Computer Science 210
Data Structures

Fall 2018, Siena College

Syllabus

Instructor:

Dr. James D. Teresco, Roger Bacon 321, (518) 782-6992
Electronic mail: jteresco AT siena.edu (best contact method)
Twitter: @JTerescoSienaCS
Class URL: [Link]
Class hour: Monday, Friday 10:20-11:20 (Roger Bacon 328) or 2:40-3:40 (Roger Bacon 340)
Lab meetings: Wednesday 8:10-10:10, 10:30-12:30, or 1:30-3:30, Roger Bacon 306
Office hours: TBA, and by appointment

Disclaimer

Everything on this syllabus is subject to change. Changes will be announced in class and updated in the online version of the syllabus.

School of Science Mission Statement

The School of Science mission statement can be found on the School of Science web site.

Course Description and Objectives

From the course catalog: "This course continues the study of algorithm design and implementation with an emphasis on the use and implementation of data structures such as records, stacks, queues, linked lists, trees and graphs. Students will continue development of programming skills using modular and structured programming techniques in a programming language."

This course is required for the Computer Science Major, the Software Development Major, the Computer Science 3/2 Program, the Computer Science Certificate, the Information Systems Certificate, and the Computer Science Minor.

Our specific learning objectives for CSIS 210 include the following:

Prerequisites

CSIS 120, Introduction to Programming, or equivalent, with a grade of C- or better.

Everyone who enrolls in this course should have a solid foundation in the basics of programming in general and programming in Java specifically. This course moves much more quickly than CSIS 120, so the following topics need to be very well understood before enrolling in this course.

A strong mathematical background is also highly recommended. Ideally, students in this course should at least be ready to take Calculus 1.

Texts

The primary text for the course is CSIS 210: Data Structures (an online, interactive text from zyBooks) by Lysecky, Lizarraga, and Vahid. See your email for information about how to purchase your access. The supplementary text for the course is Java Structures: Data Structures in Java for the Principled Programmer, "Root 7" Edition (a free online textbook) by Duane Bailey. This more traditional text has been made freely available as a PDF by the author. Other readings may also be assigned from freely available sources.

Lectures

Everyone is expected to attend class and participate in discussions and to complete in-class exercises. Readings are listed on the lecture and reading schedule. All important topics will be covered in class, lab, and/or readings.

When notes are used to guide in-class presentations, these are posted as PDF files linked from the lecture and reading schedule. (But you should take your own notes anyway.)

Most lectures will have some time set aside for in-class programming or other exercises.

Some lectures will include a small assignment due at the start of the next class. These typically will consist of the "Participation Activity" or "Challenge Activity" tasks in J+DS zyBook. You cannot get credit for these assignments if completed late, as they will often be discussed in class on the due date, but you are encouraged to complete them even after the due date to prepare for labs, problem sets, and exams.

Be prompt, prepared, and ready to focus on the day's topics. This should go without saying, but this means your phones and other devices not being used exclusively to follow along with class materials and/or to take notes should be put away and be powered off. You may bring food or drink to class (but not lab), as long as you are not a distraction to your classmates or instructor. The exception is when using a college-owned laptop computer in which case food and drink are prohibited.

Labs and Problem Sets

We are fortunate to have weekly meetings in small groups in a computer lab. It will be possible to complete many labs during the meeting, but some weeks you will need to continue to work on your own and turn them in later.

There will also be a series of problem sets, usually involving more significant programming tasks and written components.

You may develop your programs anywhere (computers in the labs, your own PC, etc.) but must work properly using BlueJ on the RB 3rd floor systems unless otherwise specified. It is your responsibility to ensure that your program works on the grading platform. Programs will be graded on design, documentation, style, correctness, and efficiency. Unless otherwise specified, you are permitted (and are in fact, encouraged) to get help from the Computer Science tutors and from your instructor. You may discuss the labs and problem sets with your classmates, but the work you submit must be your own (and that of group members, for work done in groups when permitted).

Your submissions for labs and problem sets will include several types of items. Different requirements apply to each, as described below. It is important that you adhere to file format and naming requirements to facilitate grading. Submissions that do not meet these requirements will not be accepted.

Written Questions
These will appear on labs and problem sets. Responses will be English text, Java code fragments, or diagrams.
Output Captures
You will sometimes be asked to capture the output of one of your programs in a file to be included in your submission. The file name to use for each such task will be specified in the question.
Practice Programs
Your submissions for practice programs should be complete, functional Java programs. These are graded primarily on correctness, but you will be required to include your name at the top of the program, and you must use the file name specified. You will normally demonstrate practice programs and submit them electronically. For some lab tasks, these will involve writing methods that are required to pass a set of test cases, with the score based on the number of tests passed.

You are of course encouraged to practice good documentation, formatting, and style for practice programs, but the grade will depend only on correctness (and having your name in a properly-named file).

Programming Assignments
These are the most formal submissions and will be graded on design, documentation, style, correctness, and efficiency (where appropriate). A good design will use an appropriate algorithm, data structures, and language constructs to solve the problem. A well-documented program will include a comment at the top of each file that includes your name, the assignment, and a description of the contents of the file. There should also be comments for each constructor or method definition (including a brief description of the method's purpose, its parameters, and return value), each variable or group of related variables, and any section of code whose purpose and/or behavior is not obvious from context or the code itself. Style requirements include appropriate formatting (sufficient and consistent indentation, spacing, and punctuation, wrapping long lines of code), good use of named constants, and meaningful and appropriate names for variables, methods, constants, and parameters. Correctness, of course, requires the expected output be produced for a set of test inputs (which will normally not be provided in advance). Efficiency will be more important in some assignments than others, and requires that the program does not do any unnecessary computation or use any more memory than needed. And, of course, you must use the file name(s) specified. You will normally be required to demonstrate programming assignments, submit your source code electronically, and in some cases, submit a printout of your program.

Unless otherwise specified, late labs and problem sets may be turned in with a penalty computed as 1.08h%, where h is the number of hours late. Extensions will only be granted in serious situations. You can find a Java program that prints out a table of the late penalties here. Work turned in after solutions have been made available cannot receive credit.

Submission procedures for labs and problem sets will be specified on each assignment handout.

Quizzes and Exams

There will be several quizzes, some written and some practical, some announced and some unannounced, that will occur during lecture and/or lab meetings.

There will be two evening exams during the semester occurring on the evenings of October 2 and November 6, and a final during the exam period.

Make-up quizzes and exams will be administered only in extreme circumstances and arrangements must be made well before the date of the scheduled exam.

Grading

Grades for individual assignments and exams are not scaled. Any scaling deemed appropriate will take place at the end of the semester by adjusting the thresholds. The following thresholds may be adjusted downward (thereby raising grades) but will never be adjusted upward.

Breakdown:

Scale:
zyBook Assignments 10% A >= 93% A- >= 90%
Labs 10% B+ >= 87% B >= 83% B- >= 80%
Problem Sets 20% C+ >= 77% C >= 73% C- >= 70%
Quizzes 10% D+ >= 67% D >= 63% D- >= 60%
Exam 1 15% F < 60%
Exam 2 15%
Final Exam 20%

If your final exam score is better (by percentage) than the lower of your two regular exams, that lowest exam score will be replaced by your final exam score in calculation of your course grade.

Please note the special grading policy in effect for this course: in order to earn a grade of C- or better for this course, you must have an average of C- or better on the examinations, regardless of performance on labs, projects, and other assignments.

Course grades cannot be changed after they are submitted except in very specific cases (such as an error in grading of an assignment or in computation of a grade). Any such errors that slip through must be found and rectified quickly after grades are submitted. In rare circumstances, a student request for an incomplete grade may be approved at the discretion of the instructor. Requests must be made one week prior to the end of the semester, and terms of such arrangements must be mutually agreed upon before grades are submitted. College policy states that the an incomplete must be reconciled within one month of the end of the semester, and that a student cannot be granted a degree with an incomplete grade on his or her record.

Attendance

Please be sure you are familiar with the Siena College Attendance Policy.

Every college student should be motivated to attend every lecture and lab meeting for all the right reasons (e.g., desire for knowledge, desire to get the most out of every very expensive minute, etc.). As experienced college students, you understand that regular attendance is essential to your ability to master the course material.

Therefore, there is no formal attendance policy. You are expected to attend regularly, and should still see the instructor about any excused absences. An excused absence may be any of the following:

  1. A documented athletic or academic event that conflicts with a class meeting. The required paperwork must be presented in person at least one week prior to the event.
  2. A family emergency. These must be documented through the Office of Academic Affairs (783-2307), who will then contact your instructors.
  3. Personal illness. These must be documented by the Office of Student Affairs (783-2328), who will then contact your instructors.

While there is no formal penalty for unexecused absences, missing class regularly, frequent tardiness, or being distracted in class (e.g., checking your phone or Facebook) will be considered a sign that you are not taking the course seriously. Common sense suggests and experience validates that students who are frequently absent, late, or inattentive perform poorly on graded work. Do not expect compassion when final grades are assigned or extensive extra help if you do not understand a topic that was covered while you were absent without a valid excuse.

Disability Accommodations

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Siena College is committed to ensuring educational access and accommodations for all its registered students.

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations should provide documentation of such during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Accommodations must be arranged with Mr. Rob Bahny, Director of Services for Students with Disabilities (Foy 109, 783-4239).

Complaints about services provided or not provided may be brought to the attention of Public Safety at 783-2376 or Ms. Lois Goland, JD, Title IX Coordinator and Equal Opportunity Specialist (SSU 235, 782-6673).

Academic Integrity

You are encouraged to discuss the concepts related to course assignments and exams with your classmates. This is an essential part of a healthy academic environment. However, work submitted for grading must be your own (or the combined work of group members, for group assignments). Any unauthorized copying or collaboration is considered a breach of academic integrity and will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty cases are unpleasant and uncomfortable for everyone involved. You are responsible for reading and understanding the document Academic Integrity and the Siena Student and the Computer Science Department's Academic Integrity statement. The minimum penalties for a first violation will include failure (0 grade) for the assignment or exam in question and the filing of a Academic Integrity Violation Accusation Form. A second violation will result in failure of the course and a formal letter describing your misconduct will be sent to the head of the Computer Science Department and the Office of Academic Affairs. Students suspected of violating academic integrity will be referred to the Academic Integrity Committee for final determination.

If there is any doubt about the degree of collaboration allowed or the permitted sources for a particular assignment, please ask for clarification before collaborating or consulting the source. Any such collaborations or sources must be cited properly.