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17.6. CS3114 Introduction

17.6.1. Introduction Introduction

What we are doing today:

  • Administration stuff

  • Course mechanics

  • Course introduction (OpenDSA Chapter 1) Administration stuff Course Mechanics

  • Go over Syllabus

  • Course online support: Canvas, OpenDSA, Web-CAT Canvas

We will use Canvas

  • Project specs and supporting documents

  • Link to Piazza forum

  • Post scores and grades

  • Access to OpenDSA (online textbook) Role in the Curriculum

  • This course represents a transition between “learning to program” courses (CS 1114, CS 2114) and “content” courses.

  • To do well, you must be able to handle both
    • Programming (we focus on projects with dynamic memory allocation and file processing, and they have significant design challenges)

    • Content, theory and analysis

  • The projects test programming proficiencies

  • OpenDSA exercises test knowledge of how algorithms work

  • Exams test understanding of the theory (analysis)


Most graduates from our department will tell you that this is one of the two hardest courses, and also one of the two most important for job preparation. So its both high effort and high value. OpenDSA

  • Access OpenDSA through Canvas->Modules

  • Lots of visualizations, exercises

  • Mastery-based approach

  • Homework due periodically through the semester

    • Small homework (Chapter 1) due at 11pm this Thursday (in 2 days) Web-CAT

  • Get the updated plugin

  • Project submission

  • Support for junit testing

  • Auto-grading: Correctness, style Milestones

  • 4 projects, each with a 3-4 week life cycle

  • Most projects will have 3 milestones
    • Intermediate deliverables with due dates

    • First due at end of first week

    • Second due about 2 weeks before due date

    • Third due about 1 week before due date

  • Milestones designed to encourage incremental development

  • In previous semesters, milestones had the effect of boosting the final grade of the middle third of the class by about a full letter grade. Homework

  • Look at Canvas

  • Look at Piazza site, make sure you are enrolled there

  • Look at Project 1 spec: Will discuss next time

  • Do Chapter 1 exercises in OpenDSA by 11:00pm Thursday (in 2 days) Before you leave today

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