This course is an introduction to computational thinking: how we can describe and solve problems using a computer. The Visual Media section will focus on generating complex and interesting scenes and images through writing well-constructed programs. These applications will motivate how and why we would would want to write procedures, control the flow of information and processes, and organize information for easy access and manipulation. Through lectures, short homeworks, and weekly programming projects, you will learn about abstraction, how to divide and organize a process into appropriate components, how to describe processes in a computer language, and how to analyze and understand the behavior of their programs. While the projects are focused on visual media, the computational thinking skills you learn in this course are applicable to any type of programming or program design you may undertake in the future.
|Times & Locations||
Lecture: MWF 11:00 - 11:50 am
Lab: R 1:00 - 2:20 pm
|Instructor||Oliver W. Layton
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office hours: I am available to help outside of class time, please do not hesitate to come to office hours or send me an email. I try my best to get back to you as possible. Not only do I enjoy talking about computer science, I want to get to know you!
My weekly office hours over Zoom (link on Google Classroom):
In order to provide as much help as possible to you as you work on assignments in this course, the CS Department has hired the following upper-level CS students to work as TAs over Zoom in the evenings (link posted on Google Classroom). You are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this resource. The TAs are getting paid to help you, so don't feel guilty about asking them for help.
Morning TA hours for students outside USA are in bold font.
There will be regular opportunities for you to practice what you have learned and to demonstrate your accomplishments.
The course grade will be determined as follows:
There will be a final exam on Moodle at TBD. Like quizzes, you will have a 2 day window to take it. There are no make-ups.
It should go without saying that you should back up any files related to this course. If the code you submit to us is somehow lost (through your fault or our fault), I must be able to get another copy from you. I suggest keeping your CS151 labs and projects on Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive. That way, you always have a backup stored in the cloud.
There is no required textbook for this course. All lecture notes, whiteboards, and code from class will be posted in the Topics and Lecture Notes section of this website.
The following textbook is recommended if you would like to consult an additional resource. Note that the first edition is geared for a different version of Python (2nd or 3rd edition are ok).
|How to succeed||
Labs and Projects: Come to lab ready to focus on the new project. Ask me and TAs for help if you need it. Talk to your peers about the course concepts.
Quizzes: Study for the quizzes by doing the homeworks. We will drop the lowest quiz grade. If you make a silly mistake one week, it won't affect your grade.
Short homeworks: Try them. You will receive full credit as long as you make an honest attempt to complete every question. Please ask or email questions if something isn't clear. As long as you submit your response by Thursday at noon Google Classroom, you will get credit. Review the homework solutions on Thursday afternoon to check your understanding of the material before the quiz. There is no partial credit for late homeworks because the solutions are posted.
Participation: Speak up in class. Come to office hours. Ask your your instructor or TA for help.
Final Exam: The final exam will be similar to a large set of quizzes (but written from a more wholistic perspective). The best way to study for the final exam is to retake all of the old quizzes. Also, read through your notes and make sure you understand everything in them.
|Collaboration, Academic honesty||
Computer science, both academically and professionally, is a collaborative discipline. In any collaboration, however, all parties are expected to make their own contributions and to generously credit the contributions of others. In our class, therefore, collaboration on assignments is encouraged, but you as an individual are responsible for understanding all the material in the assignment and doing your own work. Always strive to do your best, give generous credit to others, start early, and seek help early from both your professors and classmates.
The following rules are intended to help you get the most out of your education and to clarify the line between honest and dishonest work. We reserve the right to ask you to verbally explain the reasoning behind any answer or code that you turn in and to modify your project grade based on your answers. It is vitally important that you turn in work that is your own. We do use automated plagiarism detection software, so please be sure to abide by these, rather minimal, rules. Reports of academic dishonesty are handled by an academic review board and a finding of academic dishonesty may result in significant sanctions. For more details on Colby's Academic Integrity policies and procedures, see colby.edu/academicintegrity.
|The Colby Affirmation||
Colby College is a community dedicated to learning and committed to the growth and well-being of all its members.
As a community devoted to intellectual growth, we value academic integrity. We agree to take ownership of our academic work, to submit only work that is our own, to fully acknowledge the research and ideas of others in our work, and to abide by the instructions and regulations governing academic work established by the faculty.
As a community built on respect for ourselves, each other, and our physical environment, we recognize the diversity of people who have gathered here and that genuine inclusivity requires active, honest, and compassionate engagement with one another. We agree to respect each other, to honor community expectations, and to comply with College policies.
As a member of this community, I pledge to hold myself and others accountable to these values. More ...
I am available to discuss academic accommodations that any student with a documented disability may require. Please note that you’ll need to provide a letter from the Dean of Studies Office documenting your approved accommodations. Please meet with me to make a request for accommodations at the beginning of the semester--and at a minimum two weeks before any key due dates--so that we can work together with the College to make the appropriate arrangements for you.
(Title IX Statement)
Colby College prohibits and will not tolerate sexual misconduct or gender-based discrimination of any kind. Colby is legally obligated to investigate sexual misconduct (including, but not limited to, sexual assault and sexual harassment) and other specific forms of behavior that violate federal and state laws (Title IX and Title VII, and the Maine Human Rights Act). Such behavior also requires the College to fulfill certain obligations under two other federal laws, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Statistics Act (Clery Act).
To learn more about what constitutes sexual misconduct or to report an incident, see: https://www.colby.edu/sexualviolence/.
If you wish to speak confidentially about an incident of sexual misconduct, you may contact:
Students should be aware that faculty members are considered "responsible employees"; as such, if you disclose an incident of sexual misconduct to a faculty member, they have an obligation to report it to Colby's Title IX Coordinator. "Disclosure" may include communication in-person, via email/phone/text, or through class assignments.
|Observance of Religious holidays||
Colby College supports the religious practices of students, faculty, and staff, but we don't always know which people will observe which holidays. Since I need to plan course activities in advance, I need to know in advance, if you need to miss a class or have a deadline adjusted in order to observe a holiday. Please notify me by e-mail at least 14 days in advance of any religious holiday that will affect your ability to participate in this course.