Computer Science 126
General Computer Science
Spring 2010

Course Information | People | Assignments | Lectures | Exams | Booksite


Course description.  An introduction to computer science in the context of scientific, engineering, and commercial applications. The goal of the course is to teach basic principles and practical issues, while at the same time preparing students to use computers effectively for applications in computer science, physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, and other disciplines. Topics include: programming in Java; hardware and software systems; algorithms and data structures; fundamental principles of computation; and scientific computing, including simulation, optimization, and data analysis.

Instructor.  Larry Peterson.

Lectures.  Lectures meet in Friend 101 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 10am or 11am.

Preceptors.  Aleksey Boyko · Doug Clark · Donna Gabai (co-lead) · Casey Greene · Timothy Lee · Chris Miller · Sonya Nikolova · Astrid Prajogo · Jen Rexford · Xin Tong · Mehmet Vural · Kevin Wayne (co-lead).

Precepts.  Precepts meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays or Wednesdays and Fridays. Precepts begin either February 2 or February 3.

Website.  The course website contains a wealth of information, including precept rosters, office hours, lecture slides, programming assignments, and old exams.

Computing facilities.  Undergraduate lab TAs are available most evenings in the Friend Center 016 and 017 labs to provide general help with using your operating system and assist with debugging your programs.

Grading.  Two exams (50%), nine programming assignments (40%), final programming project (10%), and staff discretion. We record grades in Blackboard.

Regrading policy.  Occasionally, we make mistakes. To request a regrade: write a brief note indicating the perceived mistake by the grader, attach it to your graded work, and give it to your preceptor within two weeks of when the graded work was returned.

Exams.  There are two 2-part exams during the semester. No final exam.

No makeup exams will be considered without a Dean's recommendation and our preapproval.

Programming assignments and final project.  There are weekly programming assignments plus a final programming project, due Mondays at 11pm, beginning February 8.

Required readings.   R. Sedgewick and K. Wayne, Introduction to Programming in Java: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Addison-Wesley, 2007. ISBN 0-321-49805-4. Available at Labyrinth Bookstore, 122 Nassau Street. Also on reserve at Friend library.

Recommended readings.  D. Harel, Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do, Oxford, 2003. ISBN 0-19-860442-4. Available at the Labyrinth Bookstore, 122 Nassau Street. Also on reserve at Friend library.