General Information

Instructor:

Geoffrey Towell
Park Science Building
526-5064
gtowell at brynmawr dot edu
http://cs.brynmawr.edu/~gtowell

Class:

Lecture Hours Tuesday / Friday 11:10-12:30
Room Park 25
Lab Friday 12:40-2:00
Office Hours 2pm - 3pm Tuesday, 3pm-4pm Thursday.
Also by appointment
In the spring of 2021 all office hours will be by zoom.
ZoomMeeting code: 232 840 6920. Password: given in class
Course Description An introduction to the fundamental data structures of computer science: lists, stacks, queues, trees, Binary Search Trees, graphs, sets and their accompanying algorithms. Principles of algorithmic analysis and object reasoning and design will be introduced using mathematical techniques for the notions of both complexity and correctness.

In addition, there will be a significant discussion of Object-Oriented programming and the implementation of object-oriented programming in Java.

Computer LabPark 231
Instructions for using the lab computers
Remote accessable lab computer status
Do not use the computers in Park 230. They are old and on a different file system.


Text

There is no official textbook for this class. The following are pretty good books on Data Structures. The first of these I will refer to in the Syllabus with chapter references. I will not do so for the other books. You will only be responsible for material discussed in class. These books should be used to provide additional viewpoints and alternate explanations.
Data Structures and Algorithms in Java by Goodrich, Tamassia, and Goldwasser
A pdf of the book
Introduction to Java Programming and Data Structures by Y. Daniel Liang


Important Dates



Assignments

There will 10-11 weekly homework assignments. Homework will be electronically submitted. All work must be turned in by the due date or it will not be considered. Work submitted 24 or more hours in advance of the due date will receive a 3 percent bonus.

In addition, you have 2 (two) 24 late passes to be used at your discretion during the semester. To use a late pass you merely have to send me an email saying that you intend to use a late pass. You do not need permission, this is merely to inform me that you are using a late pass. This email MUST be sent prior to the due date. (I have received email with time stamps less than one minute before the due date.) I repeat, approval is automatic. You can use more than one late pass on an assignment. These late passes are intended to give you a little scheduling flexibility. For major issues (requiring more than 24 hours), talk to me. For such issues, you must talk to be more than 24 hours prior to the due date.

Homework assignments are intended to take under 10 hours to complete. That said, some people will require far more that that on some assignments. I strongly encourage everyone to start early. Work some on the assignment. Then go get something to eat, take a nap, etc. Often with programming, getting away from the problem for a while is important.

Despite my best efforts, homeworks may have sections that are not quite correct. If you find one, let me know. If I agree that the issue is an issue and you have told me of the issue at least 48 hours prior to the due date then I will give bonus points as follows:

3 points for the first issue reported
2 points for the second issue reported
1 point for the third issue reported
Ordering is based on date of email recipt. One bonus per person per assignment.

All assignments must abide by the following standards

Posted code samples will -- almost always -- adhere to these standards. (Code shown in class may not so that it can fit on screens.)

All assignments must be accompanied by a README file. See the file for a description of the expected contents.

For detailed, step-by-step precedures for submitting homeworks, see Lab 3


Labs

Rather than having a single lab per week, lab will consist of small assignments after every class. These assignments are capped at 45 minutes. That is, if you find you have spent more than 45 minutes, stop. During the scheduled lab period I will be available, either in the lab or in my office. Unlike homeworks in which the work must be your own, you are encouraged to closely cooperate with others in the class. You may even submit a single answer for a group. Lab assignments will not be graded or returned. I will look to see that a reasonable answer has been submitted, that is all. All lab work will be submitted via email to gtowell206@cs.brynmawr.edu. Please use this email address only for lab work.

For the most part, lab assignments will be given in the lecture notes. While not required, I encourage you to work on the lab assignments immediately after class. I will almost always be available to help at that time.

Regardless of whether the lab appears here or only in the lecture notes, the lab should be completed and email sent to gtowell206 prior to the start of the next class.


Lectures

After the two week quarrantine period lectures will be in person. You are not required to attend (and I will not take attendance). However, I will not record classes or broadcast them on Zoom. That said, if you have issues with attending a class due to sickness, etc let me know.

I intend to post lecture notes here before every class. If you do not see them, tell me.


Course Policies

Communication

Attendance and active participation are expected in every class. Participation includes asking questions, contributing answers, proposing ideas, and providing constructive comments.

Please stay in touch with me, particularly if you feel stuck on a topic or assignment and can't figure out how to proceed. Often a quick e-mail, or face-to-face (via zoom in fall 2020) conference can reveal solutions to problems and generate renewed creative and scholarly energy. It is essential that you begin assignments early.

Grading

Grades will be awarded based on the number of points earned and according to the percentage breakdowns shown.
Homework45%
Lab5%
Midterms (2)32%
Final exam18%

Mid-terms will be in class (or possibly take-home). If take-home then the time to complete will be no more than 2 hours. In-class exams will be closed book, closed notes, open minds. Take home exams will be open everything except for other people.

Incomplete grades will be given only for verifiable medical illness or other such dire circumstances.

ALL work submitted for grading should be entirely YOUR OWN (except for labs). Sharing of programs, code snippets, etc. is not permitted under ANY circumstances. That said, I encourage you to discuss assignments at an algorithmic level with other students.


Links


Learning Accommodations

Students requesting accommodations in this course because of the impact of disability are encouraged to meet with me privately early in the semester with a verification letter. Students not yet approved to receive accommodations should also contact Deb Alder, Coordinator of Accessibility Services, at 610-526-7351 in Guild Hall, as soon as possible, to verify their eligibility for reasonable accommodations. Early contact will help avoid unnecessary inconvenience and delays.

This class may be recorded.


Creating a Welcoming Environment

All members of the Instruction Staff are dedicated to the cause of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of computing, and to supporting the wellness and mental health of our students.

Diversity and Inclusion

It is essential that all members of the course community – the instructor, TAs, and students – work together to create a supportive, inclusive environment that welcomes all students, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, or socioeconomic status. All participants in this course deserve to and should expect to be treated with respect by other members of the community. Class meetings, lab sessions, office hours, and group working time should be spaces where everyone feels welcome and included. In order to foster a welcoming environment, students of this course are expected to: exercise consideration and respect in their speech and actions; attempt collaboration and consideration, including listening to opposing perspectives and authentically and respectfully raising concerns, before conflict; refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.

Wellness

Additionally, your mental health and wellness are of utmost importance to the course Instruction Staff, if not the College as a whole. All members of the instruction staff will be happy to chat or just to listen if you need someone to talk to, even if it’s not specifically about this course. If you or someone you know is in distress and urgently needs to speak with someone, please do not hesitate to contact BMC Counseling Serices: 610-526-7360 (610-526-7778 nights and weekends). If you are uncomfortable reaching out to Counseling Services, any member of the Instruction Staff will be happy to contact them on your behalf. We understand that student life can be extremely difficult, both mentally and emotionally. If you are living with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, or other conditions that may affect you this semester, you are encouraged to discuss these with the Instructor. Although the details are up to you to disclose, the Instruction Staff will do their best to support and accommodate you in order to ensure that you can succeed this course while staying healthy.


Created on January 2021. Subject to constant revision.