CS 3500: Object-Oriented Design

Syllabus -- Fall 2015

This website is for a prior semester of CS3500. Please go to http://www.ccs.neu.edu/course/cs3500 for the current semester, and update your bookmarks accordingly.

Meeting places & times

Course staff & office hours



Benjamin Lerner




314 WVH


Tue 3:30 – 5:30 PM,
Wed 4:30 – 6:00 PM
and by appointment



Konstantinos Athanasiou




330 WVH


Mon 3:00 – 6:00 PM


Mackenzie Denker




102 WVH


Mon 2:45 – 4:15 PM, Thu 2:45 – 4:15 PM


Sadruddin Saleem




102 WVH


Wed 4:30 – 6:00 PM, Fri 12:00 – 1:30 PM


Derick Anderson




102 WVH


Wed 12:30 – 3:30 PM


Erik Kaasila




102 WVH


Tue 11:30 – 1:00 PM, Tue 4:00 – 5:30 PM


Ryan Lough




102 WVH


Tue 10:00 – 11:30 AM, Tue 10:00 – 11:30 AM


Jeffrey Weng




448D Ryder


Fri 1:30 – 4:30 PM


Alp Elci






Thu 10:00 – 1:00 PM


Nicholas Mews-Schmuck




102 WVH


Thu 1:00 – 4:00 PM

CCIS Tutors:


TBA — See here

Ben Lerner

Konstantinos A. Athanasiou

Mackenzie Denker

Sadruddin Saleem

Derick Anderson

Erik Kaasila

Ryan Lough

Jeffrey Weng

Alp Elci

Nicholas Mews-Schmuck

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 I’ve posted instructions to license the Ultimate Edition on Piazza.


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)



09/11 F


Why object-oriented design?



09/15 T


No class: Rosh Hashana


09/18 F


The essence of objects



09/22 T


Java review



09/25 F


More Java review



09/29 T


Version control



10/02 F


Java safari



10/06 T


The Model



10/09 F


Encapsulation and Invariants


notes and notes

10/13 T


The Adapter Pattern



10/16 F


Inheritance vs. composition



10/20 T


Intro to Performance



10/23 F


More about performance, a design challenge



10/27 T





10/30 F


First exam


Cargill 097

11/03 T


Exam review


11/06 F


Design discussion of music models


11/10 T


The strategy and decorator patterns


11/13 F


Introduction to JavaScript


11/17 T


JavaScript inheritance and patterns


11/20 F


Callbacks and event-driven programming


11/24 T


Promises and testing async code


11/27 F


No class: Thanksgiving


12/01 T


Exam review


12/04 F


Second exam


Richards 300

12/08 T


The take-away


Homework schedule

Homework will usually be due at 11:59 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.

Assignments have been taken down after the semester ended



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.

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://cs3500.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 your source files to the email individually; do not use a ZIP file or other kind of archive.

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. Lerner (blerner@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, submit your homework late by email. You don’t need to inform the course staff prior to your email submission, and it’s okay if you’ve already submitted files to the server. If you submit within 24 hours of the deadline and you have at least one late day remaining, you will use one late day. If you submit 24 to 48 hours after the deadline and have at least two late days remaining, you will use two. If you submit more than 48 hours after the deadline or if you have insufficient late days remaining to cover your lateness then your homework will not be accepted. Conserve your late days carefully.

No more than two late days may be used on any one assignment. 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.


Your grade will be based on your performance on the problem sets (60%) and the exams (15%, 25%). Material for examinations will be cumulative. There will be no final exam.

The mapping of raw point totals to letter grades is at the discretion of the instructor.

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