Computer Science 225
Advanced Programming

Spring 2021, Siena College



Dr. James D. Teresco, Roger Bacon 321, (518) 782-6992
Electronic mail: jteresco AT (best contact method)
Twitter: @JTerescoSienaCS
Class URL: [Link]
Class hours: Monday, Friday 2:40-3:40, Roger Bacon 328
Labs: Wednesday 1:40-3:40, Roger Bacon 350
Thursday 10:40-12:40, Roger Bacon 304
Office hours: (subject to change) Monday 1:30-2:30, Tuesday 9:00-10:30 (normally virtual only), Wednesday 10:00-11:30, Thursday 9:15-10:15, Friday 1:30-2:30


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: "This course continues the development of students' expertise in using an object-oriented programming language for problem solving. Advanced language features such as inheritance, graphics and graphical user interfaces, event-driven programming and multithreading, are used. Larger-scale software development tools and techniques including version control are explored. These features and tools are used in a series of lab exercises and larger team projects where students build problem solving, collaboration, and programming skills."

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

Our specific learning objectives for CSIS 225 include the following:



There is no primary required text for the course. Our readings and references will be from online sources that will be linked from the course web site.


Everyone is expected to attend class, whether virtual or in-person, 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. Office visits are always seen as evidence that you care about your work and are engaged in the course. There will be in-class activities submitted for credit, and these can only be made up in the event of an excused absence. 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 for class work 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.

The lecture and reading schedule lists the readings, and has a link to a web page for each lecture highlighting the day's topics, listing class examples, and upcoming assignment and lab due dates. Some notes will be available as PDF files linked from the lecture and reading schedule. You are responsible for everything covered in class, whether or not you are physically present.

Labs and Problem Sets

We are fortunate to have weekly meetings in small groups in a computer lab. It may be possible to complete some labs during the meeting, but some weeks you will need to continue to work on your own and turn them in later. Late lab submissions cannot receive credit.

There will also be a series of problem sets, involving more significant programming tasks and sometimes written components, the last of which will be a large group project.

You may develop your programs anywhere (computers in the labs, your own PC, etc.) but they must work properly using the Siena College Computer Science 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).

Lab and problem set assignments will be made available electronically to limit handling of paper and to accommodate any necessary remote instruction.

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.

Code submissions will be primarily through GitHub repositories. Lab questions will typically be completed through shared Google documents.

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 may sometimes be required to demonstrate programming assignments in addition to the usual electronic submission.

Unless otherwise specified, late 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.


There will be two evening exams during the semester, plus one during finals period. The regular exams are scheduled for Thursday, April 1, and Thursday, April 29. The final exam will be scheduled by the Registrar's office.

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


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.


Assignments/In-Class/Problem Sets 20% A >= 93% A- >= 90%
Labs 10% B+ >= 87% B >= 83% B- >= 80%
Exam 1 15% C+ >= 77% C >= 73% C- >= 70%
Exam 2 20% D+ >= 67% D >= 65% D- >= 60%
Final Exam 25% F < 60%
Final Project 10%


Please be sure you are familiar with the Siena College Student Class 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 (518-783-2307), who will then contact your instructors.
  3. Personal illness. These must be documented by the Office of Student Affairs (518-783-2328), 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) will be considered a sign that you are not taking the course seriously. Attendance is taken daily, with late arrivals and evidence of distraction or inattention noted as needed. 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.

Pandemic-related Attendance Information

TL;DR: No one can predict how we will be able to balance in-person and remote instruction during the pandemic. Each of our personal situations, as well as restrictions imposed by College or government authorities, will determine that balance. Bottom line, if you're sick or quarantined, don't come to class, and if well enough, participate in the remote option.

The full College statement on this follows.

Siena College requires students to wear appropriate face coverings (e.g., masks, fully covering both mouth and nose) in all college buildings, including classrooms, laboratories and studios. If students arrive to a class, lab, studio, or office hours without a face covering, they will be denied entry, and must leave and obtain a face covering before they can return. Likewise, students are required to wear face coverings when in hallways within buildings and to be prepared to put one on if they come within six feet of another person when traversing campus. Students who refuse forfeit the right to attend class until a mask is worn and are subject to disciplinary action for violating the campus code of conduct (see policy). All college employees have the right to refuse services to students if they do not comply with these requirements.

Students are requested to use available cleaning products to wipe down their desks or work areas when they arrive in class. Classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized at least once daily as well.

Students with any symptoms of illness, especially those associated with COVID-19 must not attend class under any circumstances. As with any absence, they should contact instructors to discuss missed lectures and assignments. If the instructor is quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure, the class will be offered remotely until the Instructor is able to return to campus. Additionally, Instructors may move the class to remote instruction if they feel in-person meetings are not safe.

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 Ms. Julia Gold, Director of Accessibility (Foy 109, 518-783-4239).

Complaints about services provided or not provided may be brought to the attention of Public Safety at 518-783-2376 or Ms. Lois Goland, JD, Title IX Coordinator and Equal Opportunity Specialist (SSU 235, 518-782-6673).

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 College's Academic Integrity Policy 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.