CSCI 125: Introduction to Computer Science
Class Syllabus - Fall 2009

I. General Info:

Professor: Mr. David Tucker
Office Location: Doucette Hall, Room 203

Office Hours:

Monday: 1:00 to 3:00
Tuesday: 2:00 to 3:00
Wednesday: 2:00 to 3:00
Thursday: 2:00 to 3:00

Office Phone: (814) 732-2550

E-Mail Address:

Course Web Page:
Note: Check the site frequently for up-to-date information.

Class Meetings:  
Doucette 223for Lecture.
Dundee Lab for the practical portion.

II. Catalog Description of Course:
This course provides an introduction to and preliminary investigation of the fundamental concepts of computer science. An overview of computer science sub-disciplines such as algorithms (problem solving, artificial intelligence, computer organization and architecture, languages, operating systems, networks, software engineering (programming concepts) and databases are covered. The course introduces the history of computing and considers computing in a social context.

Additional Items To Note:

III. Course Textbook:

  1. Computer Science Illuminated 3rd Edition by Nell Dale & John Lewis
IV. Course Objectives:
V. Required Materials:
  1. You'll need the book for sure
  2. Alice software
  3. You'll probably want a flash drive
  4. You'll find handy A continual supply of printing privileges on the computer science lab server.

VI. Assessment and Evaluation:

A. Projects: 
There will be around 5 programming assignments due throughout this session.  The assignments and due dates will be posted later on the web site.  You are expected to check the web site to see what the assignments are and when they are due.  There will be a 20% late penalty per day.

B. Examinations: 
There will be three (3) major exams
.  Don't miss any of the exams

C. Quizzes/Lab Exercises

VII. Derivation of Final Grades:

Weights for Determining the Final Grade:
Attendance - 10%
Homework - 20%
Projects - 20%

3 Exams with a total weight of 50% of your grade

The final score will be converted to a letter grade using the following scale:
90 < score < 100 A
80 < score < 89 B
70 < score < 79 C
60 < score < 69 D
0 < score < 59 F

- Incomplete grades will be assigned only if proper documentation is presented and the student has a passing grade in the course at the time of withdrawal (very rare).
- All assessment is based on results as it is unfair for the instructor to subjectively evaluate effort for each student in the class. 
- At the end of the course I usually give a curve, this will be given to students who have not missed more than one weeks worth of class, therefore in this class that means only one class!. This is very important, could be the difference between a letter grade.

VIII. American Disabilities Act Statement:
Any student who has a physical or learning disability which requires special accommodations should make an appointment to discuss this with the instructor.

IX. Academic Integrity:
You are expected to do all of the assigned work on your own.  Any student found to be cheating or plagiarizing with respect to any component of the course will be subject to immediate failure from the course.  This is very important in this course because of the tendency to help/give a copy of a project to another student.  This usually does more harm than good and will always reflect in your test score.  If you're getting A's on your projects but failing the exams, clearly you are copying your projects, because I base the exams heavily on the understanding of the projects.

X. Some Final Comments:
It is the instructor's intention to provide an environment that is relaxed and academically stimulating. You will be encouraged to ask questions and participate in the lecture.  

It is very clear that high performance in a class is linked with consistent attendance and reasonable effort. I do expect you to attend all classes and you are responsible for knowing about any announcements or assignments made during class. If missing a class is unavoidable, the student is expected to copy the lecture notes from one of her/his peers. Handouts distributed can be obtained from the instructor during office hours.  

Please do not use office hour time to make-up excessive unexcused absences. This course is taught in a lecture/laboratory style. While the instructor is lecturing, it is EXPECTED that no one will be working on the computers. It's rude and disruptive to both other students and the instructor.  Students are expected to use the lab time wisely while the instructor is there assist. Additionally, you should set several hours aside each week when you can come to one of the labs (or use an adequate home system) to finish the laboratory problems.  You can expect that this class will take many additional hours of out of class time to complete the projects.