Course Information

Teaching Staff

Instructor: Elba Garza

Instructor Email:

Registration Questions: CSE Advisers (

Course Staff and Support Hours: Course Staff and Office Hours

Who to contact?

To ensure the security of your personal information, all communication related to this course should be conducted through either the EdStem platform or via your UW-issued email address. Personal email addresses should not be used for course-related correspondence.

Here are some common types of questions and the best place to ask them to get the fastest and most accurate response.

  • Registration questions? Email the CSE advisers as the course staff do not have access to add codes.
  • Questions about course concepts? Visit office hours in the Introductory Programming Lab (IPL), instructor office hours, or post on the Ed Discussion board (more info below)
  • Questions about assignments? Visit office hours in the Introductory Programming Lab (IPL), instructor office hours, or post on the Ed Discussion board (more info below)
  • Questions about extenuating circumstances? Post privately on the Ed Discussion board (more info below) or email Elba at

Class Session Meeting

See Class Sessions for information on how each day of class will be run.

Other Info

Course Goals

Learning Objectives

CSE 122 is designed around a set of 17 learning objectives, organized into seven major themes. At the end of the course, successful students will be able to do the following:

Computational Thinking

  • Decompose a problem into smaller subproblems that can be composed to give a solution to the full problem
  • Create an algorithm to solve a given problem and express that algorithm in a structured way (e.g. pseudocode)

Code Comprehension

  • Trace the behavior and state of a Java program that includes complex and/or compound data through its execution
  • Predict the behavior and results of executing a Java program that includes complex and/or compound data

Code Writing

  • Write functionally correct Java programs that meet a provided specification using objects and compound data types
  • Select and apply appropriate data structures to manage and manipulate data for a given problem:
    • Lists
    • Stacks
    • Queues
    • Maps
  • Write functionally correct Java classes to represent new, compound data types
  • Define relationships between Java classes using interfaces and references
  • Write programs and classes that are readable and maintainable, and that conform to provided guidelines for style and implementation


  • Clearly and effectively describe the behavior of a Java program that uses other classes
  • Clearly and effectively describe the behavior of a Java class and its public methods for various inputs and state
  • Produce clear and effective documentation to improve comprehension and maintainability of programs, methods, and classes


  • Determine the correctness of a program by evaluating its behavior as compared to a provided specification
  • Identify and enumerate a set of inputs or tests that are sufficient to determine the correctness of a program or class


  • Identify errors in a program’s state or behavior
  • Define and implement fixes for identified errors


  • Describe ethical and sociotechnical issues related to software and technology and explain how their choices as programmers can impact those issues.

Course Climate


All students are welcome in CSE 122 and are entitled to be treated respectfully by both classmates and the course staff. We strive to create a challenging but inclusive environment that is conducive to learning for all students. If at any time you feel that you are not experiencing an inclusive environment, or you are made to feel uncomfortable, disrespected, or excluded, please report the incident so that we may address the issue and maintain a supportive and inclusive learning environment. You may contact the course staff or the CSE academic advisors to express your concerns. Should you feel uncomfortable bringing up an issue with a staff member directly, you may also consider sending anonymous feedback or contacting the UW Office of the Ombud.

Extenuating Circumstances: “Don’t Suffer in Silence”

We recognize that our students come from varied backgrounds and can have widely-varying circumstances. We also acknowledge that the circumstances of this particular quarter may bring unique challenges. If you have any unforeseen circumstances that arise during the course, please do not hesitate to contact the course staff or the instructor to discuss your situation. The sooner we are made aware, the more easily we can provide accommodations.

Typically, extenuating circumstances include work-school balance, familial responsibilities, health concerns, or anything else beyond your control that may negatively impact your performance in the class. Additionally, while some amount of “productive struggle” is healthy for learning, you should ask the course staff for help if you have been stuck on an issue for a very long time.

Life happens! While our focus is providing an excellent educational environment, our course does not exist in a vacuum. Our ultimate goal as a course staff is to provide you with the ability to be successful, and we encourage you to work with us to make that happen.


Your experience in this class should not be negatively-affected by any disabilities that you may have. The Disability Resources for Students (DRS) office can help you establish accommodations with the course staff.

DRS Instructions for Students

If you have already established accommodations with DRS, please communicate your approved accommodations to the lecturer at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to: mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS. DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.

Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your lecturer(s) and DRS. It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.

Religious Accommodations

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW‘s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form.

Software and Textbooks

Most of this course will be run on EdStem - this includes readings, notes, exercises, and assignments. You can develop your programs in EdStem itself (online), or set up an environment to work directly on your device.

For more details, visit the software setup page.

There is no required textbook for CSE 122. All of our readings are available for free on Ed. If you would like a textbook as an additonal resource, we recommend Building Java Programs by Reges and Stepp (5th Edition).

Note on the textbook

Note that while this is an excellent textbook and includes all topics covered in CSE 122, some topics may appear in a different order than we cover in class. We will put references to relevant chapters of the book on the course website for students who are interested in seeing another perpsective on these concepts. The 3rd and 4th editions of the textbook are also reasonable if you already own them or can acquire them more easily. We are not aware of a digital version of the textbook.

Class Sessions and Quiz Sections

Class Sessions

To best support your learning in CSE 122 this quarter, we will be using a hybrid classroom model. This will mean our class time will be a mix of time for lecture and time for students to collaboratively work on activities. Time in class spent on students actively participating in their learning has been shown numerous times to improve learning outcomes for students. (Email the instructor if you’re interested in reading about these studies.)

To ensure there is time in class for these opportunities for active practice, we will also ask you to prepare to come to class each day by completing a pre-class reading each day of class. The readings will have a mix of reading slides (often complemented by a video) and questions to let you practice the material you read. The readings/exercises should take about 30 minutes and should be completed before class for that day. The class sessions will begin where the pre-class reading left off after a brief review of the reading.

Why is active participation important?

In a “traditional classroom” model you go to a classroom and a teacher will lecture at you until the end of the session, and then you go home and do the hard work of actually trying to apply that material on practice problems or an assignment. Here are two things that are likely true about “traditional classroom” model:

  1. It is probably familiar to you.
  2. It is probably familiar to most of your instructors (it’s how they learned, so it must work, right?).

Notice this list does not contain “effective for student learning”. Unfortunately for the “traditional classroom” model, most evidence has shown that it’s quite ineffective of achieving that goal!

Think of learning programming (or any skill for that matter) like learning how to ride a bike. How many people know how to ride a bike? Quite a few. How many of them do you think learned how to ride a bike by going to a lecture hall two times a week and then a quiz section twice a week listening to someone explain how to ride a bike? Probably no one! Because that’s obviously not learning how riding a bike works! To learn how to ride a bike, you have to actually go out there and ride the bike!

In more general terms, this means learning some concept or some skill requires active participation in the learning process from the students, most commonly accomplished by deliberate practice and learning by doing. Sitting passively in a lecture listening to someone talk fails at accomplishing this fundamental aspect of learning.

The hybrid classroom model is built around fostering an environment for effective practice. Instead of coming to lecture to hear Elba talk about some idea and then trying to go practice the idea at home (a much harder task), we try to flip that model around. You will read and watch videos about the concept first (at your own pace) and then come to our class session to work with your classmates, the TAs, and Elba on practicing that skill. This has the added benefit of collaborative learning where you can work with your peers to construct a working knowledge of the things you saw from the lesson earlier.

It’s okay if the readings don’t make perfect sense the first time you read them! Learning is a process that takes time and work, and revisiting a topic is very important. Things you find confusing in the reading are great things to start off asking questions about on the course message board, in class, or in quiz sections.

If you can’t make it to class

Class sessions will be hosted in person. A “normal” day of class will be composed of some recap of the lesson you read before class and alternating time for group work and discussing applications of those concepts as a whole class. The class sessions will be recorded so students who cannot attend can view them later. We do not take attendance, but expect students to be attending to participate in in-class activties, or watching the recordings in the off-chance they can’t attend class.


If you are sick, stay home! Reducing the spread of COVID is paramount to ending the pandemic. If you feel sick or test positive for COVID, stay home. See all the resources outlined in Class Sessions and Quiz Sections for how you can get caught-up on missed live sessions. Any required in-person requirements will have a make-up for students who are sick. You will not be penalized for staying home and keeping our community safe.

Please see more on our COVID Safety page.

Quiz Sections

Quiz sections are smaller, TA-run sessions where students work in groups on practice problems and review concepts from the previous day’s class session.

Quiz sections meet on Tuesdays/Thursdays according to the time you registered for. Whenever possible, please attend your assigned quiz section. However, if you need to attend a different quiz section please reach out to the TA whose section you are visiting.

If you can’t make it to quiz section

Quiz sections will not be recorded. Instead, the course staff will post all materials used in section on the course website and will also occasionally post helpful videos covering some of the topics covered in section that day. So, anything missed by not being able to attend in person, you will be able to find asynchronously on the course website. If you are sick, you should not attend quiz section.

Required Course Work, Resubmissions, and Late Work

Types of Assignments

There will be five types of course work assigned in CSE 122:

Pre-class Work (daily, ~20 total)


Short assignments consisting of readings, tutorials, and practice problems for new concepts that will be discussed in the corresponding lesson. Generally, these assignments will be your first introduction to a concept, and we will expect that you have completed at least the reading prior to class. Note that, while we not explicitly review the topics covered in pre-class work during class, we do not expect you to fully master the material just from these assignments– that will take additional instruction and practice in class. Pre-class work is not graded, though we will conduct class assuming you have completed the required work for that day.

Creative Projects (~biweekly, 4 total)


Medium to large assignments in which you will practice your programming skills. Creative projects will usually include a basic set of instructions to get you started followed by open-ended guidelines for extending, expanding, or modifying your work in a manner of your choosing. These assignments are intended to allow you to explore and discover both the programming skills being practiced and your own interests within the world of computer science.

Programming Assignments (~biweekly, 4 total)


Longer programming assignments that will assess your proficiency with the skills and concepts covered in class. While programming assignments will typically emphasize content introduced shortly before their release, they will often integrate content from earlier in the course as well. Programming assignments will be more structured and have more specific requirements than creative projects, but will still often include smaller open-ended components.

Quizzes (~triweekly, 3 total)


Collections of short, independent problems completed in section on the assigned day. Quiz problems will take a variety of forms, and will assess course learning objectives. Each quiz will generally focus on content introduced since the last quiz, but may include any content previously covered. Quizzes will be taken during your quiz section on a device and will be timed for 45 minutes. Each quiz’s content will be randomly generated from an equivalent set of problems so there is no benefit to taking a quiz later in the day than someone else. Quizzes will be considered open note and open internet, but you should complete all quiz problems individually without communicating with other students. You will need to bring a laptop or other computing device to section on quiz days– please contact the course staff immediately if that will not be possible to make alternate arrangements.

Final Exam (during last week of quarter, 1 total)


Similar to quizzes, but with more problems and assessing all content from the course. Details on exam logistics will be posted closer to the end of the quarter.

The final exam will be held on Tuesday, December 12th 12:30pm - 2:20p.

Revision and Resubmission - Programming Assignments and Creative Projects

Learning from mistakes is an important part of mastering any skill, especially for novices. To enable this, you are allowed to revise and resubmit your work on programming assignments and creative projects to demonstrate improved mastery after your initial submission. Resubmissions are subject to the following rules:

See Resubmissions for details and rules.

Late Work

  • For programming assignments and creative projects, late work is generally not accepted. However, if you are unable to turn in an assignment by its initial submission, you will be able to use one of the weekly resubmissions in future weeks to turn in the assignment.

    Remember, there are 8 assignments and 8 resubmission opportunities, so using a resubmission to turn in an assignment you missed earlier means you will be able to make fewer resubmissions. You should turn in as much of your work as possible before the initial submission date, so you can get feedback on that and iterate on it in a future resubmission, rather than using that resubmission to get your first piece of feedback on that assignment.

  • Quizzes must be completed during the scheduled times (usually in your regular quiz section). If you are unable to attend section on a quiz day due to extenuating circumstances (see below) please reach out to Elba immediately.

Please see the policy on Extenuating Circumstances for more information.

Getting Help from Staff & Peers

Having questions or getting stuck on something is entirely expected in the learning process. If you find something challenging with your studies, that is a sign you are learning! Learning is not something that you need to do alone though! In fact, connecting with your peers or asking a member of the course staff for help can add extreme depth to your knowledge.

  • Synchronous Help (Office Hours): One place to go to get help is our Office Hours hosted throughout the week. TAs staff office hours for many hours a day to provide you the help you need when you need it! This is a great place to go if you want to review a particular course concept, work on a practice problem with the help of a TA or your peers, or get help on a Creative Project or Programming Assignment if you are running into difficulties.


    A common misconception is that you can only go to office hours with specific homework questions. That is not true! If you have any questions about course concepts (e.g., from class that day), you are super encouraged to go work on that concept with a member of the course staff at office hours! Getting help with a concept earlier, when you first are feeling unsure, is much better than saving it until you need it on the homework.

  • Asynchronous Help (Ed Discussion): With a class of our size, directly emailing a member of the course staff is not always recommended. There are many of you and only few of us, so if you email one person directly we can’t make a guarantee how quickly we can respond! To alleviate this one-on-one communication of email, we have a course discussion board that will be a much more lively place for discussion and a way to make sure you can are helped more quickly. The message board is set up so that all of the course staff can help you, which will make it more likely for you to receive a quicker response!

Ed Tips

  • If you are asking a general question about the course logistics or content, you can make a public post. This way other students can benefit from seeing your question, and you can even answer each other’s questions to share your perspectives!
    • If you want, you can choose to post anonymously so that other students in the course can’t see your name. Note that anonymous posting does not hide your identity from the course staff.
  • You’re encouraged to answer each other’s questions as well! Explaining a topic to someone else (even on a discussion board) is a great way to help you better understand the material. The course staff will still look over student answers and can nicely point out some misconception if there is one so that everyone benefits.
  • If you have a question that’s pretty specific to your homework solution, or, is about some personal details that you would not want to share with the class (e.g., DRS accommodations), you can make a private post on Ed that is only visible to the course staff. This way, any member of the staff can respond to get you the help you need!
  • For sensitive matters that you only want to discuss with Elba, you can instead email Elba if that makes you feel more comfortable. Note that the response time for the instructors’ email is longer than posting on the Ed board.


Grading Scale

Work in CSE 122 will be graded using the following scale:

Grade Description
Evidence of meeting or exceeding all learning objectives is present. Work has only trivial or inconsequential flaws, if any. Little to no room left to improve understanding.
Evidence of meeting most or all learning objectives is present. Work includes minor errors or inconsistencies, but no significant shortcomings. Understanding could potentially be improved, but demonstrated proficiency is acceptable.
Not yet
Evidence of meeting some learning objectives is present, but there are significant gaps and/or evidence of not yet meeting other learning objectives. Demonstrated understanding needs further development to meet expectations.

It is important to note that, under this system, it is the work that is assessed as a proxy for the student. This is an imperfect system, but is necessary to manage a course of the size and scale of CSE 122. It is in your best interest to ensure that your work accurately reflects your proficiency by being careful and diligent in following instructions, meeting deadlines, and understanding requirements.

On occasion, a grade of U (Unassessable) may be given for work that does not enable a proper assessment of the assignment’s learning goals. This may include, but is not limited to, work that is missing, does not demonstrate meaningful effort, does not provide enough evidence to determine proficiency, uses disallowed features or concepts, or violates other major course rules.

Assignment Grading Schemes

  • Pre-class Work: Pre-class work is not graded.
  • Creative Projects: Creative projects will be assigned a single ESN grade according to the Creative Project Rubric.
  • Programming Assignments: Programming assignments will be assigned four ESN grades according to the Programming Assignment Rubric
  • Quizzes/Final Exam: Each problem on a quiz or the final exam will be assigned a single ESN grade. Across the 3 quizzes and final exam, there will be 14 (formerly 15) total graded questions (8 (formerly 9) from quizzes, 6 from exam).

Though there will be 14 (formerly 15) total quiz and exam problems, the lowest two quiz/exam problem grades will be dropped and not considered in course grade calculation. Course grades will be computed as though there were only 12 (formerly 13) total quiz/exam problems.

Course Grades

Course grades will be computed as follows:

  1. Base grade: Identify the highest minimum grade for which the student meets all requirements (see below).
  2. Additional S+’s and E’s: Count the number of additional S+’s and E’s beyond the requirements for the base grade identified in the previous step.
  3. Adjustment: Multiply each of the above counts by a multiplier and add the result to the base grade. Additional S+’s and E’s may each use a different multiplier. These multipliers will be determined by the course staff at the end of the quarter and will not be published.

Minimum requirements for each grade are below. Note that all requirements for a particular grade must be met to guarantee that minimum, though failing to do so does not mean that grade cannot be earned.


S+ indicates S or E. For example, for a minimum of 2.5 in the table below, you need both at least 23 combined Ss and Es and at least 16 Es. (Or, put another way, at least 16 Es plus at least 7 more Ss or Es.)

Minimum Grade Required S+ Required E
Total Available 32 32
3.5 29 26
3.0 26 21
2.5 23 16
2.0 20 0
1.5 13 0
0.7 7 0

To be guaranteed a particular minimum grade, all requirements for that grade must be met. Failing to meet any of the requirements for a particular minimum grade does not preclude the possibility of receiving that grade, but does mean that grade cannot be guaranteed. Estimates of students’ final grades beyond the requirements listed above will not be provided before final grades are released.

Grade Checker

You can also use this tool to see how your scores will map to a minimum promised course grade.

Academic Honesty and Collaboration


Much of the following language was borrowed or adapted from Kevin Lin.

Education is about shaping your identity as much as it is about learning concepts and skills. In school, the consequences of making mistakes are relatively small. But the habits you form now—repeated over days, weeks, months, or years—will determine who you become in the future. While taking shortcuts now may seem relatively harmless and easily justified, doing so runs the risk of developing bad habits that will make it difficult for you to act more earnestly or honestly in the future when the stakes are higher and the consequences are more severe.

Academic honesty reflects the trust (or the lack thereof) between students and teachers. We have worked hard to design this course in ways that engender trust and that encourage honest and earnest behavior. We hope that, when you are struggling, you will take advantage of the resources and policies that we have provided (e.g. consulting course resources, posting on the message board, attending support hours, utilizing resubmissions and reattempts) rather than resorting to dishonest conduct.

For more information, consult the Allen School policy on academic misconduct.


The academic honesty policy for CSE 122 is summarized as follows:

All work you submit for grading in this course must be predominantly and substantially your own.

  • Predominantly means that the vast majority of the work you submit on any given assignment must be your own. Submitting work that includes many components that are not your own work is a violation of this clause, no matter how small or unimportant the pieces that are not your work may be.

  • Substantially means that the most important parts of the work you submit on any given assignment must be your own. Submitting work that includes major components that are not your own work is a violation of this clause, no matter how little work that is not your own you include.

Both of these terms are naturally open to interpretation– when in doubt, we encourage you to ask the course staff for guidance. Misalignment between your and our definitions of these terms will not be considered grounds for excusing violations.

Note that this policy only applies to graded work– you are free to collaborate in any way and utilize any resources on work that is not graded. However, keep in mind that ungraded work is often your best chance to practice the skills that you will need for graded work, so it is generally in your best interest to avoid taking shortcuts even on work that is not graded.

Generative AI

Note that we have a separate page on the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in this class.


A good rule of thumb for conforming to this policy is that, if you seek out outside resources or help, you search for examples or resources that are not directly tied to the course or the assignment. For example, searching for “how to split a string into words” or “how to add an element to an ArrayList” is likely acceptable. Searching for “CSE 122 Assignment 1 solution” or is likely not.

In addition, the more code you directly copy, the more likely you are to violate the policy. As much as possible, utilize outside resources to help you understand the concepts necessary to write your own code rather than directly including outside code in your work.

Examples of Actions

The following are examples of activities that are encouraged, potentially permitted with caution, and prohibited. These lists are not exhaustive–- there are many actions not included that may fall under any of the three headings. When in doubt, we encourage you to contact the course staff proactively for clarification.


  • Discussing course content, topics, and skills (but not specific graded problems or assignments).
  • Searching online for examples of general course topics, concepts, and skills (but not specific graded problems or assignments).
  • Collaborating in any way on ungraded work (including pre-class work).
  • Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted code generators (e.g. GitHub Copilot, ChatGPT) to generate solutions to ungraded work or example problems.
  • Using generative AI to provide examples of how programming constructs are used, explain the meaning of an error message, or explain a specific topic.
  • Providing or receiving “high-level” guidance on approaches, algorithms, or concepts for an assignment with citation.
    • For example, how to compute a cumulative sum, how to traverse an array, or how to read user input with a Scanner.
  • Providing or receiving guidance on technical details, such as syntax, library methods, or error messages.
    • For example, how to declare a variable, the name and parameters of the method to generate a random integer, or the meaning of a specific error message.

Potentially Permitted
with Caution

  • Providing or using small, insubstantial snippets of code taken from another source (e.g. classmates, friends, the internet) with citation.
    • For example, a single line of code to complete a non-essential task like rounding numbers or modifying the case of a String; or a few lines of boilerplate code such as opening a file for reading or writing.
  • Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted code generators (e.g. GitHub Copilot, ChatGPT) to generate boilerplate or trivial helper code with citation.
    • We generally advise against using these tools for anything except exploration. The line between what is allowed and disallowed can be hard to find, and AI-generated code often has subtle flaws. See our course’s generative AI page for more details.


  • Providing or using large samples of code taken from another source specifically designed to complete any part of a graded assignment.
  • Providing or receiving detailed guidance on how to implement a solution for any part of a specific graded assignment.
  • Providing or receiving any guidance without citation.
  • Using any code taken from another source without citation.
  • Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted code generators (e.g. GitHub Copilot, ChatGPT) to generate full solutions for any part of a specific assignment, or to generate any code without citation.


Violations of this policy will be referred to the UW Community Standards and Student Conduct office. Students found responsible for violating this policy will, at minimum, receive no credit for the assignment on which the violation occurred (regardless of whether that assignment was later resubmitted or reattempted). Additional penalties may be imposed for repeated or egregious violations.

Instead of utilizing forbidden resources, we hope you will submit whatever work you have, even if it is not yet complete, so you can get feedback and revise your work later. If you are ever in doubt if a collaboration or resources is permitted or not, please contact a member of the course staff.


A good rule of thumb to ensuring your collaboration is sufficiently “high-level” is to not take written notes, photographs, or other records during your discussion and wait at least 30 minutes after completing the discussion before returning to your own work. You could use this time to relax, watch TV, listen to a podcast, or do work for another class. For most students, this will result in you only bringing the high-level concepts of the collaboration back to your work, and ensuring that you reconstruct the ideas on your own.

Withdrawal Clause

This policy is heavily inspired by CS50 at Harvard University.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we all take actions we regret. Looming deadlines, outside pressures, and feelings of desperation can conspire to cause us to exercise poor judgment in a variety of ways. In the moment, it can seem as though these actions are justifiable, or even necessary, but upon reflection we wish we had made a different choice.

In recognition of this, we offer the following opportunity:

Any previously submitted work may be withdrawn, no questions asked, within 72 hours of submission by written request to the instructors, as long as the work has not already been flagged as a possible academic misconduct violation. Work that is withdrawn under this policy will receive no credit (as though it were not submitted), but there will be no further penalty or action taken. You will not be asked to describe why you are requesting to withdraw your work. Requests to withdraw work will not be shared outside of the course staff or be part of any academic record, except in cases of repeated acts or abuses of the policy.

To invoke this policy, you must send a written request to the course instructors. Your work will not be considered withdrawn until you have received written confirmation from the instructors of your request.