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WELCOME TO CS15!. Welcome to C.V. Starr Auditorium!. We use A/V equipment to record and give you web access to lectures (PowerPoint and audio track – can go to any slide) review in case you have to miss a lecture The Lab: 75 high-end PCs Intel Quad Core (2.4 GHz) CPUs with 4GB RAM

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welcome to c v starr auditorium
Welcome to C.V. Starr Auditorium!
  • We use A/V equipment to record and give you web access to lectures (PowerPoint and audio track – can go to any slide)
    • review
    • in case you have to miss a lecture
  • The Lab: 75 high-end PCs
    • Intel Quad Core (2.4 GHz) CPUs with 4GB RAM
    • nVidia GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB Video Cards
    • Dual & Widescreen Monitor Configurations
  • File Servers:
    • Terabytes of disk space for your programs
  • And you can work from your dorm room on your own computer
    • You can speak to one of the Sunlab consultants to set this up!

Our Hardware

cs15 is all that
CS15 is All That
  • Teaches Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
    • most common current programming methodology
    • Brown was earliest to switch to Java for intro courses more than a decade ago
    • AP courses teach Java as well
  • Teaches fundamental problem solving skills useful in all disciplines
  • Provides introduction to computer science (CS) concepts
  • Is intense, but fun, especially with interactive graphics
  • Who is it for?
    • students with varying levels of programming experience -- including NONE!
    • prospective CS concentrators
    • anyone who wants an in-depth introduction to modern programming
why java
Why Java?
  • Java
    • supports interactive OOP
    • syntax similar to C++ but simpler, cleaner and more beginner-friendly
      • e.g. Java does a lot more bookkeeping and resource management for you
    • it allows platform-independence: write once, run everywhere (in principle)
    • it’s the most prevalent language for the Web, and one of the most prevalent languages in industry today (others include C, C++, Python, Ruby…etc.)
    • note: it is notthe same as JavaScript, a simpler, much less object-oriented language used to create dynamic content for web pages
alternatives to cs15
Alternatives to CS15

For Concentrators & Non-concentrators:

  • CS17(fall semester) – Amy Greenwald
    • alternative approach to teaching computer science
      • learn to program and analyze your programs concurrently
      • use Racket & OCaml in CS17, Java and Scalain CS18
      • more concerned w/ understanding the processes of computation
      • no reliance on libraries of code – “no magic”
      • CS17 is also intended for students with any amount of programing experience, including none
      • CS15: only Java and uses more graphics
  • CS19(fall semester) –ShriramKrishnamurthi
    • starts off combined with CS17
    • students who wish to take CS19 must complete additional course material while enrolled in CS17 and must gain instructor permission before being allowed to enroll in CS19
    • enrollment in this course will occur approximately one month into the semester
    • must have extensive programming experience – compresses CS15/16 or CS17/18 into 1 semester
    • use Pyret, a descendent of Racket
    • students still must learn Java before enrolling in CS32, either through self-study or CS18.

CS15/16, CS17/18, & CS19 fill concentration requirements. All prepare you equally for higher level classes.

Higher course number does notmean higher difficulty

alternatives to cs151
Alternatives to CS15

For Non-concentrators:

  • CS2:Concepts and Challenges of Computer Science (fall semester) – Don Stanford
    • introduction to computing; little emphasis on programming
    • discusses computing topics such as artificial intelligence, IT security, and digital media
    • a small introduction to HTML, Photoshop, Access, and python
  • CS4:Introduction to Scientific Computing and Problem Solving (spring semester) – TBA (previously Maurice Herlihy)
    • use MatLab and some Python to solve scientific problems
    • teaches techniques to solve scientific problems using computers
  • CS931: Introduction to Computation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (spring semester); solve real-world problems – Steven Gomez
    • specifically developed for humanities/social sciences concentrators
    • use advanced capabilities of Excel (spreadsheet)
    • Learn Python, create and use databases with MySQL
course mechanics
Course Mechanics
  • No quizzes or exams!
    • no “grading on a curve”, thus A is the most common grade
  • Textbook (Sanders and van Dam)
    • based on a decade of teaching CS15
    • suggested, but optional
  • 10 Assignments
    • 8 programming assignments, each with written design component
    • from 30-minute homeworks to Tetris and beyond!
    • Choose from 3 final projects, or create your own indy project
    • all programs must meet a minimum level of functionality
  • Early and Late Hand-In Policy
    • submit programs 2 days early for extra credit
    • penalty for programs handed in up to 2 days late
  • Keys to success
    • start early, work steadily, don’t fall behind
    • you can’t cram, unlike most other courses
    • exponential growth of program size throughout the semester
  • TA Hours
    • 30 TAs and 3 Head TAs
    • around 125 TA hours of personalized help per week!!!
      • more than in any other course!
      • we strongly encourage you all to go to hours and get to know the TA’s – it is integral to the course (and NOT an admission of failure ;)
  • Brown’s Academic Code
    • “Academic achievement is evaluated on the basis of work that a student produces independently. A student who obtains credit for work, words, or ideas that are not the products of his or her own effort is dishonest and in violation of Brown’s Academic Code. Such dishonesty undermines the integrity of academic standards of the University. Infringement of the Academic Code entails penalties ranging from reprimand to suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from the University.”
  • CS15 philosophy on collaboration
    • our experience is that beginning students learn best when solving problems on their own, with adequate help from TAs
      • other intro courses (like CS 17 and 19) encourage collaboration; advanced courses also have a more lenient policy
    • CS15 grade entirely based on programs & homeworks, all your own work
    • only collaboration on program design that is properly documented is allowed, in the second half of the semester (we’ll tell you when)
    • zero tolerance for unacceptable forms of collaboration
    • collaboration policy and first lab clearly outline what’s acceptable
  • MOSS (Measure of Software Similarity)
    • Stanford-hosted AI software used to detect plagiarism – it signals undue similarity and we hand-check the code
    • used across industries in multi-million dollar lawsuits to protect intellectual property
    • every year, MOSS finds multiple collaboration violations
    • punishments ranged from directed NC to community service
    • in short: MOSS is very good at what it does – don’t even think of trying to outwit it! (which is more work than doing the assignment!)

If ever in doubt , ask a TA!