Csci 159: Computer Science Problem Solving

Call Number: #22217

MW 11:00-11:50 
IACC, Rm. #106

Dr. Brian M. Slator, Professor
Computer Science
North Dakota State University
Office: IACC Building, Rm. #262E
Phone: 701-231-6124
Office hours: see Fall 2001 Schedule, or by appt.

CS159 Grader: Max Pool


  • Introduction to Interactive Programming on the Internet: Using HTML and JavaScript, by Dr. Craig D. Knuckles, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. ISBN 0-471-38366-X; QA76.625.K58. Copyright 2001.


  • Teams have been assigned. See the Teams table at right

  • Exams are taken from lecture and Chapter/Lesson 1-7, 9-18 (pg. 1-157, 174-382) in the text.





Course Overview and Philosophy

Csci 159: Computer Science Problem Solving is a course designed to provide beginning students with a survey, and a fundamental understanding, of the many varied tools, techniques, disciplines, skills, sub-areas, and issues of Computer Science. Therefore, this course covers a great many topics and includes a wide variety of experiences.

For many students, Csci 159 is their first exposure to college level computing. It is the goal of this course, insofar as possible, to prepare students for the rigors that lie ahead by giving a "first look" at the relevant technologies in such a way that later experiences, in later courses, are contextualized in a meaningful and productive way. In pursuit of this goal, Csci 159 will attempt to mix theory and practice by covering the breadth of Computer Science in lecture while addressing practical but equally important issues in lab sessions.

However, in recent years the mission of Csci 159 has changed slightly. It is now required for the B.A. in CS, and also required by various departments, such as Mechanical Engineering (among others).

In fairness, then, a new model is appropriate. One where more experienced computer users are teamed with the less experienced. And, further, where the more experienced are held responsible for mentoring the success of their less experienced peers.

General Comments

  • You are expected to be here. Come to class -- attendance will be taken semi-regularly. If you miss class, come and speak to me. This WILL affect your grade.
  • Participate, cooperate, and help others.
  • The general format will be (as cluster reservations allow, see the Schedule):
    • Mondays, Lectures;
    • Wednesdays, Lab.
  • You can expect a substantial amount of outside class effort for this course.
  • This document will change over the course of the semester.

  • You should check here at least once a week.
  • Periodically you might be asked to take a survey or some other in-class activity. These will not be graded, but they will be a form of taking attendance.

Relevant Links

Project Outlines

No projects are planned.

Policy on Late Assignments

There is no happy way to assign lateness demerits. For the purposes of this class, it is never too late to turn in work. However, the later an assignment is produced, the less it is worth (until the date of our final exam which is, this semester,
Monday, December 17th, at 12:30-2:30,
which is the "drop dead" date).

The policy is this: late assignments will lose a letter grade immediately, and then another letter grade after one week.

Example: if a 100 point assignment is turned in after the deadline, it can score, at most, a "B", or in other words, if it is "A" work, but late, it is scored on a scale of 1 to 89, instead of 1 to 100. Further, if a 100 point assignment is turned in more than one week after the deadline, it can score, at most, a "C", meaning it is scored on a scale of 1 to 79.

Please Note: this policy is intended to encourage you to turn things in on time, and to reward those who do. So, it's important to note that you only get a "B" for late work if it is at an "A" level after one week, and you only get a "C" for late work if it is at an "A" level, but more than one week late.

Let me stress this: If you turn work in late, you are on a new scale. Therefore, if you turn in "B" work that is late, you do not get a "B", you get a "C", and if you turn in "B" work that is more than a week late, you do not get a "C", you get a "D".

Policy on Extra Credit

There could possibly be extra credit opportunities for interested persons. See me.

Special Needs

NDSU Academic Affairs New Course Syllabi Requirement

Any student with disabilities or other special needs, who needs special accomodations in this course, is invited to share these concerns or requests with the instructor as soon as possible.

Academic Dishonesty or Misconduct

NDSU Academic Affairs New Course Syllabi Requirement

Work in this course must adhere to the Code of Academic Responsibility and Conduct as cited in "Rights & Responsibilities of Community: A Code of Student Conduct" (1993) pp. 29-30. "The academic community is operated on that basis of honesty, integrity, and fair play. Occasionally, this trust is violated when cheating occurs, either inadvertently or deliberately .....Faculty members may fail the student for the particular assignment, test, or course involved, or they may recommend that the student drop the course in question, or these penalties may be varied with the gravity of the offense and the circumstances of the particular case."

Academic dishonesty can be divided into four categories and defined as follows:

  • Cheating: Intentionally using or attemping to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids in any academic exercise.
  • Fabrication: Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
  • Plagiarism: Intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise.

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