Stuart Reges
(206) 685-9138
Paul G. Allen Center, room 552
office hours
Mondays 2:30—4:30 pm

Lecture and Section Times

Lecture           A: MWF 9:30—10:20, Bagley 131

                     B: MWF 11:30-12:20, Guggenheim 220

Sections           various times and locations on Thursdays


Building Java Programs, Reges & Stepp, required.

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.  No prior programming experience is assumed, although students should know the basics of using a computer (e.g., using a web browser and word processing program) and should be competent with math through Algebra I.  Students with significant prior programming experience should consider skipping cse142 and taking cse143 (we allow students to do so without any special permission).

Discussion Sections

You will be expected to participate in a weekly 50-minute 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.

Each week we will assign a written homework assignment to be turned in and discussed in section.  These are meant as “warm up” problems to get you thinking about the topics we cover that week.  It will be graded for effort, not for whether or not you have the right answers.  You will receive 3 points for each written assignment you bring to section, up to a maximum of 20 points.  The points are for the combination of completing the assignment and attending section.  You won’t get any points for just attending section or just doing the written assignment.

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.

Computer Access/Software

The department operates an Introductory Programming Lab (IPL) that is located on the third floor of Mary Gates Hall.  TAs will be available at the lab to help students with problems.  You can use any Java environment you want although the recommended software for this course is the Java Development Kit (JDK) version 6 and the jGRASP editor.  More information can be found on the class web page under the “working at home” link.


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:

40%     weekly homework assignments
20%     midterm (in class on Friday, 2/12/10)
40%     final exam (on Wednesday, 3/17/10, times to be announced)

Using the weightings above, each student’s scores will be turned into an overall score ranging from 0 to 100 percent.  These will be turned into grades as follows:

90%     at least 3.5
80%     at least 2.5
70%     at least 1.5
60%     at least 0.7

If you need to miss an exam, you must contact Stuart prior to the exam to get permission.  Even if you are sick, you should be able to call your instructor’s office phone and 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 earlier assignments may be worth fewer points.

Late Policy

Each assignment will list its due date.  Most will be due on Tuesdays at 9 pm.  Each student in the class will have a total of five “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 1 point.  No assignment will be accepted more than 4 days after its due-date.  No assignment can be submitted after 11 pm of the last day of class (Friday, March 12th), whether or not a student has free late days left.

Policy on Collaboration

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.  The intent is to allow you to get some help when you are stuck, but this help should be limited and should never involve details of how to code a solution.  You must abide by the following:

  • You may not work as a partner with another student on an assignment.
  • You may not show another student your solution to an assignment.
  • You may not have another person (current student, former student, tutor, friend, anyone) “walk you through” how to solve an assignment.

Under our policy, a student who gives inappropriate help is equally guilty with one who receives it.  Instead of providing such help, refer other students to class resources (lecture examples, the textbook, the IPL, or emailing a TA or instructor).  You must not share your solution and ideas with others.  You must also ensure that your work is not copied by others by not leaving it in public places, emailing it others, posting it on the web, etc.

If you are taking the course a second time, you are allowed to submit a previous solution that you authored unless that program was involved in a case of academic misconduct.  For any assignment where academic misconduct was found (whether the case was settled formally or informally), you have to write a new version of the program.

We enforce this policy by running similarity-detection software over all submitted student programs, including programs from past quarters.