Objectives | CS 1101/ CS1102 | Why DrRacket? | Staff&Contact Information | Where&When | Textbook&Software | Grading | Policies | Schedule&Assignments
What this course is about
What drives someone to write a program? Once you have an idea for a program, what do you do next? What skills does it take to write useful programs? How does computer science interact with other disciplines? And what do computer scientists do besides programming anyway?
CS 1101 introduces students to the worlds of computing and programming. Through a series of programming and information design exercises, students will learn how programmers view the world and how to turn problems into working programs. We'll study the various aspects of program design and write some fun programs along the way. This course assumes no prior programming background and is designed for both potential CS majors as well as curious students from other majors.
Additional information about the course can be found in the
WPI undergraduate catalog course description for CS 1101.
CS 1101 is designed to help you identify problems that programs can solve and to learn how to design programs that solve problems. Program design involves a series of smaller skills, including information design, logic design, testing, and documentation. Improving your skills in these areas should help you with general problem solving even when you aren't programming.
Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
CS 1101 or CS 1102?
CS 1101 is intended for students with little or no programming experience.
If you have had considerable prior programming experience (functions, recursion,
lists, and trees) you may want to consider trying CS 1102, Accelerated Introduction to Program Design, instead. The curricula for the two courses are designed
to allow you to switch back into CS1101 up through the midpoint in the term, if you
find the pace of CS 1102 too fast. Refer to these details for transferring from CS 1102 to CS 1101 for more information.
Why isn't CS 1101 taught using C/C++/Java...? None of the courses in the
Computer Science department are intended to just teach you a programming
language. Our courses use one or more programming languages to teach Computer
Science concepts. DrRacket (a close cousin of the programming languages Lisp
is particularly well-suited for teaching
beginning programmers the essential concepts of program design, because its
regular syntax makes it easy to learn how to program in the language and its
simplicity means that students can begin writing complete programs
from day one. Once you've
mastered program design concepts, you'll find that additional languages
can be learned more easily.
And don't be fooled into thinking that DrRacket is a language for academics
only. Some of the following readings provide details on Scheme (and Lisp)
in academia and in the real world:
Paul Graham's site has number of other articles discussing advantages of using Lisp in programming projects.
Common LISP's role in planning parts of the pathfinder mission
The Functional Programming in the Real World website, with pointers to a slew of real-world projects that use functional languages.
A Q&A on Scheme and Lisp
Some of the software for NASA's Deep Space 1 was written in LISP.
ITA Software relies heavily on Lisp for its technical success
Schemers.org, the online home for all things Scheme.
Instructor: Glynis Hamel (GH)
Teaching Assistants: Sarah Jaffer (SJ), Kenneth Loomis (KL), Sahel Mastoureshgh (SM), Yumeng Qiu (YQ), Francis Usher (FU)
Senior Assistants: Richard Brown (RB), Brian Gaffey (BG), Jon Kelly (JK), Wesley Ripley (WR), Joanne Zhang (JZ)
(Note: TA/SA office hours will be held in FL A22. Glynis Hamel's office hours are held in FL 132.)
If you have a question regarding your grades in the course, send email to cs1101-staff *at* cs.wpi.edu. Mail sent to this address goes to the instructor and to the TAs. Include your section number in all correspondence.
The instructor's email address is ghamel *at* cs.wpi.edu. Please restrict your use of my personal email address to issues of a confidential nature. You will get a quicker response if you post your questions to the class discussion board.
Labs meet on Wednesdays according to the following schedule:
Lecture and Lab Times
Lectures MTRF from 9:00 - 9:50am, and from 10:00-10:50am in FLPH-UPR.
You should attend the lecture for which you are registered.
Labs meet on Wednesdays according to the following schedule:
|A01||8 - 8:50am||SL 123||Richard, Jon|
|A02||9 - 9:50am||SL 123||Richard, Jon|
|A03||10 - 10:50am||SL 123||Richard, Jon|
|A04||11 - 11:50am||SL 123||Richard, Joanne|
|A05||12 -12:50pm||SL 123||Joanne, Wesley|
|A06||1 - 1:50pm||SL 123||Brian, Joanne|
|A07||2 - 2:50pm||SL 123||Brian, Wesley|
|A08||3 - 3:50pm||SL 123||Brian, Wesley|
Textbook and Software
Textbook: The textbook for the course is How to Design Programs by Matthias Felleisen, Robert Bruce Findler, Matthew Flatt, and Shriram Krishnamurthi. MIT Press, 2001. You may use the online version or purchase a hard copy.
Software: We will use DrRacket, version 5.1.3, for all coding projects in the course. DrRacket is installed on all CCC lab machines. You can download DrRacket to your own computer; it's free and supports the usual OS's (Unix, PC, Mac).
Exams are closed-book, closed-notes. You may bring in one sheet of notes (one paper, 8.5" x 11.5", both sides) to each exam. You may not use any computers, calculators, cellphones, headphones, or other electronic devices during the exams.
There are no makeups for exams. Absence from an exam will be excused only for medical or emergency reasons. A note from your doctor or from the Office of Academic Advising will be required. In such cases your final grade will be recorded as Incomplete and you will be allowed to take a makeup exam the next time the course is offered (C-term 12).
Academic Honesty Policy
Please read WPI's Academic
Starting with Homework 2, you will be working with a homework partner. You may discuss problems in a general manner across homework pairs, but each pair is responsible for writing up their own solution from scratch.
As examples, each of the following scenarios would constitute cheating (this list is not exhaustive!):
In contrast, the following scenarios would not constitute cheating:
Cheating will not be tolerated. If you are unsure whether a given activity would constitute cheating, ask the instructor. Violations of the Academic Honesty Policy can result in an NR for the course, and violators will be subject to the procedures outlined in section 5 of the WPI Judicial Policy.
Do not send email to the instructor or to the TAs requesting special exemption from the late policy. The late policy is applicable for all possible reasons for late submissions. In particular, one pair member forgetting to turn in an assignment on time will not be considered an acceptable excuse for an extension.
Schedule & Assignments
Note: the instructor reserves the right to change the order of topics
or the dates of the exams, if necessary.
|Aug 25 - 26||
HTDP Chapter 1
HTDP Chapter 2
Intro to Programming and Racket
Expressions, Images, and Functions
|Homework 1 (due: Tuesday, August 30)||
Lecture 1 objectives
Lecture 2 objectives
|Aug 29 - Sept 2|| HTDP Chapter 3
HTDP Chapter 4
HTDP Chapter 5
HTDP Chapter 6
Symbols and strings
Lab 1, Wed 8/31
Homework 2 (due: Tuesday, Sept 6)
Lecture 3 objectives
Lecture 4 objectives
Lecture 5 objectives
Lecture 6 objectives
|Sept 6 - 9|| HTDP Chapter 7
HTDP Chapter 9
Mixed data (Unions) and the Design Recipe
Templates for lists
Lab 2,Wed 9/7
Homework 3 (due: Tuesday, Sept 13)
Lecture 7 objectives
Lecture 8 objectives
Lecture 9 objectives
Data Definitions and Templates for Structs[pdf]
Design Recipe Worksheet[pdf]
Exam preparation Guidelines
Sample Exam 1 [pdf]
Data Definition and Template for Lists[pdf]
When to Think While Programming
|Sept 12 - 16||
HTDP Chapter 10.1
HTDP Chapter 10.2
Exam 1, Monday, Sept 12
Lists of Structs
Homework 4 (due: Tuesday, Sept 20)
Lecture 10 - Exam 1
Lecture 11 objectives
Lecture 12 objectives
Lecture 13 objectives
|Sept 19 - 23|| HTDP Chapter 14.1
HTDP Chapter 15.1
HTDP Chapter 15.2
Homework 5 (due: Tuesday, Sept 27)
Lecture 15 objectives
Lecture 16 objectives
Lecture 17 objectives
|Sept 26 - 30||
HTDP Chapter 19
HTDP Chapter 20
More on hierarchies
Exam 2, Tuesday, Sept 27
Intoduction to higher-order functions
Homework 6 (due: Tuesday, Oct 4)
Lecture 19 - Exam 2
Lecture 20 objectives
Lecture 21 objectives
|Oct 3 - 7||
HTDP Chapter 31
HTDP Chapter 34
HTDP Chapter 35
HTDP Chapter 36
HTDP Chapter 37.1
Introduction to set!
Program design with set!
Changing struct contents
Tuesday, Oct 11)
Lab 6, Wed 10/5
Lecture 22 objectives
Lecture 23 objectives
Lecture 24 objectives
Lecture 25 objectives
Notes from Monday's lecture on accumulator-style programming
Notes from Tuesday's lecture on set!(DrRacket file)
Code for Vending machine (DrRacket file)
Sample Exam 3 [pdf]
Notes from Friday's lecture (set-structure!)
|Oct 10 - 13||
HTDP Chapter 40.3
HTDP Chapter 40.5
More on set-structure!
Wrap-up, course evaluations
Exam 3, Thursday, Oct 13
|Lab 7, Wed 10/12||
Lecture 26 objectives
Lecture 27 objectives
Lecture 28 - Exam 3
Fun with set-structure!
Code from Monday's lecture (DrRacket file)
Code from Lecture 27