Computer Science 126
General Computer Science
Fall 2012

Course Information | People | Assignments | Lectures | Precepts | 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.  Robert Sedgewick.

Lectures.  Lectures meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am in McCosh 10.

Preceptors.  David August · Adam Finkelstein · Donna Gabai (co-lead) · Bobak Hadidi · Max Homilius · Kevin Lee · Christopher Moretti (co-lead) · Shilpa Nadimpalli · David Pritchard · Pawel Przytycki · Sachin Ravi · Tardu Sepin · Chen (Eva) Song · Josh Wetzel

Precepts.  Precepts meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays or Wednesdays and Fridays. Precepts begin either September 13 or 14.

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 written exams (35%), two programming exams (15%), 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.

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 9pm, beginning September 17.

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.