WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Computer Science Department

CS 1101 C Term 2010
Introduction to Program Design

Objectives | Why Scheme? | 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.

Course Objectives

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:

Mapping of Course Outcomes to CS Department Outcomes

Why Scheme? 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. Scheme (a close cousin of the programming language 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 Scheme 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 Scheme is a language for academics only. Some of the following readings provide details on Scheme (and Lisp) programming in academia and in the real world:


Instructor: Glynis Hamel (GH)

Teaching Assistants: Guillaume Marceau (GM), Medhabi Ray (MR), Shweta Srivastava (ShS)

Senior Assistants: Samuel Song (SaS), Jennifer Spinney (JS), Manasi Vartak (MV)

Office Hour Schedule

(Note: TA/SA office hours will be held in FL A22, unless otherwise noted. Glynis Hamel's office hours are held in FL 132.)

Day/Time 9:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 1:00 2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00 6:00 7:00
Monday   (class) GH       MR JS JS SaS SaS
Tuesday   (class) MV MV MR MR GH     SaS  
Thursday GH (class) MV MV GM GM  GM        
Friday   (class) ShS ShS GH ShS          

Class Discussion Board and Email

A Discussion Board for CS 1101 has been set up on myWPI. You will be expected to know all information posted on the myWPI site - check the announcements and Discussion Board on a daily basis.

If you have a question regarding your grades in the course, send email to cs1101-ta *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.

Lecture and Lab Times

Lectures meet MTRF from 10:00-10:50am in SL 115.

Labs meet on Wednesdays according to the following schedule:

Section Time Location Lab Assistants
C01 1 - 1:50pm SL 123 MV, JS
C02 12 - 12:50pm SL 123 MV, JS
C03 11 - 11:50am SL 123 JS, SaS
C04 2 - 2:50pm SL 123 JS, SaS
C05 9-9:50am SL 123 JS, SaS
C06 10-10:50pm SL 123 MV, SaS

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 free online version or purchase a hard copy.

Software: We will use DrScheme, version 423 for all coding projects in the course. You must use DrScheme 423. No other Scheme implementation or version provides the libraries that we will use in this course.

DrScheme is installed on CCC Unix and all CCC lab machines (On CCC Unix, DrScheme is at /usr/local/bin/drscheme). You can also download it to your own computer; it's free and supports the usual OS's (Unix, PC, Mac).


Exams (60%)

Three exams will be given. Exams are tentatively scheduled for February 1, February 16, and March 5. You must have a passing average on the exams in order to pass the course. (A passing average on the exams is usually around 60%. We may lower this threshold if the exam averages are low; the threshold will not be raised).

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 (A-term '10).

Homework (30%)

Eleven homework assignments will be given. Starting with Homework 2, homework assignments will be done in pairs. Most homework assignments will be due on Tuesday and Friday evenings at 5pm. No extra credit or makeup assignments will be given. Read Homework Expectations for details on how to prepare your homeworks.

Labs (5%)

Labs will be given during conference sections on Wednesdays. To get credit for a lab you must attend at your scheduled time, sign the attendance sheet, actively work on the assignment during the lab period, and use turnin to turn in your work at the end of the lab period. Each lab will be graded as either credit (1) or no credit (0). At the end of the term, your 5 highest lab grades will be used to account for 5% of your final grade. You will not get credit for a lab unless you attend the section for which you are registered. There are no makeups for labs.

In-class assignments (5%)

Several times during the term we will take a few minutes of class time for in-class group work. This will consist of one or two questions related to recently-covered lecture material or homework problems. Each assignment will be graded as either credit (1) or no credit (0). At the end of the term, five of these assignments will be chosen at random by the instructor, and these will count as 5% of your final grade. There are no makeups for group assignments.

Academic Honesty Policy

Please read WPI's Academic Honesty Policy.

Labs and In-class assignments

Collaboration is encouraged for labs and in-class assignments.


Collaboration is prohibited on exams.


Homework assignment 1 is to be done individually.

Collaboration is encouraged within a homework pair on homework assignments 2 - 11. You may discuss problems across 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.

Late Policy

Late homework will be accepted within 24 hours of the due date. Each student will be allowed one late submission without penalty. Beyond that, late homework will incur a 25 per cent penalty. Any homework turned in after the 24-hour grace period will receive a grade of zero. No extra credit or makeup homework assignments will be given.

Do not send me email 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 will not be considered an acceptable excuse for an extension.

Homework Submission Policy

Homework must be submitted using the web-based turnin program. Homework submitted by any other means (paper, email, etc.) will receive a grade of zero.

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accomodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Disability Services Office (DSO) as soon as possible to ensure that such accomodations are implemented in a timely fashion. The DSO is located in Daniels Hall.

Schedule & Assignments

Note: the instructor reserves the right to change the order of topics or the dates of the exams, if necessary.

Week Reading Topics Assignments Extra Notes

Jan 14 - 15 HTDP Chapter 1
HTDP Chapter 2

Intro to Programming and Scheme
Expressions, Images, and Functions
Homework 0
Homework 1 (due: Wednesday, Jan 20)

Lecture 1 objectives
Lecture 2 objectives
Using Images
Creating Operators
Jan 18 - 22 HTDP Chapter 3
HTDP Chapter 4
HTDP Chapter 5
HTDP Chapter 6

January 18 - No School (MLK Day)
Function Composition
Symbols and strings
Lab 1, Wed Jan 20
Homework 2 (due: Tuesday, Jan 26)

Lecture 3 objectives
Lecture 4 objectives
Lecture 5 objectives
Symbols and Strings
Study Guide on Functions
Creating helpers (pen code)
Jan 25 - 29 HTDP Chapter 7
HTDP Chapter 9

Nested structs
Mixed data and the Design Recipe
Lab 2,Wed Jan 27
Homework 3 (due: Friday, Jan 29)
Homework 4 (due: Tuesday, Feb 2)

Lecture 6 objectives
Lecture 7 objectives
Lecture 8 objectives
Lecture 9 objectives
tiger data definition and function (notes from Monday's class)
Study Guide on Structures
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
contains-milk? code from Friday's class
Feb 1 - 5 HTDP Chapter 10.1
HTDP Chapter 10.2

Exam 1, Monday, Feb 1
Producing lists
Lists of Structs
Lab 3, Wed Feb 3
Homework 5 (due: Friday, Feb 5)
Homework 6 (due: Tuesday, Feb 9)
Lecture 10 - Exam 1
Lecture 11 objectives
Lecture 12 objectives
Lecture 13 objectives
Data Definition and Template for List of Struct[pdf]
Solutions and additional problems from Lecture 12
Answers to Lecture 13 class problems (.scm file)
Feb 8 - 12 HTDP Chapter 14.1
HTDP Chapter 15.1
HTDP Chapter 15.2

Lab 4, Wed Feb 10

Homework 7 (due: Friday, Feb 12)
Homework 8 (due: Tuesday, Feb 16)

Lecture 14 objectives
Lecture 15 objectives
Lecture 16 objectives
Lecture 17 objectives
Insertion Sort
Additional problems from Lecture 15
Exam preparation Guidelines
Sample Exam 2 [pdf]
Tree Data Definitions - Ancestor (fixed-width) trees (.pdf)
Solutions to Friday's lecture problems
Feb 15 - 19 HTDP Chapter 34
HTDP Chapter 35
HTDP Chapter 36
HTDP Chapter 37.1

More on hierarchies
Exam 2, Tuesday, Feb 16
Feb 18 - No School (Academic Advising Day)
Introduction to set!
Lab 5, Wed Feb 17
Homework 9 (due: Friday, Feb 19)
Homework 10 (due: Friday, Feb 26)
Lecture 18 objectives
Lecture 19 - Exam 2
Lecture 20 objectives
Problems from Monday's lecture
Class notes - Friday's lecture
Feb 22 - 26 HTDP Chapter 40.3
HTDP Chapter 40.5
HTDP Chapter 41
HTDP Chapter 31

Program design with set!
Changing struct contents
More on set with structures
Counting cycles

Lab 6, Wed Feb 24
Homework 11 (due: Tuesday, Mar 2)

Lecture 21 objectives
Lecture 22 objectives
Lecture 23 objectives
Lecture 24 objectives
Code for Vending machine
Notes from lecture 22
Mar 1 - 5
HTDP Chapter 21.1, 21.2

Accumulating data
Intro to higher-order functions
Filter and map
Wrap-up, course evaluations
Exam 3, Friday, Mar 5

Lecture 25 objectives
Lecture 26 objectives
Lecture 27 objectives
Lecture 28 - Exam 3
Sample Exam 3 [pdf]
Filter exercises from Lecture 26 (save and open as a scheme file)
Code from Lecture 27


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