Spring 2012 - Course Syllabus
Introduction to Computing and Programming in Python: A Multimedia Approach, 2nd Edition
by Mark Guzdial & Barbara Ericson.
The required prerequisite for this course is fulfillment of the PLU entrance requirement in mathematics.
This course is especially for students with little or no background in computer science who wish an introduction to the use of the computer for problem solving. CSCE115 satisfies the General Education Element for Mathematical Reasoning (MR) or Natural Sciences (NS).
- To develop computational thinking skills. The primary goal of this course is to help students develop the necessary computational thinking skills to succeed in the 21st century. These skills include making use of different levels of abstraction, thinking algorithmically, and understanding the consequences of scale.
- To learn to write Python programs in the context of media computation. Students will be exposed to computational thinking through learning to write Python programs to manipulate media files (e.g., images, sounds, text). Our emphasis will be on developing the important skills involved in the programming process. These skills include the ability to solve problems, write algorithms, understand and write programs, create and use media files, write program documentation, testing, and debugging.
- To have fun writing computer programs! Programming is challenging but it is also creative and rewarding. As with any challenging endeavor, when you are able to do it and do it well you have a great sense of accomplishment. It is my sincere hope that all of you will experience that feeling and enjoy programming while in this class.
You are expected to attend all class sessions. There will be quizzes, group exercises, and assignments given regularly. You are responsible for all material covered during the class. If you must miss a class, you will want to contact someone in your section for his or her notes. Expect that missing classes may result in a lower grade, directly or indirectly.
Communication Outside of Class
The handouts, assignments and other helpful information is available from the class home page and occasionally I will make announcements on the class Sakai site. I strongly recommend you check the home page and Sakai regularly. I may also contact you via email (using your PLU email address) with important class information, so you should check your email regularly as well. Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have or to set up an appointment if you need to meet with me outside of office hours.
The department operates several laboratories in the Morken Center. Morken 210 serves as a closed lab for CSCE270 on Tuesdays and CSCE144 on Thursdays, as well as for other classes on occasion. It serves as an open lab all other times during the week and in the evenings and you are welcome to use it during those times. The lab opens with a card-swipe lock so be sure to bring your PLU ID in order to be admitted. The lock will only work for IDs of students on the "admit list". Please let me know right away if you if your ID card does not work. If the 210 lab is full or being used by another class you may use the machines in Morken 227. Other details about lab policies and procedures will be distributed with the first lab assignment.
As members of the PLU community, it is all of our responsibility to provide
a safe, inclusive classroom environment that is considerate of others, encourages exploration
of ideas and allows opportunities for everyone to fully engage in classroom discussions,
activities, lectures, etc. To accomplish this, I ask that each of us refrain from conduct
that is disrespectful and/or distracting to others in the classroom. It is amazing
how playing Internet games, checking out myspace/facebook/blogs or holding private conversations
during class can distract the most focused of students (or instructors!).
Examples of classroom misconduct includes:
- Coming to class late (on a regular basis)
- Failure to turn off electronic devices including cell phones, pagers, ipods/mp3 players and similar devices.
- Printing files or documents during class (unless specifically requested as part of an in-class activity).
- Private conversations during lectures, presentations etc. (via voice or electronic means)
- Playing Internet games, surfing the web, reading email/blogs, working on homework assignments or other activities inappropriate with what is happening in the class.
- Aggressive, threatening or demeaning behavior towards other students or the instructor.
Your grade will be based on the following:
|Mid-term exams||30%||There will be three mid-term exams, each counting 10% of your final grade. Exams may include a programming component. Students will only be allowed to take a make-up exam in the event of an emergency, illness, or absence due to a university sanctioned activity such as a sporting event or music performance. If you must miss an exam you should make every effort to notify me, as soon as possible, via e-mail or voice mail, in order to schedule an alternate test time.|
|Final exam||20%||The day and time for the final exam is posted on the schedule for this class and in the university schedule booklet. The final will be comprehensive. All students are required to take the final. Please do not expect to leave town for summer break before the scheduled exam time.|
|Programming Assignments||30%||Programming assignments will be given throughout the term. These will often be pair exercises, although some may be individual assignments. They will be due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date. Scores will be reduced by 20% for each weekday late.|
|Daily work||20%||There will be a number of online pre-class quizzes, in-class exercises, and homework assignments throughout the semester. Some daily assignments will be graded. If you miss class due to an excused absence (you must provide documentation) on a day that graded work is assigned, that assignment will not count toward your final grade. Any missed class work due to an unexcused absence will receive a grade of 0.|
Your final grade will be based on your weighted average using some approximation
of the following table:
100% to 90%
A / A-
89% to 80%
B+ / B / B-
79% to 70%
C+ / C / C-
69% to 60%
D+ / D / D-
59% to 0%
The grading scale is a general guideline only. I may adjust your grade depending on various factors including class participation, attitude, and timeliness (turning in assignments, attendance etc.).
We encourage you to use available resources to do the work in this
class, particularly the online
python.org and the coding bat exercises.
You are also encouraged to talk with one another to solve problems.
However, unless collaboration is explicitly allowed (e.g., with pair or group work), the assignments you submit in this class must be your own work. Copying and pasting from other sources is not acceptable (properly cited code from the textbook is the exception here). Whenever you do use another source for information you must:
- Acknowledge the source explicitly. That is, you must say what information you got, where you got it, and specifically how you used it to do a particular part of your assignment. Think of these acknowledgements as footnoting your work.
- Understand the work you hand in. Never, ever turn in a solution that you do not understand. You should be able to explain your work to anybody who asks.
- You do not share printed or electronic copies of your work with any other student. You do not write program code with another student.
Failure to abide by these guidelines may be construed as plagiarism. Such
violations will be processed and penalized according to the PLU Academic
Please refer to the PLU catalog or http://www.plu.edu/academics/integ.html for the official PLU Academic Integrity Policy.
Protect your own work. If you store your files on a public server, make sure the permissions are set so that only you can read them. Ask your professor if you don't know how to do this. Never give printed copies of your own work to other students. Do not throw printed copies of your programs in the recycle bin in the computer lab. Instead, dispose of (recycle) them in a place where other students do not have easy access. Never give printed or electronic copies of your source files or homework solutions to other students.
If you have any questions about this policy, please discuss the matter with the instructor now.
Weather Related Closures
Make sure to call ahead to confirm whether class is meeting if you have any concerns about snow accumulations or icy roads that would make travel to campus unsafe. You can call the University's hotline after 6 a.m. (535-7100) or access the PLU website to see if school has been cancelled. If the university is open, but this class needs to be cancelled, that information can either be found on Sakai or from your instructor's voice mail message. Students are urged to use caution and personal discretion and avoid undue risk and personal danger when making travel decisions during extreme weather conditions.
Special Needs and Circumstances
Students with medically recognized and documented disabilities and who are in
need of special accommodation have an obligation to notify the University of
their needs. Students in need of accommodation should contact the Office of
Disability Support Services (x7206). If you need course adaptations or a
ccommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information,
or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please
make an appointment with me as soon as possible.
Students are also reminded that they are responsible for notifying instructors of any conditions that may impair their academic performance. Without advance warning, such difficulties cannot be used later as a basis for requesting make-up exams or reconsideration of grades.
The last day to drop without a fee is Feb. 22. The pass/fail deadline is March 16. The last day to withdraw with a W grade and a fee is May 4.
And last, but not least...
Please be aware that the contents of this syllabus, including grading weights and cutoffs, may be modified as deemed appropriate by the instructor at any point in time during the semester. Students should not treat the syllabus as a binding contract, but rather as an informational document that will grow and change as needed.