CS 3500: Object-Oriented Design

Syllabus --Spring 2018

Meeting places & times

Course staff & office hours



Clark Freifeld




132G Nightingale


Mon 2:50pm–4:20pm,
Wed 2:50pm–4:20pm,
Thurs 2:50pm–4:20pm,
and by appointment


Amit Shesh




132C Nightingale


Mon 3:00pm–5:30pm,
Fri 2:00pm–4:30pm,
and by appointment


Arnold Esguerra






Zhaohao Huang






Jianqiao (Kevin) Liu






Caitlin Matuszak






Jake Dec






Katherine Muldoon






Madison Cool






Nicholas Hanflig






Shyam Padia






Olivia Woods





CCIS Tutors:


See here

Amit Shesh
Amit Shesh

Clark Freifeld
Clark Freifeld

Arnold Esguerra
Arnold Esguerra

Caitlin Matuszak
Caitlin Matuszak

Jake Dec
Jake Dec

Katherine Muldoon
Katherine Muldoon

Jianqiao (Kevin) Liu
Jianqiao (Kevin) Liu

Madison Cool
Madison Cool

Nicholas Hanflig
Nicholas Hanflig

Olivia Woods
Olivia Woods

Shyam Padia
Shyam Padia

Zhaohao Huang
Zhaohao Huang

Office Hours Schedule

Office hours schedule

General information

CS 3500 teaches a rigorous approach to object-oriented programming and design, with an emphasis on abstraction, modularity, and code reuse as applied to the building and understanding of large-scale systems. We will explore the basic mechanisms and concepts of object-oriented programming: object, class, message, method, interface, encapsulation, polymorphism, and inheritance. Students will gain hands-on experience with tools and techniques that facilitate the creation and maintenance of applications using the Java programming language.


This course assumes familiarity with programming in the style of How to Design Programs, and basic knowledge of the Java programming language as introduced in CS 2510.


We will have two examinations:



For programming assignments, we will use Java 8. You should download and install the Java SE Development Kit, version 8 from Oracle.

The supported IDE (integrated development environment) for the course is IntelliJ IDEA. This is the IDE that the instructor uses in lecture, and we may occasionally give instructions for how to perform particular tasks in IDEA. You are free to use a different IDE, but we may not be able to help you if you run into trouble. IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition may be downloaded free of charge, and you can also license the Ultimate Edition.

If you are having trouble setting up IntelliJ, we have a video demonstrating how to configure your environment here.


There is no required textbook, but you may find these books useful.

Online resources


This table specifies the lecture schedule; topics are tentative.



Topics (tentative and approximate)



01/09 T


Why object-oriented design?



01/12 F


The essence of objects



01/16 T


Java review


notes and notes

01/19 F


Java safari



01/23 T


Java safari (part 2)



01/26 F


Version control with Git


Git explanation tutorial and Interactive tutorial

01/30 T


Introducing the Model, and the Builder pattern



02/02 F


Controllers and Mocks;
Class Activity: abstracting I/O



02/06 T


Design critique: testing, toString, Pile abstractions, I/O


02/09 F


Encapsulation and Invariants



02/13 T


Design exercise: Turtles



02/16 F


Inheritance vs. composition



02/20 T


Intro to Performance


notes and notes

02/23 F


More performance


notes and notes

02/27 T


First exam


In class

03/02 F


Class activity: GUI basics


MVC code, starter code and code

03/13 T


GUI basics contd., Design critique: animation models


MVC code, starter code and code

03/16 F


The Adapter pattern



03/20 T


The strategy and decorator patterns



03/23 F


Class activity: Strategic FreeCell


03/27 T


Case study: Interpreters



03/30 F


Case study: Interpreters


04/03 T


Exam review



04/06 F


Exam 2


04/10 T


Introduction to JavaScript


04/13 F




04/17 T


Introduction to JavaScript



Testing your code is sufficiently important that we’ve devoted an entire page to it. Please read these notes, for each and every assignment you work on.

Homework schedule

Homework will usually be due at 8:59 PM; the day of the week varies, so you should check each individual assignment to be sure. General homework policies are here.

This homework schedule is tentative and subject to change at the instructor’s discretion.






Assignment 1: Java finger exercises


Fri 01/12


Fri 01/19

Assignment 2: The Model


Sat 01/20


Tues 01/30

Assignment 3: Interface Design & Representation Design


Wed 01/31


Fri 02/09

Assignment 4: A Freer FreeCell


Sat 02/10


Fri 02/16

Assignment 5: The Easy Animator: Part 1


Sat 02/17


Fri 02/23

Assignment 6: The Easy Animator: Part 2: Let there be Motion!


Wed 02/28


Tues 03/20

Assignment 7: The Easy Animator: Part 3: Let there be Interactive Motion!


Wed 03/21


Tues 04/03

Assignment 8: The Easy Animator: Reloaded


Sat 04/07


Tues 04/17

Assignment 9: The More Competent Easy Animator


Wed 04/18


By demo time

Course policies

Collaboration and academic integrity

You may not collaborate with anyone on any of the exams. You may not use any electronic tools, including phones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, desktop computers, etc. If in doubt, ask a member of the course staff.

Some homework assignments will be completed with an assigned partner, and some may involve a larger team (TBD). You must collaborate with your assigned partner or team, as specified, on homework assignments. You may request help from any staff member on homework. (When you are working with a partner, we strongly recommend that you request help with your partner.) You may use the Piazza bulletin board to ask questions regarding assignments, so long as your questions (and answers) do not reveal information regarding solutions. You may not get any help from anyone else on a homework assignment; all material submitted must be your own. If in doubt, ask a member of the course staff.

Providing illicit help to another student is also cheating, and will be punished the same as receiving illicit help. It is your responsibility to safeguard your own work.

A subtler form of cheating, but nevertheless illegal, is self-plagiarism. This is when you copy and submit code that you developed when you took CS 3500 previously for credit again. This is illegal if done for your group assignments, because the code you are attempting to submit has not been written just by you and your partner in the current semester.

Students who cheat will be reported to the university’s office on academic integrity and penalized by the course staff, at our discretion, up to and including failing the course.

If you are unclear on any of these policies, please ask a member of the course staff.


In general, you should submit your homework according to the instructions on the web page for the individual assignments.

Submitting by email

Homework will ordinarily be submitted to the CS 3500 submission server at https://handins.ccs.neu.edu. However, sometimes (detailed below) it may be necessary to submit by email. In this case, email your instructor with the subject line “HW N submission” (where N is the appropriate homework number). Attach to your email submission the ZIP file exactly as how you would have submitted it to the server.

Submission troubles

If you have trouble submitting to the server and you have time before the deadline, please wait few minutes and try again; it may also be worth checking on Piazza to find out whether other students are experiencing similar difficulties. If upon retrying you still cannot submit, email Dr. Shesh (ashesh@ccs). Or if you don’t have time to try again then you should submit by email.

Late days & late work

Each student gets four free, no-questions-asked late days for the term. The purpose of late days is make the extension process fair and transparent by getting the instructors out of the extension-granting business entirely. Instead, when you need an extension, you can take one—provided you have a late day remaining.

To use a late day, log on to the submission server after the deadline has passed. You will see a link to request a late day for the particular homework. The server will keep track of the number of used late days. Conserve your late days carefully.

No more than one late day may be used on any one homework. You may not look at and must avoid gaining knowledge of the self-evaluation questions until you have submitted your late assignment. Late days cannot be divided fractionally, but must be used whole. Late days cannot be transferred to or shared with a partner, so in order to take an extension both you and your partner must have sufficient late days remaining. Choose your partners carefully.

Using a late day to submit your files does not automatically grant you a late day for the self-eval: it will remain due at the normal time.


Your grade will be based on your performance on the problem sets (60%) and the exams (15%, 25%). Material for examinations will be cumulative.

The grades will computed on an absolute basis: there will be no overall curving. The instructor may choose to curve an individual homework or exam, but please do not bank on such a chance.

The mapping of raw point totals to letter grades is given below. Please note that these grade boundaries may move slightly at the discretion of the instructor, but the grade boundary for A is unlikely to change.



Letter grade

93% and above