Syllabus • ITEC 120 Principles of Computer Science I • Fall 2013
Instructor: Don Braffitt
Office: 015 Davis
Office hours: Mon/Wed 2-3pm, Tue/Thu/Fri 11-11:50am, and by appointment
Instructor home page: http://www.radford.edu/dbraffitt/
MyProgrammingLab (MPL - based on CodeLab): http://www.myprogramminglab.com/
Radford University, Department of Information Technology
ITEC 120. Principles of Computer Science I.
Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory (4).
A rigorous, systematic approach to object-oriented problem solving and programming.
ITEC 120 official
Prerequisite: None. Students with no
prior programming experience are advised to take
ITEC 109 prior to ITEC 120. Students with no pre-calculus mathematics background are
advised to take a course similar to
MATH 138 prior to ITEC 120.
Postrequisite: You must earn a grade of "C" or better in
this course before you can continue with most subsequent ITEC courses (the
typical next courses for ITEC majors are
ITEC 345, and
ITEC 120 is required of all ITEC majors within Computer Science and Technology (CSAT) and
Information Science and Systems (ISAS).
Minors: ITEC 120 qualifies for 4 credits of the required coursework for any one of
the three ITEC minors.
Transfer equivalents: ITEC 120 credit can be also be obtained
with a grade of 4 or 5 on the AP Computer Science A exam or through appropriate
transfer credit including the following Virginia Community College System courses:
CSC 201, IST 149, IST 249, ITP 120, or CSCI 212.
- ITEC 120-01
- Lecture: 212 Davis Mon/Wed/Fri 9-9:50am
- Lab: 225 Davis Tue/Thu 9-9:50am
- Exams: 225 Davis Thu 26-Sep 9-9:50am (Exam 1), Thu 31-Oct 9-9:50am (Exam 2), Tue 10-Dec 8:00-10:00am (Final Exam)
- ITEC 120-02
- Lecture: 212 Davis Mon/Wed/Fri 10-10:50am
- Lab: 225 Davis Tue/Thu 10-10:50am
- Exams: 225 Davis Thu 26-Sep 10-10:50am (Exam 1), Thu 31-Oct 10-10:50am (Exam 2), Tue 10-Dec 10:15am-12:15pm (Final Exam)
- ITEC 120-03
- Lecture: 212 Davis Mon/Wed/Fri Noon-12:50pm
- Lab: 225 Davis Tue/Thu Noon-12:50pm
- Exams: 225 Davis Thu 26-Sep Noon-12:50pm (Exam 1), Thu 31-Oct Noon-12:50pm (Exam 2), Thu 12-Dec 10:15am-12:15pm (Final Exam)
- Note: Final exams follow the Tue/Thu exam schedule (first three slots) and are in the Tue/Thu lab
Text, Online Materials, ITEC Tutors/PIs, labs, LARC, other links
- Java Software Solutions: Foundations of Program Design, 7/E
- John Lewis and William Loftus
- Addison-Wesley (Pearson), 2012
- ISBN: 0132760770/9780132760775 (MPL, etext, printed text) or
- ISBN: 013277478X/9780132774789 (MPL, etext)
Section: Principles of Computer Science I 01, 02, 03 (Braffitt) [Fall 2013]
- Make sure you choose a textbook package which includes MyProgrammingLab.
- Each student must have his or her own access code for MPL.
- The etext requires a browser with Flash.
iPad and Android apps are available for the etext.
- Desire2Learn Course: ITEC-120 Fall 2013 (dbraffitt)
(for access to rucs.radford.edu from Windows systems; use ssh on OS X and Linux systems)
- Java JDK and documentation
- CodingBat (for extra programming practice)
- ITEC Tutors and Peer Instructors (PIs)
- 225 Davis Lab Hours
- Walker Technology Center Lab Hours
- Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC)
- Links to RU
final exam schedule,
computer recommendations, and
emergency preparedness guidelines
- Class profile
- Fundamental constructs (primitive types, variables, I/O, conditionals, loops, methods)
- Processing strings and arrays of primitive and reference types
- Testing and debugging
- Terminal input and output
- Object-oriented programming techniques: methods, fields; getters, setters, mutators; introduction to subclasses
- Algorithmic problem solving including functional decomposition
- Introduction to algorithms (linear search; an example of sorting)
Goals and Objectives
Students successfully completing ITEC 120 will be able to do the following:
- Design, implement, test, and debug a program in an object-oriented
language that uses each of the following fundamental programming
constructs: basic computation, simple I/O, standard conditional and
iterative structures, method and constructors.
- Apply the techniques of structured (functional) decomposition to
break a program into smaller pieces, and describe the mechanics of
passing parameters by value.
- Choose the appropriate data types (primitive types, strings, objects
and arrays thereof), for modeling a given problem.
- Write methods with parameters and return types that are primitive
types, strings, objects, or arrays thereof.
- Test and debug programs by: Developing test cases and writing
a separate driver class to test the methods of a class;
desk-checking individual methods; and inserting relevant print statements to
discover program behavior.
- Answer basic questions about professional and ethical considerations of
developing software, information privacy, and acceptable use policies for
computing in the workplace.
Labs, Homework, and Quizzes
Labs and homework will be completed using Java in at least three environments
(225 Davis computers, MPL, and rucs.radford.edu) and submitted via MPL and D2L.
You may also use your own computers to complete labs and homework.
Quizzes will be completed via D2L. Students are expected to submit their own
work for all homework and quizzes by the due date.
Homework and quiz submissions are due Fri at 8pm.
There will be a total of 10 homework assignments due Fri at 8pm as
detailed in the schedule below. Each homework grade counts 3% of the
final grade. There will be a total of 12 quizzes, one a week on non-exam
weeks due Fri at 8pm as detailed in the schedule below.
Quizzes are open-book and open-notes and unlimited retries. Each
quiz grade counts 1% of the final grade. Thus the homework
and quizzes given throughout the course will be worth 42% of the final
grade. Homework and quizzes will also help prepare students for exams.
Exams will be completed via D2L in 225 Davis. Students are expected to
submit their own work for all exams. There will be two 50 minute
in-class exams during the semester in addition to a 120 minute in-class
comprehensive final exam during final exam week. Exams will be worth 45%
of the final grade. Exams are closed-book and closed-notes.
Students are responsible for the information that is included in the
assigned readings, lectures, labs, discussions, homework, quizzes, and
any additional information discussed in class or posted in D2L. Students
are encouraged to take advantage of the instructor's office hours, the
ITEC tutor hours, and the online supplementary materials provided by the
textbook publisher and the textbook authors. The best preparation for
exams is to complete readings, labs, homework, and quizzes, and to
participate in class and via D2L by asking questions and participating
Excused absences are granted in cases such as emergency, illness, religious
holiday, RU-sponsored travel, or other RU-related activities (i.e.
internship and job interviews) that may cause a student to miss a class
provided the student notifies the instructor via email prior to the
absence. Students should notify the instructor 48 hours prior to missing
an exam to make alternate arrangements for a makeup exam. All required
class work must be submitted via D2L and MPL by the due date whether or
not a student has an excused absence for a particular class. Students are
granted at most one unexcused absence per week (see details below for the grade
impact for any unexcused absences).
The assessment will be weighted as follows:
- 30% Homework (3% each for 10 homework programming assignments)
- 12% Quizzes (1% each for 12 weekly quizzes)
- 13% Participation (1% for each week of classes except for the last week which is extra credit)
- 10% Exam 1 (in 225 Davis Thu 26-Sep)
- 10% Exam 2 (in 225 Davis Thu 31-Oct)
- 25% Final Exam (in 225 Davis during Final Exam week)
One unexcused absence in a week will result in grade loss of up to 20 points for class
participation for that week.
Two or more unexcused absences in a week or a class participation grade less than 80 in a week
will result in grade of 0 for homework for that week.
All three exams will include some material drawn from the topics
discussed in class, some of which will be beyond the specific textbook
The assessment will be according to the following scale:
A = 90% to 100%
B = 80% to 89%
C = 70% to 79%
D = 60% to 69%
F = 59% and below
During the semester, grades will be provided to students via D2L. Any questions about a particular grade must be resolved during office hours by Fri Noon the week after that grade is posted in D2L.
Attendance and Participation
Class attendance is required for students to receive full class
participation credit. Absences (excused or otherwise) do not relieve
students from the responsibility for subject matter missed or homework,
quizzes, or online class participation work to be completed. If the
university cancels class for any reason such as inclement weather, the
assigned work for the week is still due as specified in the syllabus and
The 13% participation portion of the student grade is based primarily on
effort and completion of lab projects and is weighted 1% each week
(except for the last week which is extra credit) based primarily on
- Class attendance and participation during lecture sessions
- Class attendance during lab sessions and completion of lab projects
- Reading of assigned text materials and other selected course information in D2L
Class attendance for class sessions and other weekly class participation
work will be recorded via a D2L assessment which each student
completes each week. Attendance for any class session is defined as
student presence and participation for at least 90% of a class (lecture and lab). In addition,
students will complete a participation quiz via a class participation card
at the end of most Mon/Wed/Fri classes.
Final weekly class participation submissions are due Fri at 8pm, but students are
required to also submit class participation work at the conclusion of Tue and
Thu lab sessions. Tue lab work can be submitted late up until Wed 8pm. Thu lab work can
submitted late up until Fri 8pm.
Class lecture and discussion sessions present and explain problem solving
techniques and standard algorithms, illustrated with examples. In the
laboratory students learn, with faculty guidance, to solve programming problems
and to implement their solutions. Students are also required to solve, code,
test, and debug problems without direct faculty guidance.
Students are granted at most one unexcused absence per week with a grade impact for one
unexcused absence of up to a 20 point reduction in the class participation grade for that week.
Two or more unexcused absences in a week or a class participation grade less than 80 in a week
will result in grade of 0 for weekly homework for that week.
Class Courtesy Policy
Please set cell phones, pagers, and notebook computers to silent during
class. Students are encouraged to bring computers to all ITEC 120 classes.
Computers should primarily be used for work relevant to ITEC 120
during ITEC 120 classes. Please refrain from any activities while in
class that would be disruptive to the class.
In accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a
commitment to support and uphold the Honor Code without compromise or
exception. Violations of this academic integrity will not be tolerated.
Refer to your Student Handbook for details. Each of these classes will
be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code. All work you submit
for a grade must be your own work including
- Programming assignments
- Quizzes and exams
You may work together on the Tue/Thu lab problems, but you must still make every effort to
ensure you understand the finished product. You are responsible for understanding
your work. You cannot learn how to program using Java unless you do the programming assignments.
You need to be able to understand and explain the code you submit for a grade.
Students With Disabilities
If you are seeking academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities
Act at Radford University, you are required to register with the Disability
Resource Office (DRO). To receive academic accommodations for this class, please
submit your documentation to the DRO in the lower level of Tyler Hall suites
54-69, by fax to 540.831.6525, or by email to
. After submitting
documentation to the DRO office, you will set up an interview with a Disability
Services Specialist to discuss accommodations. You will be notified via email
once your accommodation package is complete and ready to be picked up. Once you
have picked up your accommodation package, you will need to meet with each
course instructor during their office hours to review and discuss your package.
For more information and/or for documentation guidelines, visit
or call 540.831.6350.
Changes to Course Syllabus or Class Schedule
All changes to either the course syllabus or the class schedule will be
posted in D2L and usually announced in class. Students are responsible for any
announced changes even if absent or tardy when the announcements are
made. Sometimes changes will be posted in D2L prior to a class
announcement (e.g., schedule adjustments if the university closes due to
inclement weather or an emergency).
In Case of Emergency
In the event of a university-wide emergency, course requirements,
classes, deadlines, and grading policies and procedures are subject to
change. Potential changes that could occur include alternative delivery
methods, alternative methods of interaction with the instructor,
accessing class materials and/or classmates, a revised attendance
policy, and a revised semester calendar and/or grading schedule. In the
event of a university-wide emergency, please refer to the course materials in D2L.
- Many students find this to be a difficult course.
For success, you must be strong in the fundamentals.
- Start your assignments early. Give yourself time
to learn new concepts and deal with problems.
- Don't get behind. The material is cumulative and
many find catching up almost impossible. Stay ahead.
- Solve problems by applying the concepts and principles
presented in class. The goal of this class is not to teach you
how to solve specific problems. This class will help you build a
foundation that will enable you to solve many types of problems related
to the concepts and principles covered in class.
- Practice. The weekly quizzes are mostly intended to help you
practice reading and understanding programs and portions of programs written in
the Java programming language. The weekly lab problems and homework assignments
are mostly intended to help you practice problem solving by developing solutions
to problems using the Java programming language.