepts.
Grading Procedures and Policy
Three categories of performance determine the grading in this course: exams (40%), quizzes (20%), and homeworks (40%).
Three exams are scheduled in class, during the semester: 15 September, 18 October and 15 November.
The final examination is scheduled on Thursday December 16 2010 at 9:45am in a room yet to be announced.
- Six brief quizzes will be given during the semester with no announcement beforehand. Quizzes are the method of estimating attendance to lectures as well as being a check on student progress.
- There will be six programming/homework assignments.
- In addition to the above, some students will randomly be chosen during the semester for interviews with the Professor Herman. These interviews are not formal quizzes, but questions answered during the interviews may be taken into account if there appear to be problems with quiz or homework scores.
Plus/minus grading will be used, based on normalizing total student scores to a curve. While ideal grading could follow a usual percentage table (90% for A, 80% for B, and so on), the College of Liberal Arts recommended GPA (average, taken over all students) for this course is 2.50, so scores may need adjustment to fit recommended norms.
No Class Days
There will be no class on 6 September (University Holiday), and 22-26 November (Thanksgiving Recess); the last day of class is 10 December.
Attendance, Tardiness, Late Policy
Students are expected to attend classes, and there is no guarantee that lecture notes or summaries of what happened in class will be published (though usually there will be a brief note about each class on the course web page). For discussion sections, the TA may take attendance at certain points during the semester, and record this to check if it correlates to poor student performance. It's possible that some discussion sections could meet in a lab (with several workstations for programming) rather than a classroom; students are advised to keep up with discussion section progress.
Homeworks will be turned in using ICON's dropbox system, which records the time and date precisely. Each homework will be due at 11:59:59 (before midnight) on a specified date. There is no guarantee that late homeworks will be accepted; if the Professor or TA agree to accept a late homework, the score will be penalized: homeworks submitted late, but before the TA has graded all the on-time homework, will be penalized by 20%; homeworks submitted after the TA has finished grading all the on-time homeworks, but within a week of the deadline, will be penalized 50%. No late homeworks are accepted if solutions have already been posted to the course web site.
Cheating and Plagiarism
Grades in courses are supposed to be an evaluation of your mastery of the course material. Any method of getting a grade that evades this evaluation is cheating. Copying answers, getting programming solutions from the Internet or other students in the class are ways of cheating, technically called plagiarism. Cheating is a significant problem in computer science ("cheating computer science" turned up over 25,000 hits on a web search), but the definition of cheating is not so simple in software. During the semester there will be parts of lectures about cheating. The consequences and procedures for suspected cheating are described below, under the College of Liberal Arts policies.
Most of the additional resources are online or in libraries. They will be announced on the course web page. You are expected to have an account on the department's Linux cluster (an account will be given to you if you do not already have an account). Homework assignments are expected to work properly on the department's cluster (thus, it is not enough that programs work on your own computer).
Miscellaneous Announcements: The University of Iowa Policies
This course is given by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). This means that class policies on matters such as requirements, grading, and sanctions for academic dishonesty are governed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students wishing to add or drop this course after the official deadline must receive the approval of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Details of the University policy of cross enrollments may be found at: http://www.uiowa.edu/~provost/deos/crossenroll.doc.
See the student academic handbook for administrative procedures, your rights and responsibilities, and other topics. The official classroom procedures for faculty includes policies on cheating and plagiarism, students with disabilities, and other topics. In particular, we are required to state the following: I would like to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require seating modifications or testing accommodations or accommodations of other class requirements, so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Please contact me during my office hours.
Also, we are required to specify the following information. The name of the department, location of the departmental office, and information on how to contact the DEO or his/her designee: Department of Computer Science, 14 MacLean Hall, Professor Alberto Segre, DEO
- "Statement that, for each semester hour credit in the course, students should expect to spend two hours per week preparing for class sessions (e.g., in a three-credit-hour course, standard out-of-class preparation is six hours)."
- "Procedures for student complaints." There is rather specific language (legalese) describing the escalating hierarchy of complaint procedures in several University documents. Typically, the student tries to resolve the matter with the instructor; then it can go to the department chairman or higher levels of authority. Please see the official documents for all the details of grievances and appeals.
- The collegiate policy on plagiarism and cheating Plagiarism and cheating are not tolerated. In the past, I've gone so far as making multiple versions of quizzes and examinations to discourage cheating (which had the unfortunate side-effect of being "unfair" because not all examinations were identical). Generally, students caught cheating for the first time may be given a penalty up to an automatic F in the course. Such an F cannot be removed from the transcript. Penalties up to expulsion may apply to second offenses. While you are encouraged to discuss homework problems with others in the class (this is a good way to learn), do not copy solutions!
- Schedule of topics, readings, and course materials or other description of course content. See above, and frequently consult the course web page for assigned readings, pointers to online documents, and other announcements.
- Corrections or changes (if any) in the information about the course printed in the Schedule of Courses or other official University publications. Corrections, updates and announcements will be posted on the course web page version of this syllabus.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Policies and Procedures
Administrative Home of the Course
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of this course and governs such academic matters as the add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option, issues concerning academic fraud or academic probation, and how credits are applied for various graduation requirements. Different colleges may have different policies. Students with questions about these or other CLAS policies should speak with an academic advisor or with the staff in 120 Schaeffer Hall. Also see the CLAS Academic Handbook: http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook/
Plagiarism and any other activities that result in a student presenting work that is not his or her own are academic fraud. Academic fraud is reported to the departmental DEO and then to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Services in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who deals with academic fraud according to these guidelines: http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook/x/
Making a Suggestion or a Complaint
Students have the right to make suggestions or complaints and should first visit with the instructor, then with the course supervisor if appropriate, and next with the departmental DEO. All complaints must be made within six months of the incident. http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/students/academic_handbook/x/#6
Accommodations for Disabilities
A student seeking academic accommodations should first register with Student Disability Services and then meet with a SDS counselor who determines eligibility for services. A student approved for accommodations should meet privately with the course instructor to arrange particular accommodations. See http://www.uiowa.edu/~sds/
Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. See http://www.sexualharassment.uiowa.edu/
Reacting Safely to Severe Weather
If severe weather is indicated by the UI outdoor warning system, class members will seek shelter in the innermost part of the building, if possible at the lowest level, staying clear of windows and of free-standing expanses which might prove unstable. The class will resume after the severe weather has ended. See the Operations Manual section 16.14. i.
College of Liberal Arts Resources
There are several other programs and resources available to you.
Mathematics Tutorial Laboratory MacLean Hall, 335-0810, http://www.math.uiowa.edu/MathTutorialLab/
Tutor Referral Service Campus Information Center, Iowa Memorial Union, 335-3055, http://imu.uiowa.edu/tutor-referral-service/
Student Classroom Behavior
The ability to learn is lessened when students engage in inappropriate classroom behavior, distracting others; such behaviors are a violation of the Code of Student Life. When disruptive activity occurs, a University instructor has the authority to determine classroom seating patterns and to request that a student exit immediately for the remainder of the period. One-day suspensions are reported to appropriate departmental, collegiate, and Student Services personnel (Office of the Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Students).
University Examination Policies
Missed exam policy. University policy requires that students be permitted to make up examinations missed because of illness, mandatory religious obligations, certain University activities, or unavoidable circumstances. Excused absence forms are available at the Registrar web site: http://www.registrar.uiowa.edu/forms/absence.pdf
Recently, the Student Health Services changed the policy on class excuses, please read here: http://studenthealth.uiowa.edu/clinical_services/class_excuse.shtml
An undergraduate student who has two final examinations scheduled for the same period or more than three examinations scheduled for the same day may file a request for a change of schedule before the published deadline at the Registrar's Service Center, 17 Calvin Hall, 8-4:30 M-F, (384-4300).