Introduction to Computer Science

Creativity & Computers

CSC-105-01 and CSC-105-03 -- Spring 2016

Course website and syllabus:

Quick Link: Moodle


Andrea Tartaro

General Information


None. Readings will be assigned on Moodle.

Assignments & Grades

There are numerous types of assignments for this course to introduce you to the diverse areas of Computer Science. But first, a note on collaboration. Working together is a great way to more fully explore the concepts of the course. At the same time, independent work is also critical so both you and I know that you fully understand the material on your own. Thus assignments are designed to balance opportunities to work together and individually. Please read what forms of collaboration are acceptable for each assignment, and ASK ME when in doubt. Whenever you work with another student, indicate who you worked with on the assignment.

There will be frequent homework assignments. Homework assignments are to prepare you for an upcoming class, and are due 24 hours prior to the start of the class for which they are due. Homework assignments should be completed independently. Homeworks will be labeled HW on the moodle schedule. Some (not all) of the homework assignments will be article reflections. You will be given a few articles to read in preparation for class. You must read all the articles. You will select one article for your article reflection. Your reflection should include: the research question; the author's argument; an overview of the evidence the author uses to make this argument; reflection on how the article relates to other things we've covered in the class; reflection on positive and negative aspects of any technology described; and a minimum of 2 questions you have after reading the article. In addition, you should evaluate the strength of the article - how well does the evidence provided support the author's argument? ARTICLE REFLECTIONS SHOULD NOT BE LONGER THAN 1 PAGE!

There will be labs where you will work on exercises in-class and receive help from myself and the lab assistant. You may work with your peers on lab assignments, but you must hand in your own assignment and indicate any collaborators.

There will be 4 projects that you will complete outside of class. You may work with your peers on projects, but you must hand in your own assignment and indicate any collaborators.

There will be 4 quizzes. Quizzes will primarly focus on what you did in lab and on projects to be sure you understand the assignment. Quizzes must be completed independently.

There will be a final project and presentation. Details will be provided later in the course. You will complete the final project in groups and submit one project for the entire group. You will give a collaborative presentation.

Finally, class attendance and participation is a critical component of the course. Please discuss any necessary absences with me (see below). There will be independent and/or group in-class exercises that will count towards your participation grade. These will not be announced in advance and are to motivate you to keep up and provide feedback on your progress.

Handing in assignments: For all assignments (excluding labs), you will turn in both a hard copy in class AND an electronic copy on moodle. Files must be submitted on moodle PRIOR to class on the day they are due (24 hours prior to class for homework assignments), and hard copies handed in at the START of class (there is no formal collection process - YOU are responsible for turning in your assignments). Requiring a hard copy and an electronic copy helps both you and me. The electronic copy has a timestamp to indicate your submission is on time. In addition, it allows me to test any programs you submit. The paper copy is what is returned to you with comments and your grade. I cannot grade an assignment if I do not receive BOTH a paper copy and an electronic copy! For any programming assignments, whether you work on your own computer or on the system at Furman, ultimately your program must run on the lab computers - so be sure to test it before handing it in. Labs will be submitted on moodle.

Grade Allocation

Grade Scale

Grade cut-offs may be adjusted slightly (downward only).

Grade Cut-off
(not higher than)
Exceptional work
+/- assigned at instructor's discretion

Policies, etc.

Basic Course Requirement

In order to pass the class you must earn a passing grade. In addition, however, you must meet the following basic requirements. Before the final exam time for the course, you must complete and submit at least 50% of the assignments in any given cateogry above (homework, labs, projects and quizzes). You must also submit a final project. In other words, you cannot blow off an entire aspect of the course and pass the class! Note that this basic requirement is necessary but not sufficient to pass the class.


Class participation is a critical component of the course and attendance is mandatory. In addition, there are numerous hands-on activities and in-class exercises. Please discuss any necessary absences (e.g., athletics, religious holidays, emergency, illness) with me PRIOR to class. You may be asked to make up for missed material. You will not receive credit for make-up material if you did not discuss your absence with me prior to class.

Late Assignments

Students with Disabilities

It is the policy of Furman University to make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. I encourage students with disabilities to make an appointment to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss accommodations that might help facilitate your learning. You will need appropriate documentation from the University's Disability Services Coordinator. All discussions will remain confidential.

Academic Integrity

Plagiarism is misrepresenting someone else's work as your own, which is a form of stealing, and will not be tolerated. Plagiarism is a serious offense, and its penalties are severe, including possible failure of the course and/or dismissal from the University. Please consult the booklet, Plagiarism and Academic Integrity at Furman University, if you are unsure of the definition of plagiarism. If you need help understanding how and when to cite sources, please see me.

While you are likely familiar with what constitutes plagiarism in written assignments from your other classes, you may not know how it applies to computer programming. The following is adopted from the Department of Computer Science:

The ready availability of information in digital form necessitates that a clear definition of plagiarism be provided for the context of computer science coursework. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty when a person expresses words or ideas as his or her own without attributing another person as the true source or contributor of those words or ideas. In computer programming, for instance, words are computer code and ideas are the algorithms or design of code.

Although you are engcouraged to discuss requirements of assignments and to help others with general programming concepts, all work you submit as your own should be your own. You may never use code and algorithms from anyone else to complete a program that you submit for credit unless the original source of the code is clearly documented in the comments. This documentation must include the names of individuals or complete citations of books or articles and must describe the ideas or code you are using. Unless otherwise stated in the requirements, it is assumed that sources outside the course textbook, class notes and handouts, and designated teammates are forbidden even if those sources are correctly cited.

The following activities are considered serious instances of academic dishonesty:

There are many opportunities for peer tutoring that do not fall under the category of plagiarism. These opportunities include the following examples:

How to succeed in this course


Available on Moodle and subject to change.