Computer Science I

MC140.01 / MC140.02

Fall 2000

Final Exam: Monday 18 December 4pm
Merkert room 127

email phone hours location
Elizabeth Sklar
J. D. Beary
John Weicher

Syllabus, with links


section 1 (MC14001): M,W,F 1pm-1.50pm, Fulton 250
section 2 (MC14002): M,W,F 2pm-2.50pm, Fulton 245

This course is an introduction to programming in C. At a minimum, you will learn the mechanics of how to write simple C programs and how to compile, debug and run your programs. Beyond this, you will be exposed to some other (hopefully) interesting things: the basics of computer hardware, the history of computing and current research topics in computer science. If you know you want a career in computer science, this course will give you a strong start at developing good programming habits. If you are focusing on another field, this course will teach you approaches to problem solving that can be applied in many other areas. If you aren't sure where you are headed, this course will give you a broad introduction to the field of computer science. But no matter where you are going to be next semester, sit back and enjoy yourself here. Programming really can be a lot of fun!

You do not need to have any prior programming experience in order to take this class. However, you should have some computer experience, like knowing how to turn on the machine and how to use a word processor. You will not need to know any advanced mathematics, but it will be helpful if you remember something of your high-school algebra classes.

Deitel, H.M. and Deitel, P.J. (1994) C: How to Program, 2nd edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

MetroWerks CodeWarrior. Available at the Computer Store. Includes Java and C++, though we'll only use C. Works on PC's and Macs. If you don't purchase it, you can use it at O'Neill. You are not required to use this software to do your homework, but if you choose to use a different environment, then you must use ANSI standard C so that the grader can compile/run your programs using CodeWarrior.

Your course grade will be made up of the following components:

Note that the marking is structured so that things count more as the semester proceeds. This will give you a chance to get to know me and what I expect from you in your assignments and exams. If you skip earlier assignments because they are not worth much, then you are only cheating yourself by missing low-risk opportunities to learn what my marking scheme is all about.

Periodically, there may be surprise quizes during class. These will "count" only if your course grade is borderline. If it is, then doing well on the quizes can help you.

The assignments must be done alone. Late homeworks will not be accepted unless you have a documented emergency or illness. If you anticipate such an event, please send me email. Excuses like "my computer ate my homework" are not acceptable. You may as well learn from the start to "save early and save often." We have all lost work due to disk failure, etc. Expect the worst, and generally you will be pleasantly surprised.

Academic integrity:
The work you hand in must be strictly your own. These days, there are many programs available not only from your classmates and friendly upperclassmen, but also on the web. Of course, I am as aware of these things as you are -- maybe even more than you are. It is only fair for you to know that I have a pocket full of tools that will help me detect whether you are doing your own work or not. If I suspect that you are not doing your own work, I will ask you to come see me so that we can discuss the matter. If you cannot convince me that my suspicions are unwarranted, then I may have to send your case to a disciplinary committee that has the right to expel you from Boston College. Please, let's not go there.