CS 102 Syllabus

3 September 2014

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
LLC 207

Contact Info

Prof. Christopher League, Ph.D.
– please include the course number (CS102) in the subject.
Google Hangout:
Office hours:
Monday, Wednesday 2–2:50 or make an appointment at https://liucs.net/bookme
Office phone:
+1 718 488 1274
Office location:
LLC 206, LIU Brooklyn


Web sites:

Programming in C++, an interactive text from Zyante. To obtain access:

  1. Sign up at https://zybooks.zyante.com/
  2. Enter zyBook code: LIUCS102Fall2014Cpp
  3. Subscribe ($35) using any credit card.

An access code may be purchased from the campus bookstore instead.

Campus library resources tailored for computer science are available at https://liucs.net/u1
Tutoring is available from my graduate assistant, Srujana. Her regular hours are Wednesday 12–3:30 and Thursday 1–2, in the CS Department (LLC 206) or GA Room (beside the lab).


Your grade will be computed based on projects, exams, quizzes, and readings. There are a total of 1,000 points available, composed as follows:

  • There will be 13 weeks of reading assignments in the interactive textbook. You will complete the activities at the site, and then submit an online survey (at least weekly) about what you read and learned. These are worth 10 points per week, but I will drop the lowest score so only 12 will count, for a total of 120 points.

  • There will be 10 programming projects during the semester. Some class time will be devoted to guided work on the projects. They are worth 60 points each, for a total of 600 points.

  • There are 6 quizzes scheduled throughout the semester, to make sure you are following along, and to provide some representative questions for exams. Quizzes are worth 20 points each, but I will drop the lowest two scores so only 4 will count, for a total of 80 points.

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

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 achieve 930 points, you are guaranteed an A.


It is important to complete readings and projects on time, so you don’t fall behind. This is especially true in a programming course, where every concept and skill builds on what came before. Reading surveys will have a couple points deducted for lateness, but you can still get most of the credit. A missed quiz will just result in a zero (no make-up quizzes), but the lowest two will be dropped. If you need to miss an exam, try to notify me in advance so we can make arrangements to make it up. Late projects will be graded as follows.

This formula specifies a lateness factor f that is multiplied by your earned score to determine a late score. The variable h represents the number of hours the submission is late.

 f = \frac{8.5 - \log_2{\left(\frac{h}{24}\right)}}{10}

You can adjust the sliders beside the graph below to visualize the effect of this formula. The green slider at the left controls the score you would have received based on the content of the work. The red slider below controls how late the assignment was turned in. The red circle in the graph indicates the adjusted score.

Your browser doesn’t support canvas.

There will be no extra credit. Students usually ask for extra credit late in the semester after they have already squandered 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 https://liucs.net/u2

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.

In a course with programming assignments, it is usually okay to work with and learn from other students to some extent, but what you submit in the end needs to be your own. The most reliable way to do that would be to set aside whatever code you created together, and then recreate it from scratch on your own.

Showing up on time to class 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, whether psychological, neurological, chronic medical, learning, sensory, or physical. The 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 Student Support Services as early as possible and to provide faculty members with the formal communication for suitable accommodations. Visit Pratt 410, call 718 488 1044, or visit http://www.liu.edu/Brooklyn/SSS

I participate in the LIU Safe Zone program. Representatives of the program serve as contacts for individuals on campus with questions or concerns related to sexual orientation and gender identity, whether of self or of a friend or family member. The goal of the program is to promote a safe and free campus for all students. Safe Zone areas can be identified by a sticker with the LIU Safe Zone logo.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students control over the disclosure of their educational records. During this course you may have the opportunity to create accounts or register with certain public online services. In these cases, you need not make any personally identifying information public. You may use a pseudonym or online handle, as long as you identify yourself to the instructor.

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 programming projects is a crucial part of the learning experience. Some time will be set aside in class for supervised work, but it will not be sufficient.

The productivity of computer programmers varies widely, depending on the project and skill level. For this reason, I am reluctant to estimate the number of hours a ‘typical’ student will need to spend on each project. However, the state of New York requires it, so here we go. On average, expect to spend 6 hours per project (keeping in mind that earlier projects 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.