Advanced Programming Techniques
This page is incomplete at the moment; check back in a while for more details.
Laptop Policy: No laptops, phones or tablets are permitted except for taking notes and other class purposes. They distract you, they distract your neighbors, and they distract me. If this policy is too onerous for you, please do not sign up for the class.
Project: preliminary description previous projects comments from previous projects
Readings: general bibliography language tutorials
Old stuff: Piazza playlist
Office hours: TBD
Dates: All dates are subject to minor changes.
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Feb 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 first class 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 assignment 1 due 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 assignment 2 due 25 26 27 28 Mar 1 2 3 assignment 3 due 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 assignment 4 due; team meetings with bwk this week 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 design document due 3/18 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 spring break 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 assignment 5 due; weekly TA meetings start this week Apr 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 project prototype 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 alpha test 29 30 May 1 2 3 4 5 last class; beta test 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 demo days 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 projects due by midnight Sunday 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
This is a course about the practice of programming, an attempt to expose students to the development of real programs. Programming is more than just writing code. Programmers must also assess tradeoffs, choose among design alternatives, debug and test, improve performance, and maintain software written by themselves and others. At the same time, they must be concerned with compatibility, robustness, and reliability, while meeting specifications. Students will have the opportunity to develop these skills by working on their own code and in group projects.
During the first half of the semester, there will be a programming assignment each week, which should take perhaps 5-6 hours to complete. During the second half of the semester, students will work in groups of 3 to 5 on a project that will involve a substantial amount of design and implementation.
This is meant to be more than a laundry list, however. Each section will also discuss issues of design, implementation, testing, performance, portability, and other software engineering concerns, and these will also be part of the programming assignments. With luck there will be a handful of guest lecturers as well.
There is one required text: The Practice of Programming, by Kernighan and Pike; you should also know basic Unix tools and usage as described in, for example, The Unix Programming Environment. Other readings will be posted. The books listed in this bibliography are also worth looking at; they cover a wide variety of material related to programming.
Tuesday and Thursday 11:00-12:20, [somewhere]
Brian Kernighan, 311 CS, bwk at cs.princeton.edu.
Christopher Moretti 208 CS, cmoretti at cs.princeton.edu.
Teaching Assistants: TBD
Five programming exercises will be assigned during the first half of the term; each is intended to take about 5-6 hours, but is sure to take longer unless you are careful.
Assignments are together worth 35-40 percent of the course
grade. Assignments will be posted on Tuesdays and due by
midnight on the Friday of the
following week. This leaves enough time that we will not be able to
grant extensions except in case of documented medical or other serious
For the record,
extracurricular activities and heavy workloads in other classes don't
affect the lateness rules for this class.
If you submit your work late,
If you submit your work late,we will give you credit for it on this scale:
The project will have frequent checkpoints along the way for which you will have to prepare status reports, preliminary designs, and the like. There will be a public presentation and demo at the end, a written writeup, and submission of your system for testing and evaluation. All of these are graded.
The project will be worth about 60-65 percent of the course grade; it will be shared equally among group members, with the possibility of negative adjustments for members who fail to contribute their fair share.
You must complete all assignments and all project requirements to pass the course. Furthermore, the class is so large that we don't have the resources to nag and make special arrangements; you are responsible for meeting all the requirements without reminders.
Regular class attendance is required and class participation helps. Unexcused absences are grounds for a failing grade regardless of other performance. This means you.
Please, no laptops, phones or tablets except for taking notes and other class purposes. Regrettably, computers and phones appear to be primarily used for email, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, Google, solitaire, poker, eBay, Facebook, and myriad other similarly compelling diversions, all of which distract you, your neighbors, and me. (Additions to this list are welcome; I can't keep up.) Sorry, but laptops, etc., are not permitted in the class except for class purposes. If you're not willing to live with this, please don't sign up.
Do not, under any circumstances, copy another person's program for an assignment, including any part of another person's program -- broadly defined to include operative code, comment outline, logic flow diagrams, pseudocode, etc.. This prohibition also includes any solutions from any previous offering of this course, any solutions to similar assignments from elsewhere, or any information gained from improper discussion or collaboration. Further, note that the University's academic regulations work in both direcitons: writing a solution for use by another person and using another person's work in any form both constitute violations. If you plan to do something that you are not absolutely sure is permitted, ask first. Ignorance of this policy will not be accepted as an excuse for your actions. See the academic regulations.
Examples of unacceptable behavior for assignments include:
The program you turn in must be your work. You may get help from the instructor or a TA after you have started writing code, but not from other students. Each student is expected to come up with his or her own individual solution.
You are responsible for ensuring that your files are not readable by your classmates. We recommend doing your COS 333 assignments on your own computer or in a private subdirectory, i.e.:
% mkdir cos333 % chmod 700 cos333
Project groups are encouraged to share insights and information about how things work, how to get things done, and other aspects of programming knowledge. If you help code or expertise that will help others do their projects better, you are encouraged to share it.