Computer Science 126
General Computer Science
Spring 2012

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

Have a question? Please contact Maia Ginsburg (maia@) or Christopher Moretti (cmoretti@).


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.  Doug Clark.

Lectures.  Lectures meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am and at 11am.

Preceptors.  Maia Ginsburg (co-lead) · Christopher Moretti (co-lead) · Donna Gabai · Chris Miller · Jude Nelson · Dmitry Drutskoy · Ian Davey · Mark Browning · Arpan Ghosh · Deep Ghosh · Dom Kao · Thiago Pereira · Adi Dror · Yang Yang · Xin Tong · Wei Dai

Precepts.  Precepts meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays or Wednesdays and Fridays. Precepts begin either February 7 or 8.

Undergraduate coordinator.  For enrollment problems, see Colleen Kenny-McGinley in CS 210.

Course 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 Friend Center 017 to provide general help with using your operating system and assist with debugging your programs. Lab hours are posted here.

Online forum.  If you have general questions about the assignments, lectures, textbook, or other course materials, please post via Piazza. Posts marked private are viewable only by instructors.

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

Programming assignments and final project.  There are weekly programming assignments plus a final programming project, due Mondays at 11pm, beginning Feb 13.

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 Labyrinth Bookstore, 122 Nassau Street. Also on reserve at Friend library.