CS 3500: Object-Oriented Design

Syllabus -- Spring 2016

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 2:30 – 4:30 PM,
Thu 2:30 – 4:30 PM,
and by appointment


Amit Shesh




478 WVH


Tue 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM,
Thu 2:00 – 4:00 PM
and by appointment


Clark Freifeld




478 WVH


By appointment



Benjamin Greenman




3rd floor WVH


Wed 8:00–11:00pm


Niousha Jafari (NJ)




3rd floor WVH


Tue 2:00–5:00pm


Tom Kowalski




3rd floor WVH


Thu 3:00–6:00pm


Kevin Liu




3rd floor WVH


Fri 12:00–3:00pm


Bryan Wehner




3rd floor WVH


Mon 3:00–6:00pm


Omkar Bhat




3rd floor WVH


Wed 1:00–4:00pm


Max Lever




3rd floor WVH


Tue 7:00–10:00pm

CCIS Tutors:


See See here

Ben Lerner
Ben Lerner

Amit Shesh
Amit Shesh

Clark Freifeld
Clark Freifeld

Ben Greenman
Benjamin Greenman

Niousha Jafari
Niousha Jafari (NJ)

Tom Kowalski
Tom Kowalski

Kevin Liu
Kevin Liu

Bryan Wehner
Bryan Wehner

Omkar Bhat
Omkar Bhat

Max Lever
Max Lever

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)



01/11 M


Why object-oriented design?



01/13 W


The essence of objects



01/18 M


No class: Martin Luther King Day


01/20 W


Java review


notes and notes

01/25 M


Java safari



01/27 W


Java safari (part 2)



02/01 M


Introducing the Model, and the Builder pattern



02/03 W


Encapsulation and Invariants



02/08 M


Version control



02/10 W


Controllers and Mocks



02/15 M


No class: Presidents’ Day


02/17 W


Review of homework


02/22 M


Review of homework (part 2)


02/24 W


The Adapter Pattern



02/29 M


First exam


In class

03/02 W


Inheritance vs. composition



03/07 M


No class: Spring break


03/09 W


No class: Spring break


03/14 M


Design discussion of music models


03/16 W


Intro to Performance



03/21 M


More about performance, a design challenge



03/23 W


Controllers and event handlers



03/28 M


The strategy and decorator patterns



03/30 W


Introduction to JavaScript


04/04 M


JavaScript inheritance and patterns


04/06 W


Callbacks and event-driven programming


04/11 M


Promises and testing async code


04/13 W


Exam review


04/18 M


No class: Patriots’ Day


04/19 T


Second exam


Snell 168, 5:30–8:00PM

04/20 W


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.






Assignment 1


Thu 01/14


Wed 01/20

Assignment 2


Mon 01/25


Wed 02/03

Assignment 3


Thu 02/04


Sat 02/13

Assignment 4


Wed 02/17


Wed 02/24

Assignment 5


Wed 02/24


Fri 03/04

Assignment 6


Fri 03/04


Wed 03/23

Assignment 7


Thu 03/24


Wed 04/06

Assignment 8


Thu 04/07


Wed 04/20

Extra credit


Wed 04/20


Wed 04/27

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, email Dr. Lerner with your CCS username and how many late days you want to use. Once you get an acknowlegment email, you can submit on the server as normal. 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.

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. This implies that using two entire late days on the homework files, and submitting at midnight two days late, will leave you no time for your self eval, and your homework will be incomplete and not accepted. You may request a late day for the self-eval, in the same manner as above: email Dr. Lerner with the request, and upon acknowlegement, complete your self-eval as normal. Use your time wisely.


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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