CS120 Software Design I

Instructor information

Instructor:W. Michael Petullo
Office location:210 Wing Technology Center
Physical office hours:11:00 a.m–12:00 noon every weekday
Telephone:(608) 785-6817
Email:wpetullo@uwlax.edu

Catalog description

An introduction to the fundamentals of software development; including software classes, objects, inheritance, polymorphism, logic, selection control, repetition control, subprograms, parameter passage, and rudimentary software engineering techniques. Students complete numerous programming projects using a modern programming language.

Prerequisites

MTH151, MTH175, or math placement test scores at or above MTH151

Time and location

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 2:15–3:10 p.m. The entire class meets in Cleary 153 on Monday and Friday Mondays. The entire class meets in WebEx on Thursdays. Labs take place on Tuesday or Thursday Friday in Wing 16, as Wing 16 presently has a capacity of 20 people. Group A will meet physically on Tuesdays. Group B will meet on Thursdays Fridays. Students will complete two labs per week, although they will meet in person for only one.

Student learning objectives

  • Write Java programs using primitive data types and their operations.

  • Use complex control structures such as conditional execution and iteration.

  • Define variables and use them effectively.

  • Use existing classes and create new ones with attention to information hiding and overloading.

  • Use data structures for the storage and manipulation of potentially large amounts of complex information.

  • Create programs that are interactive with attention to design and usability.

Textbook

(2016). Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. O’Reilly Media.

PDF

The publisher distributes the textbook for free at https://greenteapress.com/wp/think-java/.

Classroom standards

Please be prepared to take notes using a pen and paper, or use discipline while taking digital notes. Do not use the Internet for personal reasons during class.

Perform your assigned reading and other preparation before arriving for class. I will expect you to participate in class discussions, and I might call on you to contribute.

You are reminded of Board of Regents’ Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures concerning academic integrity. Cheating undermines the integrity of this university and shows disrespect towards the work of your classmates. Starting coursework early will help you to avoid the temptation of cheating. Plagiarism or cheating in any form may result in a failing grade, and might also warrant harsher disciplinary action. “Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect of others’ academic endeavors.”

On perseverance and the scientific method

You will inevitably encounter problems while trying to complete your coursework. Sometimes you will be led astray by the confusing interfaces that our software applications present, and other times you will simply make an error. When something goes wrong, try to fix the problem! Make small, incremental changes, and observe their effects. Most importantly, think about how systems work, and then consider why the error you are observing might have arisen. Occasionally you should stop what you are doing and start from scratch. Learning how to better troubleshoot should be a beneficial side effect of this course.

Graded events

Homework will be submitted through Aquinas, a grading system that provides immediate feedback. Refer to the course schedule for the sequence of homework assignments, midterms, and the final exam.

EventPortion of grade
Homework33% (3% per assignment)
Exams37% (18½% per exam)
Instructor points5%
Final exam25%

Grade scale

Grades are assigned based on the following scale.

RangeGrade
93–100%A
89–92%AB
83–88%B
79–82%BC
70–78%C
60–69%D
0–59%F

Late policy

Assignments are due the moment class starts. Late assignments will lose points according to the table below.

TardinessPenalty
Up to 24 hours late15% reduction
24–48 hours late30% reduction
More than 48 hours lateNo credit

If some external circumstance might cause you to be late, then you must notify your instructor in writing and before the assignment deadline in order to be considered for an exception. The act of notification does not automatically grant you an exception.

COVID-19 health statement

Students with COVID-19 symptoms or reason to believe they were in contact with COVID-19 should call and consult with a health professional, such as the Student Health Center. Students who are ill or engaging in self-quarantine at the direction of a health professional should not attend class. Students in this situation will not be required to provide formal documentation and will not be penalized for absences. However, students should: 

  • notify the instructor in advance of the absence, and provide him with an estimate of how long the absence might last;
  • keep up with classwork, if able;
  • submit assignments electronically;
  • work with the instructor to either reschedule or remotely complete exams, labs, and other academic activities; and
  • consistently communicate their status to the instructor during the absence. 

Instructors have an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation for completing course requirements to students adversely effected by COVID-19. This policy relies on honor, honesty, and mutual respect between instructors and students. Students are expected to report the reason for absence truthfully and instructors are expected to trust the word of their students. University codes of conduct and rules for academic integrity apply to COVID-19 situations. Students may be advised by their instructor or academic advisor to consider a medical withdrawal depending on the course as well as the timing and severity of the illness. Students should work with the Office of Student Life if pursuing a medical withdrawal.