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Saint Louis University

CS A 220
Computer Science II
Michael Goldwasser

Fall 2003

Dept. of Mathematics and
Mathematical Computer Science

  • Overview
  • The People
  • Class Meetings
  • Textbooks
  • Prerequisites
  • Online Resources
  • CS A 220 Web Page
  • Graded Work
  • Homework Assignments (20%)
  • Programming Assignments (40%)
  • Exams (40%)
  • Course Grades
  • Academic Integrity
  • Late Policies
  • Computing Resources at Saint Louis University

  • Overview

    Computer Science II is an undergraduate course which is a follow-up to Computer Science I (CS A 120). The goal of Computer Science I can be viewed as gaining the ability to write computer programs for accomplishing tasks. The key in that course was that programs must work correctly for the task at hand. In this course, we will focus on the fact that there are actually many different ways to correctly solve a particular problem and that these different methods may vary greatly in efficiency and adaptability.

    What we will find is that writing a ``good'' program is not as simple as starting with a correct program and then improving it. Instead, the quality of a program is most determined by key thoughts and decisions which take place long before the first line of code might be written. Relevant issues include the choice of data structures which are used to organize all of the information within a program, and the structure and level of generality which allow components of a program to be better maintained, reused, and adapted.

    The material in the course will be reinforced through laboratory work, significant programming assignments in Java, as well as written homework assignments and in-class exams.

  • The People

    Michael Goldwasser
    Email: goldwamh (-at-)
    Office: Ritter Hall 6
    Phone: (314) 977-7039
  • Tuesdays, 2:15-3:15pm
  • Wednesdays, 10-11am
  • Thursdays, 11am-12pm
  • or by appointment

  • Class Meetings

    The lectures:
    The material will be presented in two weekly lectures. Class participation is most welcome. The schedule and copies of lecture notes can be found here.
    Time:Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30-10:45am
    Place:Ritter Hall 316

  • Textbooks

    The required textbook for this course is:

    Data Structures and Algorithms in JAVA, 2nd edition
    Michael T. Goodrich and Roberto Tamassia
    John Wiley & Sons, 2001, ISBN 0-471-38367-8

    Given the change of texts, I will let you know as soon as possible arrangements for getting copies.

    The web site for the textbook includes a good deal of helpful information. Included is source code for most examples from the text, some cool applets for a few of the algorithms we study, copies of slides that they use in coordination with many chapters, and hints for some homework questions!

    In addition to the one required book, the following list contains many other useful sources for information both about programming in Java, as well as about algorithms and data structures in general.

    Data Structures and Algorithms
    Aho and Ullman
    Addison Wesley, 1985

    Introduction to Algorithms, second edition
    Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest and Stein
    MIT Press, 2001

    JAVA in a Nutshell, fourth edition
    O'Reilly & Associates, 2002

    Data Structures, Algorithms, and Applications in Java
    McGraw-Hill, 2000.

    Algorithms in Java, third edition, Parts 1-4
    Addison-Wesley, 2002.

    JAVA: An Introduction to Computer Science & Programming
    Prentice Hall, 1999.
  • Prerequisites

    The official prerequisite for this course is Computer Science I (CS A 120).

  • Online Resources

    This course will take advantage of the Internet and the departmental network in many ways.

  • CS A 220 Web Page:

    With the exception of the first week's printed handouts, most of the information for this course will be distributed only by means of the course web page. This web site will contain all assignments, a schedule of lectures, detailed lecture notes and links to many other sources of information.

    The web page contains some information (e.g. solutions, submitted assignments, individual grades) which is more sensitive and therefore which will be available to students in the class only after they have identified themselves properly.

  • Graded Work

  • Homework Assignments (20%)

    We expect there to be a total of 8 written homework assignments during the course. These will generally be due at the beginning of class on Thursdays. The problems will consist of short questions reinforcing the material in the lectures, readings, labs and programs.

  • Programming Assignments (40%)

    We expect there to be a total of 8 programming assignments during the course. Early in the course you will have approximately one week for each assignment; later in the course you will often have two weeks.

  • Exams (40%)

  • First Exam (10%), Thursday, 2 October 2003
  • Second Exam (10%), Thursday, 6 November 2003
  • Final Exam (20%), Tuesday, 16 December 2003, 8:00-9:50am
  • Course Grades

    In calculating your course grade, we will drop the lowest programming assignment score, the lowest written homework set score, and the lowest lab. Thus, you may choose to ``punt'' one of each such assignments, or you may choose to do them all in an attempt to learn more or to maximize your grade.

    Letter grades will be based on each student's overall percentage of awarded points according to the above formula.

    Student percentage above 85% will result in a grade of A or better.
    Student percentage above 78% will result in a grade of B+ or better.
    Student percentage above 70% will result in a grade of B or better.
    Student percentage above 65% will result in a grade of C+ or better.
    Student percentage above 60% will result in a grade of C or better.
    Student percentage above 55% will result in a grade of D+ or better.
    Student percentage above 50% will result in a grade of D or better.
    Student percentage below 50% will result in a grade of F.

    Any modification to this scale at the end of the course will be in favor of the students. That is we may later decide to award an A to a student who is slightly below the above cutoff, but we certainly will not take away an A from someone who is just above the cutoff.

  • Academic Integrity

    Students are expected to have read the statement on academic integrity available on page 56 of Saint Louis University's Undergraduate Catalog. In addition to this statement, we wish to emphasize issues most relevant to this course.

    When it comes to learning and understanding the general material covered in class or practice problems, you may certainly use other references and you may have discussions with other students in this class or other people from outside of this class. Similarly, you are free to have conversations and to use other materials regarding the general syntax and use of the Java language.

    However, when it comes to work which is submitted for this course, all such work must be entirely your own. You are in no way to discuss such assignments, nor are you to use or or search for direct or indirect assistance from any outside references, including but not limited to:

  • other students in this class
  • past students, whether from this school or other schools
  • other acquaintances
  • other texts or books
  • online information not referenced on the course or text web page
  • The only exception to the above rule is that you are free to have consultations with the instructor, teaching assistant, or members of the organized tutoring centers on campus. Even in these cases, if you receive significant help you should make sure to document both the source of the help as well as the extent.

    Any violations of the general University policy or the policies outlined in this handout will be dealt with severely. Penalties will apply as well to a student who is aiding another student. Any such violations will result in a minimum penalty of a zero on the given assignment which cannot be dropped, and severe or repeated violations will result in an immediate failing grade in the course. Furthermore all incidents will be reported in writing to both the department and the appropriate dean.

  • Late Policies

    The timing of lectures, labs, and assignments are designed in a coordinated way. A student will be best served by completing all parts of the course in a timely fashion. All exams must be taken promptly at the required time. Requests for rescheduling an exam will only be considered if the request is made prior to the start of the exam, or else in an ``emergency'' situation with appropriate documentation.

    Similarly, labs are scheduled at specific, required times. You must attend the lab and turn in your results at that time, in order to receive credit. No credit will be give for ``late'' labs without advanced arrangements between the student and the TA.

    For homework and programming assignments, we wish to allow students to continue to work comfortably beyond the official deadline when a little more time will result in more progress, while at the same time discourage students from falling several days behind pace and jeopardizing their success on future assignments.

    Our solution is the following exponentially decaying late formula (some have suggested that we should offer extra credit to anyone who fully understands this formula).

    We will consider an assignment submission ``complete'' whenever any part of the assignment is last submitted or modified. Any assignment which is not complete promptly by its due date and time will be assessed a penalty based on the formula S = R * e-t/6, where S is the grade given, R is the grade the work would have gotten if turned in on time and t is the amount of time (in days or fractions thereof) the work was late.


  • work turned in 1 hour late will receive over 99% of original credit
  • work turned in 6 hours late will receive 96% credit
  • one full day late receives less than 85%
  • work turned in four days late will receive 51%.
  • The above policies will be waived only in an ``emergency'' situation with appropriate documentation.

  • CS A 220, Fall 2003
    Michael Goldwasser
    goldwamh nbsp; @

    Last modified: Thursday, 24 March 2005