CS 102 Syllabus

Welcome to CS 102, an introduction to problem solving, algorithmic design, and implementation using the C++ programming language. Topics include fundamental data types and associated array types, I/O processing, conditional and loop constructs, use and implementation of functions. A brief overview of structures is given. Throughout the course, good programming styles and sound program construction are emphasized.

Monday, Wednesday 11am–12:50pm in LLC 207
Three credits, prerequisite: CS 101

Contact information

Prof. Christopher League, Ph.D.
– please include course number in subject.
chrysleague (AIM), league@contrapunctus.net (MSN), chrisleague (Skype), cleague@gmail.com (GTalk/XMPP)
+1 718 488 1274 (office), +1 646 450 6278 (Google voice)
Office hours:
Monday 1:30–2:20; Wednesday 1:30–2:20 and 5:00–5:50
Office location:
LLC 206


VirtualBox 4.x, setup explained in first assignment.
Web sites:
C++ Without Fear by Brian Overland (second edition, ISBN 978-0-13-267326-6)
Campus library resources tailored for computer science are available at http://www2.brooklyn.liu.edu/library/wlp/LibPortal-CS-BC.htm


Your grade will be computed based on assignments, exams, quizzes, and participation. There are a total of 1,000 points available, broken down as follows:

  • There will be 12 assignments during the semester. Assignments are worth 60 points each, but I will drop the lowest two scores so only 10 will count, for a total of 600 points.

  • There are 8 quizzes scheduled throughout the semester, to make sure you are following along and reviewing your notes after each meeting. Quizzes are worth 30 points each, but I will drop the lowest two scores so only 6 will count, for a total of 180 points.

  • There will be a midterm and final exam, worth 100 points each for a total of 200 points.

  • The remaining 20 points are for your attendance and participation in class.

On the 1,000-point scale, you can expect the following letter grades:

≥ 870: B+ ≥ 770: C+ ≥ 670: D+
≥ 930: A ≥ 830: B ≥ 730: C ≥ 600: D
≥ 900: A–    ≥ 800: B–    ≥ 700: C–    else: F

In the end, I may choose to adjust the scale slightly to compensate for assignments or questions that turned out to be trickier than I intended. Such adjustments would never lower your grade from what is designated in the above table; if you get 930 points, you are guaranteed an A.


No late assignments will be accepted, because we will discuss and evaluate your work promptly after the deadline. This helps to ensure that everyone receives timely feedback, and that you can learn from mistakes while they are still fresh in your mind.

There will be no extra credit. Students usually ask for extra credit late in the semester after they have already messed up their original opportunities. Be sure to start your work early, so that we can detect and solve any problems before they can affect your grade.

Plagiarism is the use or presentation of ideas, words, or work that is not one’s own and that is not common knowledge, without granting credit to the originator. Plagiarism is a practice that is not only unacceptable, but which is to be condemned in the strongest terms possible on the basis of moral, educational and legal grounds. Under University policy, plagiarism may be punishable by a range of penalties from a failing grade in the assignment or course to dismissal from the School of Business, Public Administration and Information Sciences. All students are required to read the handbook on avoiding plagiarism by visiting http://bit.ly/lVShWN

Cheating includes, but is not limited to the following: falsification of statements or data; listing sources that have not been used; having another individual write your paper or do your assignments; writing a paper or creating work for another student to use without proper attribution; purchase of paper or research work for one’s submission as his/her own work; using written, verbal, or electronic or other sources of aid during an examination (except when expressly permitted by the instructor, depending on the nature of the examination) or knowingly providing such assistance to aid other students.

Showing up on time to class every week is extremely important. If you must be absent or more than 5 minutes late, please try to notify me in advance. I will be keeping track of whether you are in class, and when you arrive. A few missed classes will not count against you, but habitual absence will significantly hurt your grade. Additionally, there will be no make-up quizzes. I do not distinguish between ‘excused’ and ‘unexcused’ absence. Unless you miss an exam due to a severe medical emergency, I don’t want to see a doctor’s note. If you do miss an exam, the make-up exam will be different – and probably not easier.

Long Island University seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified persons with disabilities. This University will adhere to all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to afford equal educational opportunity. It is the student’s responsibility to register with Special Education Services (SES) as early as possible and to provide faculty members with the formal communication from SES for suitable accommodations. All accommodations must be approved through SES. Contact Information: 718 488 1221 or 718 488 1044.

Time commitment

This is a lab course, for which you will have to spend a significant amount of time both inside and outside of class to succeed. In addition to spending about 1–2 hours preparing (reading, reviewing, practicing) for each hour of class time, your work on the assignments is a crucial part of the learning experience. Some time will be set aside in class for supervised work on the assignments, but it will not be sufficient.

The productivity of computer programmers varies widely, depending on the project and skill level, by a factor of ten or more. (In other words, the most productive programmer can accomplish the same task in one-tenth the time taken by the least productive programmer.) This factor comes from studies are of professional programmers; for beginners, the effect is probably multiplied even further.

For this reason, I am reluctant to estimate the number of hours a ‘typical’ student will need to spend on each assignment. However, the state of New York requires it, so here we go. On average, expect to spend 5 hours per assignment (keeping in mind that earlier assignments will require less time than later ones), or a total of 60 hours per semester. You may find you need less time, or you may find you need spend substantially more time, in order to achieve the educational goal. So please don’t get discouraged if you find yourself working even more than this. With practice, you will get there. Nothing worth doing is easy.