University of Washington
Computer Science & Engineering 142 (Computer Programming I), Summer 2005
Course Syllabus


Instructor Contact Information


Marty Stepp



Paul G. Allen Center, room 214


(206) 616-6027

cell phone

(206) 949-0504
(before midnight, for important course matters only please)

office hours

M 2-3PM; WF 1:15 - 2:15PM


Lecture and Section Times

Lecture             MWF 12:00—1:00, BAG 131

Sections           various times and locations on Thursdays


We will be using a textbook-in-progress for this course.  Chapters will be posted on the class web page and will be available for purchase from Professional Copy and Print, 4200 University Way (  An announcement will be made in lecture when the chapters are available.

Course Overview

This course provides an introduction to computer science using the Java programming language.  CSE142 is primarily a programming course but the focus is on the problem solving techniques common in computer science.  We will endeavor to teach some practical aspects of the Java language, but students should not expect to be competent Java programmers after just one quarter of exposure.  No prior programming experience is assumed, although students should know the basics of using a computer (e.g., using a word processing program) and should be competent with math through algebra 1.

Discussion Sections

You will be expected to participate in a weekly discussion section.  The TA who runs your discussion section will grade your homework assignments.  In section we will answer questions, go over common errors in homework solutions and discuss sample problems in more detail than we can in lecture.

Because the section experience is an important aspect of the course, every student will be assigned a section participation score that is weighted the same as a weekly assignment.  You will receive points for each section you participate in up to a given maximum.  Notice that once you reach the maximum, you get no extra credit for participating in more sections.

Course Web Page

Information about the course will be kept at  Links to course handouts will be kept on this page along with useful links to other class resources.

Course Administrator

Pim Lustig (, 616-3225) is the course administrator and will handle many details including registration and switching sections.


You will be expected to complete a variety of programming assignments for this course and to take two open-note, open-book exams.  The resulting scores will be combined according to the following weightings:

50%     weekly homework assignments

20%     midterm (in class on Friday, 7/22/2005)

30%     final exam (on Friday, 8/19/2005, time to be announced)

Using the weightings above, each student’s scores will be turned into an overall score ranging from 0 to 100 percent, using the scale described here:

The major grade breakdown is as follows:

95%     4.0                   90%     3.5

85%     3.0                   80%     2.5

75%     2.0                   70%     1.5

60%     0.7                   less       0.0

If you need to miss an exam, you must contact the instructor prior to the exam to get permission.  Even if you are sick at home, you should be able to call your instructor’s office phone number to leave a message that you need to be contacted.

The weekly assignments will generally be graded on a 20-point scale, although a few of the early assignments may be worth fewer points.

Late Policy

Each assignment will list its due date.  Most will be due on Tuesdays.  Each student in the class will have a total of 5 “free” late days (a late day is 24 hours of lateness).  There are no partial days, so assignments are either on time, 1 day late, 2 days late, etc.  Because of this generous late policy, students will not be granted extensions for assignments unless they have some highly extenuating circumstances.  Once a student has used up all of his or her late days, each successive late day will result in a loss of 10% credit.  No assignment will be accepted more than 5 days after its due-date.  All assignments must be submitted by the last day of class, whether or not a student has free late days left.

Computer Access/Software

The department operates an Introductory Programming Lab (IPL) that is located on the third floor of Mary Gates Hall.  Consultants will be available at the lab to help students with problems.  The recommended software for the course is the TextPad editor for Windows ( and Sun’s JDK 1.4.2 compiler for Java (  More information can be found on the class web page.  You are responsible for keeping backup copies of your work, either on your Dante account, floppy disks, or other media. Your files are not retained on the lab machines.  When you use a public machine, be sure to log out when finished.

Policy on Collaboration

From the class webpage you will find a link to the department policy on collaboration that will be applied in this course.  You should familiarize yourself with this policy.

You are to complete programming assignments individually.  You may discuss the assignment in general terms with other students including a discussion of how to approach the problem, but the code you write must be your own.  In other words, you may communicate in English with other students, but you are not to share your code with another student.  Under no circumstances are you to write code with another student on a programming assignment or to show another student your solution to a programming assignment.  This includes inappropriately collaborating with students who have taken CSE 142 in previous quarters.