10:30 AM - 11:35 AM
Shillman Hall 320
01:35 PM - 02:40 PM
West Village G 104
04:35 PM - 05:40 PM
Richards Hall 236
Although all sections will cover the same material, each lecturer will present it in a different style. You MUST attend the lecture for which you are registered.
We will use DrRacket/Version 7.9, a programming environment for a family of programming languages. We will use the HtDP teaching languages plus a small number of teachpacks.
We strongly recommend you install DrRacket on your own computer so that you can work on CS 2500 wherever, whenever you like. It is freely available on the web. Please make sure to install the version with the version number mentioned above (if this is not the most recent DrRacket version, click on Download -> All Versions to find it).
DrRacket runs on most popular platforms (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other *nixes). Programs written in the teaching languages have mostly the same behavior on all platforms. You therefore do not need to worry what kind of machine you use when you run your programs.
All that being said, should you have issues installing DrRacket on your machine, you may use the college’s virtual desktop infrastructure. We do, however, strongly recommend installing and using DrRacket on your own computer.
COVID-19: Since you will mostly work remotely, e.g. from home, and not from Khoury’s computer labs, the above recommendation to install DrRacket on your personal computer is pretty much a must.
The purpose of the homeworks is to give you hands-on experience with the course material you learned in lecture and lab, as well as to prepare you for the exams. There will be one homework per week, due Fridays at 9pm.
Make it a high priority to not fall behind on homework: the course is fast-paced and presents new material every lecture day, making catching up harder and harder.
However, we know that your time is not always easily scheduled, and sometimes “stuff happens.” We will therefore allow you to turn in your work up to 9 hours after the deadline, at a 10% per hour penalty. The submission server automatically blocks any submission even 9-hours-and-one-second after the deadline (since the penalty would be 100% at that time). Submitting 1sec after the due time counts as 1h late. The server uses its own clock to determine what time it is, so it is a bad idea to try to sneak in a submission in those last few seconds.
Starting a few weeks into the semester, you will work on your graded homeworks in assigned pairs (note: pair, not with my friends). Your partner will be a classmate in the same lab as you; your lab TA will assign you the first partner. We will switch partners once (see syllabus).
Pair programming means that you and your partner work on the homeworks jointly. You read them together, and you work on the solutions together. One of the labs’ purposes is to teach you how to work in pairs effectively, which will prepare you to be an effective part of a software-development team in your co-op or job. The rough idea is this: One of you plays pilot, the other co-pilot. The pilot guides the discussion, talking through the problem and asking questions about anything that is unclear. The co-pilot works on the keyboard and explains aloud what is going on. After a problem is solved to the satisfaction of both, you switch roles.
COVID-19: Working in pairs is most fun when both partners sit together and talk face-to-face (or stare at the same screen). But this will rarely be possible in our times. Working in pairs remotely is, however, definitely doable, and you can learn it easily. We will facilitate partnering up with a partner of a similar timezone as yours.
The labs start the first full week of class, on Friday, January 22.
You cannot attend lab due to unforseen circumstances (e.g. illness).
You are having trouble with your homework partner.
You signed up for a lab section during registration. You must attend the lab section for which you are registered.
The purpose of labs is to give you hands-on experience with the actual tools, and to explain some of the principles from lecture with hands-on examples.
COVID-19: Labs will happen on Microsoft Teams. Someone from the course staff will enroll you; you will be notified. You will participate in the labs synchronously, which means you will attend at the exact time of your lab and be present in Teams.
In order to submit homeworks and lab quizzes in this class, you will need to have a Khoury account. You are eligible for such an account if you are a Khoury major, or if you are in a Khoury class (such as this one). You can apply for a Khoury account at this link, and you should do so during the first week of class, so that you have the account activated by the day of the first lab.
- 02/25 @ 12am-11:59pm :
- 04/08 @ 12am-11:59pm :
The exams will test material similar to that assigned in the weekly problem sets. If you can solve every homework problem on your own, you are ready for the exams. If not, you need to work harder to get there.
We strongly recommend you prepare one piece of paper for each exam that summarizes important facts and concepts and can serve as a quick reminder during the exam. Writing this one sheet of paper is an excellent way to study. Moreover, we have found that, in the past, the more papers students bring to the exam, the worse they do. We want you to focus on the exam, not on shuffling through everything you’ve ever written.
Lengths of the exams: The material in Midterm 1 is designed for a length of 1h; for Midterm 2, for a length about about 1.5h. In other words, a student who has worked through the readings and homework problems can solve the exam problems in 1h/1.5h, resp. To make sure that nobody feels rushed, however, we allocate twice that time, in case anyone feels they need time during the exam to double- and triple-check their work. (Students with special accommodations will still receive additional time to complete the exams.)
COVID-19: Exams will be given online. We will show you how the exam system works before the first Midterm, so you can ensure you have a working computer on which to take the exam.
Exam integrity. You may not collaborate with anyone on any of the two exams, including your homework partner, your roommate, your friend who’s already taken the course, your parents, etc.
Exams being offered online, you will be taking them in your own room. This is naturally a less proctored environment than a lecture hall, and it is harder to ensure an equal testing environment for everyone. We are relying on your academic integrity to represent your work honestly and accurately, as you have pledged to us by signing the Course Contract. If we detect cheating, however, your exam will be voided and you will face severe consequences.
The "instructor’s discretion" grade component is used, among other things,
to reward students for active participation in the course (not just
attending every class), and—
COVID-19: Participation is less obvious this semester if you participate in class remotely. (It is also harder for your instructors to help you with difficulties if we never meet face-to-face.) Active participation, therefore, means more than watching the livestream of the lecture: it means asking questions, contributing to class discussions, meeting with your professors, and becoming more than just a name in the course roster.