COM1101 Winter 2001 Course Background -- What you should know

Professor R. P. Futrelle
College of Computer Science, Northeastern U., Boston, MA

(Version of 12/31/2000)

The prerequisite for this course is COM1100, Fundamentals of Computer Science, or equivalent. Below is the material you should be familiar with on entry to this course, COM1101. Some of this material is quite basic and you should know it well. Other topics are ones you should be familiar with so you will know to check them out in order to understand other topics or to work on machine problems. There is so much material that I have not attempted to go through it with a fine-tooth comb and rate each portion of each topic as critical, only moderately important, or peripheral. In some cases I do comment specifically on the importance, or lack of importance, of certain topics.

All notes below are keyed to your course textbook, Problem Solving with C++ by Walter Savitch, 3rd edition (Addison-Wesley, 2001).

Chapter 1. Introduction to Computers and C++ Programming -- The entire chapter.

Chapter 2. C++ BASICS -- The entire chapter.

Chapter 3. Procedural Abstraction and Functions That Return A Value -- The entire chapter. Note especially pgs. 148-150 and pg. 155, that function parameters operate as local variables, just as if they had been declared at the beginning of the function body. The material on function overloading in Sec. 3.6 may be new to you. If so, study it carefully.

Chapter 4. Functions For All Subtasks. -- The entire chapter. Note especially Sec. 4.2 on call-by-reference. This will come up on many occasions and is something you need to understand and know how to use. Note that using such arguments for "output" has nothing to do with output streams, nothing! Sec. 4.4, on stubs and drivers, discusses techniques that you will be using in your machine problems.

Chapter 5. I/0 Streams as an Introduction to Objects and Classes -- The entire chapter. This is very messy material, so read it over but don't try to absorb all the details. Early in the course we will be doing some serious I/O programming. When we do, I will discuss those aspects of it you'll need to know.

Chapter 7. More Flow of Control -- The entire chapter. This is basic material you need to know well.

Chapter 10. Strings and Multidimensional Arrays -- Focus on Sec. 10.3, covering the new C++ Standard string class. Note the convenient list of basic class members (functions) on pg. 650.