Be informed of course announcements by following the CS230-spring2014 group!
Orit Shaer Office: SCI E108
Office Hours: Tuesdays 3-5, Wednesdays 2:30-5, Thursdays 4:15-6
or by appointment.
P. Takis Metaxas Office: SCI E116
Office Hours: Tuesdays 9:00AM-12:00PM; Thursdays 2:45-4:15PM
and by appointment.
Stella Kakavouli Office: SCI E131
Office Hours: Mondays 10-12, Wednesdays 10:30-12:30, or by appointment
NEW Drop-in Hours:
Thursday 7-9, Ashley Thomas
Friday 3-5, Claire Schlenker
Friday 4-6, Laura Zeng
Sunday 4:30-6:30, Megan O'Keefe
Sunday 6:30-8:30, Erin Altenhof-Long
The prerequisite for CS230 is CS111, Computer Programming and
Problem Solving. Students with significant programming experience
(including knowledge of Java), or those who have received less than a C+ in CS111 need the permission of the instructor.
Lectures and Labs
There are two 70-minute lectures each week that will introduce the
main content of the course. Every student is also required to attend
one 110-minute lab each week. Lab work will include exercises to
review and reinforce the lecture material and to develop general
programming, testing and debugging skills. The labs will also provide
further opportunity to ask questions about course material and
discuss homework assignments.
Lectures are held on Mondays and Thursdays
at 9:50-11:00 AM (section 01 in SCI-E111) and
at 1:30-2:40PM (section 02 in SCI-E111).
Labs are held
on Tuesdays at 8:30-10:30AM, 10:30-12:20 AM and 1:30-3:20 PM, in SCI 257.
Lab exercises will be distributed in the labs.
Some of the lab work will be completed during the scheduled
lab time. For the rest, work on your own and consult the posted solutions.
Text: Regular readings will be assigned from the required text, Java Foundations, by Lewis, DePasquale and Chase, 2nd edition. We will be using the 2nd edition (not the newer, 3rd edition). It is on reserve in the Science Library. It is recommended that you read the relevant sections twice a week.
The first 5 chapters of this text provide a review of Java 1.5, which
we will move through quickly during the first two weeks of the
semester. The new material for CS230 is covered in Chapters 6-21,
which will be the focus of the rest of the course. This material will
be supplemented with lecture handouts.
Notes: In the syllabus, each lecture is linked to printable class notes (pdf). If you would like to use them to keep notes feel free to print them before class or just download them on your device.
There will be weekly assignments in which you will
write Java programs that emphasize concepts discussed in class. Many
of the assignments will be challenging. Keep in mind that programming
often consumes more time than you expect. Start your assignments
early! This will give you time to think about the problems and ask
questions if you hit an impasse.
All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the advertised due date.
You should turn in both a "hard"
(paper) copy of your assignment and a "soft" (electronic) copy of any
programs from the assignment. The link above provides instructions
on how to drop off your copies.
A program submitted that runs correctly on a particular input earns only 60% of the total grade. Careful testing that covers both the basic functionality and border cases will earn another 30% of the grade, if the testing is demonstrated. The remaining 10% of the grade is earned for good documentation that includes top-of-the-file description, method explanation and in-line explanation as needed. Good programming style is also expected.
Late Assignment Policy
Turning in assignments on time makes it easier to keep on track with the course and
to turn in the next assignment on time. We will use
the following policy:
No late work will be accepted unless there are extenuating circumstances
(e.g., sickness, personal crisis, family problems).
In this case you may request an extension before the due date.
The softcopy submission will be a dated file.
If the formal solutions are distributed before you turn in a late
assignment, you are bound by the Honor Code not to examine these
The following grid gives an overview on our collaboration policy, and is explained in the following sections:
|Rotating pairs of students
||Teams of 2-3 students
We believe that collaboration fosters a healthy and enjoyable
educational environment. For this reason, for assignments (not exams) we encourage you to talk
with other students about the course material and to form study
Because the programming assignments in this course can be challenging and teamwork is the norm in the CS industry,
you are strongly encouraged on any assignment to form a two-person team with
a partner. The two team members must work closely together on the assignment
and turn in a single hard- and soft-copy of the assignment for the team.
The grade received on such a submission will be given to both team
Team efforts on assignments are subject to the following ground rules:
Unless otherwise instructed, teams are allowed to discuss assignments with
other teams and exchange ideas about how to solve them. However, there is a
thin line between collaboration and plagiarizing the work of others. Therefore,
we require that each (one-person or two-person) team must compose its own
solutions to each assignment. In particular,
You must compose your own solution to each assignment
and lab problem. You may discuss strategies for approaching the
programming problems with your classmates and may receive general
debugging advice from them, but you are required to write and debug all of
your code. Furthermore, you should never look at another
For example, it is OK to borrow code from the textbook, from materials discussed
and from other sources
as long as
you give proper credit. However it is unacceptable and constitutes a violation of the Honor Code (1) to
write a program together (with someone not part of your team) and turn in two copies of the same program,
(2) to copy code written by your classmates, (3) to read another
student's or team's code or (4) to view assignments, exams
and solutions from previous terms of CS230.
In keeping with the standards of the scientific community, you
must give credit where credit is due. If you make use of an idea
that was developed by (or jointly with) others, please reference them
appropriately in your work. It is unacceptable for students to
work together but not to acknowledge each other in their
During the last few weeks of the semester, you will form project teams of 2-3 students and work on an
extended programming project that you will design and
build from scratch. After choosing an interesting application or
problem, you will first build a skeleton of the object classes,
methods, abstract data types and user interface needed for your
application, and then fill in the details to create a fully working
Each team will give a short presentation of their
final project during the last two meetings of the semester, and will prepare a document with specifications, user's manual, code and documentation on their final project. Guidelines will be posted mid-semester. See our CS230 project gallery for information on student projects from recent semesters.
There will be three in-term, non-collaborative exams that are open book and open notes. The first is in-class and the other two are take-home. There will be
no final exam. The take-home exams will require the use of a
computer. You are not allowed to collaborate with anyone else on
the take-home exams. The dates of the exams are listed on the syllabus. Please mark the exam dates in your calendars as they are not flexible.
Your final grade for the course will be computed as a weighted
average of several components. One of them is class participation that includes coming to lectures and labs, actively involved in the discussions and completing all the assessment questionnaires that will be assigned.
The relative weight of each component
is shown below:
This course complies with the Wellesley College grading policy. While that policy asks faculty to hold each 100- and 200-level course with 10 or more students to an average of no higher than 3.33, it does not require faculty to grade on a "curve." There is no arbitrary limit on the number of A's, B's, C's etc., and every student will be assigned the grade she earns and deserves according to the grading standards of the college.
Exam 1 (in-class)
Exam 2 (take-home)
Exam 3 (take-home)
Class Participation (incl. assessments)
All programming in CS230 will be done using DrJava. If you want, you can use your own computer but you will have to maintain the software (which is good practice and not difficult) and be prepared to use the department's machines if yours has problems. Sorry, we will not be able to help you trouble-shoot your own computer. The Documentation
page has pointers to documentation for all the software packages
used in CS230.
The CS230 course directory is located at /home/cs230
on tempest. This directory contains
material relevant to the class, including course software, and online
versions of assignments and programs. Any required material of the course Java software will be placed in the download
folder inside the /home/cs230
directory and you can access it using an ftp program (like Fetch on a Mac).
There is a CS230 group named CS230-spring2014.
This group has several purposes. We will use it to make class
announcements, such as corrections to assignments and clarifications
of material discussed in class. We encourage you to post questions or
comments that are of interest to students in the course. Please do
not post significant amounts of Java code (i.e. more than one or two
lines of code) in your messages on the group! The
instructors and TAs will read messages posted in the group on a regular basis and post answers to questions found there.
If you know the answer to a classmate's question, feel free to post a reply yourself.
The course group is also a good place to find people to join a
study group. You should plan on reading group messages on a
If you have any questions at all about the class (whether big or
small, whether on assignments, lectures, reading, or whatever)
please contact one of the instructors.
Simple questions can often be answered via the class group or e-mail. Questions of general interest (e.g. clarifying
ambiguities in an assignment, wondering why posted programs do not
work as expected) should be posted to the CS230 group. Other
questions can be emailed to your instructors.
If you have a complex question or need help in understanding the
material, you are encouraged to see one of the instructors or the CS230
tutor. The best time to see an instructor is during our office hours.
If these times are not convenient, we can schedule an appointment for
another time. You can schedule an appointment in person or by e-mail.
Your TAs will hold regular
drop-in hours to help with your questions. The schedule of their drop-in
hours will be
made available early in the term. If you are having trouble with the
course, you can request a one-on-one tutor from the Pforzheimer Learning
and Teaching Center (PLTC). This service is confidential and free
of charge; please take advantage of it if you need some extra help!
Contact an instructor or PLTC for more information about this
Finally, when looking for help, do not overlook other students.
Get to know your classmates early in the term so
that you can help each other out!
Students with Special Needs
If you have any disabilities, including learning disabilities, you
are encouraged to meet with an instructor to discuss accommodations
that may be helpful to you.
CS230 counts for one Mathematical Modeling (MM) Distribution credit