Previous versions of 15-112/15-110/15-100:
Instructor Office Hours:
David Kosbie: GHC 5001, Tue 5:30pm-6:30pm, Wed 1pm-3pm, Thu
Kelly Rivers: NSH 2612. Mon 3pm-4pm, Wed 3pm-4pm.
Head CA (Margaret Schervish / mschervi) Office Hours: by appointment
CA Office Hours (in GHC 5205, with overflow in GHC 5201 or elsewhere as needed):
* Mon: 6 - 9pm [only when hw is due on Monday rather than
* Tue: 7 - 9pm.
* Wed + Thu: 6 - 10pm.
* Fri: 6 - 8pm
* Sat-Sun: 2 - 10pm.
Piazza Virtual Office Hours:
* Daily (7 days/wk): 5pm - Midnight (on the hours, on most
CA Optional Homework Solution Review Sessions:
* Mon, 9pm, GHC 4307
* Tue, 8pm, Wean 5409
To help identify CA's, see these staff pictures.
|| Lecturer / CA's
|| David Kosbie (koz)
|| Leon (lwzhang), Stuart
(sguertin), Jordan (jzink)
|| AJ (ajkaufma), Shikun
||9:30am - 10:20am
|| Mark (msiangka),
Michael O. (mofarrel)
||10:30am - 11:20am
|| Amelia (acrigler),
|| Margaret (mschervi),
Michael C. (mchoquet), Veronica (vebert)
|| Akash (akashr),
|| Alex (amsmith1),
Charlie (cwswanso), Michaela (mvanpeur)
|| Brian (malehorn), Paul
||3:30pm - 4:20pm
|| Akul (akulk), Connor (cbrem)
||4:30pm - 5:20pm
|| Kelly Rivers (krivers)
||Noon - 1:20pm
|| Andre (asutanto),
||2:30pm - 3:20pm
|| Edison (haozheg), Dan
||3:30pm - 4:20pm
|| Dan C.
(dcushman), Jordan (jzink)
||4:30pm - 5:20pm
- Python Shells (in the browser)
- Python Exercises
- Python Books and/or video lectures
- Math books (particularly helpful for intro CS):
- Janacek and Close, "Mathematics
for Computer Scientists"
Numbers, Logic, Induction, Sets, Counting, Functions, Sequences,
Calculus, Matrices, Probability, Statistics
- Kaw, et al, "Numerical
Methods with Applications"
Approximation and Errors, Differentiation, Nonlinear Equations,
Simultaneous Linear Equations, Interpolation, Regression, Integration,
Ordinary Differential Equations, Fast Fourier Transforms, Partial
Differential Equations, Optimizations
|We will use Python
version 2.x, which can be freely downloaded from
We will provide download instructions in class.
We will also use one or more free IDE's (code editors) and other free software
packages. We will not use any commercial software packages in this course.
in this course is required and consists of the following activities:
Attending and participating in
lectures and recitations.
Reading the printed and online notes and other
Carrying out homework assignments.
Taking the quizzes, midterms, and final.
Attendance is required
(if not always strictly recorded). Repeated failure to attend lectures
or recitations may result in a lowered semester grade regardless of your numeric
average. You will be responsible
for all materials presented in lectures and recitations. You should not
expect that all lecture or recitation materials will be given to you in
written form (including the online class notes we provide). Note that missed quizzes and
tests may not be made up in general (though certain exceptions are
permitted -- see the relevant sections below).
Assessment: Any material
covered in lecture, in recitation, in assigned readings, or in homework
assignments may be included in any future homework assignment, quiz, or
Each homework, term project, quiz, midterm, and final will be graded
on a standard scale:
A: 90 - 100
B: 80 - 89
C: 70 - 79
D: 60 - 69
R: 0 - 59
half-weight for lowest 2 hw's, lowest 2 quizzes, and lowest midterm
will be a standard 3-hour final exam during the final exam period at
the end of the semester. The final exam is worth 20% of the
There will be two midterm exams worth a combined 20% of
the semester grade, given in class as noted in the course schedule.
Quizzes will be given approximately once per week generally in two parts:
a written part in class, and a computer-based part in recitation.
We gladly accommodate students with university-approved extended time (as
approved by Larry Powell's office). For
in-lecture quizzes, the extended-time quiz will be administered at my office at
5:00pm on the same day as the quiz. For in-recitation quizzes, the
extended time will be provided immediately in the same recitation period. For midterm and final exams, Larry Powell's office typically proctors the extended-time versions
of these, and we will email you with details for each test. Importantly:
to obtain extended-time, you must attend the extended-time quiz and not the
normal-duration quiz. You do have the option of attending the
normal-duration quiz, but then you will have to complete it in the
assigned time (without extended-time). If you are attending lecture or
recitation and a quiz is commencing that you have already completed (having
taken the extended-time version of the quiz that morning), you may remain in the
room and work quietly on other materials or you may leave the room for the
duration of the quiz (your choice).
No late / make-up quizzes or tests will be administered, except in the
case of medical or family emergencies or other university-approved absences. For
qualifying missed quizzes, students should obtain instructor approval before
missing the quiz. Students may then make-up missed
quizzes by attending Professor Kosbie's office hours up until 4 days following
Homework is due at a specified date and time. If you miss the deadline (by
even one minute, according to Autolab's clock), homework may be submitted up to
24 hours late with a 25% penalty. No homework submissions will be
accepted after the 24-hour late period, except in the case of medical or family
emergencies or other pre-arranged university-approved absences.
Homework Formatting Errors:
Misformatted homework in general cannot be graded by our autograder, and as
such may receive 0 points. Thus, be sure to submit your homework early
-- you can submit repeatedly, we only grade the last submission -- to be sure
you do not have obvious formatting errors.
Show Your Work:
Some homework assignments, and
most quizzes and tests, will include some written work
(meaning: work that is not performed with access to Python or
an IDE or a calculator (unless otherwise noted), whether or not it
involves programming). In order to receive credit for these
problems, you must show your work.
Correct answers without supporting documentation will not be given full
credit. Some questions may not require work to be shown
(e.g.: "Name three software companies in Silicon Valley"),
but most questions assuredly do. When in doubt, show your
The programming assignments are a critical part of the
course. Experience has shown that
the concepts covered in this course are best learned by direct
engagement -- in our case by applying them to example
problems or by implementing them in computer programs.
Programming assignments will be graded based on style
(modularity, effective use of
abstraction, readability, commenting, etc.) and functionality
(correctness and efficiency
program on the test inputs). A working program is not
sufficient for full credit. Make
do a thorough data validation. Your code should be properly annotated
with comments that are well-placed, concise, and informative. Your
assignments will be graded by your CA, and by automated graders, and at
times by your instructor.
Solo Homework Policy:
Unless otherwise noted, for Solo homework assignments,
students are encouraged to talk to each other, to the course staff, or
to anyone else about the assignments. This assistance, though, is
limited to the discussion of the problems in general.
Each student must develop his or her own solutions to the homework.
Consulting another student's solution is prohibited, and submitted
solutions may not be copied in whole or in part from any source.
Specifically: do not look at other
students' code or written answers, and do not show them your code or
written answers, until after the assignment deadline has passed and the
assignment has been submitted and graded.
And: do not email or otherwise electronically or
physically transfer your code to other students, and do not receive
such transmissions from other students, until after
the assignment deadline has passed and the assignment has been submitted and
In particular, this precludes students helping each other
debug their code (since you may not even look at their code). Of
may (and should!) seek debugging assistance (and any other help) from the course
staff, who provide extensive support to all
students via email, office hours, review sessions, and 1-on-1 tutoring
Also, if you find a reference (say, in an optional
textbook or some online source) that contains code or a written
solution that is identical or overtly similar to an assigned problem,
then you are required to not look at that code or written
solution! You may still refer to supporting figures and
explanatory text, but you may not look at or copy the code.
Collaborative / Group-Based Homework Policy:
Note that some assignments (or portions thereof) will be explicitly marked as collaborative
or group-based. In those (and
only those) assignments, you must work with the other students in your group,
even writing code together, and certainly debugging each other's code.
However, you may only work with your approved group members -- the restrictions
for solo homeworks apply here, too, for everyone who is not in your group.
when working in an approved group, you absolutely may not copy solutions from anyone or anywhere. In
all cases, you must be intellectually involved in the authoring of everything
Autograder / Decompiling Policy:
And: any attempt to
decompile solutions, or object code that may help produce solutions,
or in any way to extract solutions from the autograder, or to "hack" the
autograder in any way, will result in your failing the course.
Plagiarism Detector Policy:
In addition to manual checks on homework and exam submissions, we will also
routinely use an automated plagiarism detector. Here is a video demonstrating
how it works (AVI or
The issue of cheating will be taken seriously by the instructor and CA's.
Any violations will be handled in accordance with the University
regulations, with serious consequences on the first offense.
Online "Help" Policy:
There are many online 'help' resources, and while some may
be legitimate, many are basically providing a homework service, or otherwise
violating the spirit (and often also the letter) of our course policies on
cheating and collaboration. Importantly, we also cannot control the quality of
'help' students receive from such sources, and experience indicates many
'answers' from such sources are of very low quality (presumably in part as these
are not always supplied by CMU Course Assistants or other similarly-qualified
tutors). Finally, given the truly extensive support this course provides
through daily office hours, private and small-group tutoring, email-based help,
collaborative assignments, and so forth, not to mention the support of the
broader CMU community of learners, there is no compelling reason students should
need any external sources (except, presumably, to obtain assistance in violation
of course policies). AND SO... Students may not post any course content. nor any questions related to any assigned material.
to any online venue. Doing so may result in failing the course on the first
Recording (audio or video): Students may not record lectures or recitations
without explicit permission in writing from the instructor. Violations will
result in your failing the course. Exceptions will be granted in accordance with
university guidelines for accessibility concerns, but even then such recordings
may not be shared publicly or privately and must be deleted at the end of the
Electronics: Students may not use any electronic devices in lecture (no
cell phones, laptops, iPads, iPods, iWhatevers, etc) without explicit permission
in writing from the instructor. Students are expected to take notes, but
to do so manually (pen and paper).
We care very much about your well-being and
happiness. Yes, CMU students (and faculty) work hard, sometimes very hard.
But we must keep our balance and always attend to our well-being and happiness.
That comes first, academics follow. So be sure to get enough sleep, eat
right, exercise regularly, and attend to your well-being and happiness.
Here is a list of ideas that might help.
In any case, know that we DO take your well-being seriously. This course
can be stressful, but we regularly take measures (mostly based on very helpful
student feedback) to reduce that stress as much as possible. And we always
welcome you rfeedback, if you have ideas on how we can improve on this (or any
Finally, if you are feeling overly stressed, or anxious, or unhappy about your
performance or your general experience in this course, please do come talk to
us. We will listen. We are here for you and we will try to help.