Computer Science 507
Software Engineering

Spring 2014, The College of Saint Rose



Dr. James D. Teresco, Albertus Hall 400-2, (518) 485-3755
Electronic mail: terescoj AT (best contact method)
Twitter: @JTeresco_StR_CS
Class URL: [Link]
Class hour: Monday 6:00-8:30, Albertus 205
Office hours: Monday, 2:00-4:00, Tuesday 1:00-2:00, immediately after class, and by appointment


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

Course Objectives

From the course catalog: "Software engineering is a dynamic and expanding field. This course aims to give students practical experience and theoretical foundations in the following areas: software design, information systems and software quality, managing the software development process and human computer interaction. There is a strong emphasis on object orientation and the use of Unified Modeling Language for analysis and design."



The required text for the course is Software Engineering, Ninth Edition (Addison-Wesley, 2010, ISBN 0137035152) by Ian Sommerville. This is available from the Saint Rose Bookstore (and elsewhere). If you buy elsewhere, be sure to get the correct edition.


Everyone is expected to attend class and participate in discussions. There is no formal attendance policy, but a lack of regular attendance is certain to result in lower grades on assignments and exams. Do not expect sympathy if you are struggling but are rarely seen in class and during office hours. Supplemental readings are listed on the lecture and reading schedule. You will be responsible for all material in the reading, even if we do not specifically discuss each topic in class.

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 must be powered off. You may bring food or drink to class, as long as you are not a distraction to your classmates or instructor. When we have College computers out, no food or drink will be allowed.

Most lectures will include an assignment due at the start of the next class. These will usually be designed to focus your attention on some aspects of the assigned readings. Some lectures will include a quiz on the assigned readings. No late submissions of these "lecture assignments" or quizzes will be accepted, as they will often be discussed in class on the due date or immediately following the quiz. Some assignments will be graded for correctness, while others will be graded based on whether an honest effort was made.

The class meetings will include a series of invited speakers (some who will join us in person, others will be by video conference) who work in the software industry. Each speaker will give a brief description of his or her work as it relates to software development, and you will have an opportunity to ask questions of each of our guests. For each guest speaker, you will be required to submit a brief (approximately 1 page) summary of our discussion with that speaker.

The lecture and reading schedule has a link to a web page for each lecture highlighting the day's topics, listing any class examples, assigned readings, and the lecture assignment due the next class. The notes used to guide in-class presentations are also available as PDF files linked from the lecture and reading schedule.

Lab Assignments

A series of lab exercises will be assigned approximately weekly. The number of points available will vary with the complexity of the assignment.

Your submissions for lab assignments 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.

Lab Questions
The answers to all "lab questions" for a particular lab should be included within a single plain-text or PDF file named labn.txt or labn.pdf, as appropriate, where n is the lab number. The file should start with your name and the lab number. If you use plain text, your file should be appropriately line-wrapped for easy reading in a window or on a printed page with a width of 80 characters.

Note: for lab questions that ask you to draw a memory diagram, you have a few options. You may attempt to represent the memory with plain text, but that is difficult to construct and read. Ideally, you would use a drawing program and submit in your PDF file, but you are also permitted to draw the diagram on paper and submit a scan or photograph, as long as the diagram is legible in that form.

Output Captures
You will sometimes be asked to capture the output of an existing Unix command or one of your programs in a file for submission. The file name to use for each such task will be specified in the question.
Practice Programs
Your submissions for practice programs 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 are of course encouraged to practice good documentation, formatting, and style for these 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 structure or class definition, each function or method definition (including a brief description of the function/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 constants, and meaningful and appropriate names for variables, functions, 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. This includes returning memory to the system when using dynamic memory management. And, of course, you must use the file name specified.

Unless otherwise specified, late lab work 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. All assignments are to be submitted electronically through SubmissionBox unless otherwise specified. For written work, please submit plain text where appropriate and PDF otherwise. Please avoid other formats such as Word documents. If in doubt about a file format, please check first. Keep a copy of all submissions for yourself.

Design Project

The course is centered around a semester-long design project. Each team will design, implement, test, document, deliver, and present a significant software system. Details of this project will be made available during class early in the semester.


The only exam will be a final, which will take place on Monday, May 5, during our usual class meeting time.


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.


Lecture Assignments/Quizzes 15% A >= 93% A- >= 90%
Lab Activities 15% B+ >= 85% B >= 80%
Design Project 50% C >= 70%
Final Exam 20% F < 70%


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 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.
  3. Personal illness.

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 Accomodations

If you are a student with a documented disability and require academic accommodations please register with Lynn Cantwell, the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities, located in the Academic Support Center on the 2nd floor of St. Joseph Hall (campus extension 2335 or 518-337-2335, off campus) for disability verification and for determination of recommended reasonable academic accommodations. After you have made arrangements with that office, please see me to discuss your accommodations. Please remember that timely notice will help avoid a delay in your receipt of accommodations.

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 College of Saint Rose Policy on Plagiarism and Academic Integrity.

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 Dishonesty Report Form with the Registrar's office. A second violation will result in failure of the course and a second Academic Dishonesty Report Form.

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.