How am I going to get an A in this course?
As of today, you are learning for life, not exams.
College is your last chance to learn how to learn by yourself, without pressure from parents, teachers, or peers. You want to learn that, because the quality of your life depends on it. Your life. Nothing more, nothing less.
Naturally, we understand that you want some feedback, both in terms of specific corrections and in terms of a grade. You want feedback so that you can improve your learning process. And we will give you that feedback. It is our end of the bargain. Your end is to demonstrate that you actually study the methods we teach so that they become second nature. After all, you don’t want to waste your time, and we don’t want to waste ours either.
So, if you wish to earn a grade in this course, you must print the Course Contract, sign it, date it, and turn it to enter your first lab session (2501); you may not enter the lab without a signed contract. Your signature acknowledges that you have read these notes and understood the contract between you and the course staff. Promise As long as you will live up to its spirit, we will stand by you during this semester.
your instructors are Amal Ahmed, Matthias Felleisen, Leena Razzaq, David Van Horn.
your teaching assistants are Claire Alvis, William J. Bowman, Alex Marquez, Nick Labich, Kathleen Mullins, Eric Kelly, Becca MacKenzie, Joey Goode, David Corbett.
TAs teach labs, supervise the grading of homework sets, hold office hours, and occasionally substitute in lectures. In general, they are apprentice teachers and are here to learn how to run a course.
Your tutors are Alfred Ababio, Nicholas Alekhine, Daniel Calacci, Joshua Caron, Colin Clark, Kaila Corrington, Spencer Florence, Christopher Freeley, Zachary Hickman, Beatrice Huang, Nicholas Jones, Hudson Klebs, Trevyn Langsford, Nate Lilienthal, Mimi Lin, Joseph O’Neill, Ryan Plessner, Vishant Prabhakaran, Calvin Pomerantz, Michael Rinaldi, Matthew Singer, Bhavneet Singh.
Tutors hold office hours and group meetings in colleges and labs, grade homeworks and provide feedback about the class’s progress. In general, they are undergraduate and graduate students who know that to learn something really well, you need to teach it.
David Van Horn
The course comes with eight lab sections. The labs start September 9, 2013.
William J. Bowman
You signed up for a lab section during registration; if you need to change your choice, you must go to the registrar and change it there.
The purpose of labs is to give you some hands-on experience with the actual tools, and to explain some of the principles from lecture with hands-on examples.
We will use DrRacket v5.3.6, a programming environment for a family of programming language. For Fundamentals I, we will stick to the HtDP teaching languages plus a small number teachpacks. DrRacket is installed on the CCS computers.We urge you to download DrRacket to your own computer so that you can work on CS 2500 wherever, whenever you like. It is also freely available on the web in case you wish install it on your own computer.
DrRacket runs on most popular platforms (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other *nixes). Programs written in the teaching languages have mostly the same behavior on all platforms. You therefore do not need to worry what kind of machine you use when you run your programs.
The purpose of the problem sets is to prepare you for the exam.
There will be weekly problem sets. Some problems are drawn from HtDP, the textbook; others are constructed for this instance of Fundamentals I. We will grade some but not all problems from each set, picked randomly after the due date.
You must work on your problem sets (2–12) in assigned pairs. Your partner will be in your lab, and your lab TA will assign you a partner. Every few weeks, you will get a new partner.
Pair programming means that you and your partner work on the problem sets
jointly. You read them together and you work on the solutions
together. One of the lab’s purposes is to teach you how to work in pairs
effectively; indeed, pairs are provably more effective than individuals in
programming. The rough idea is this: One of you plays pilot, the
Pair programming also means that if you need help on a problem (set) you visit your instructor/TA/tutor as a pair. You cannot get help on a problem (set) if you go by yourself.
You may have noticed that the exams are 1.5-hour exams but the time allocated is three hours. We provide double time to make sure that you do not feel you are under time pressure but the exams are designed to be solved in 1.5 hours.
The exams will test material similar to that assigned in weekly problem sets. If you can solve every homework problem on your own, the exams will be easy. If not, you will have a difficult time.
We will have the daily quiz. It is our one concession to your “high school thinking.” Consider it a crutch for your self-discipline. Each week we will select at most one of these quizzes on a random basis for grading; the rest will get thrown away.
we will drop the worst homework grade