RU Department of Information Technology

Syllabus • ITEC 120 Principles of Computer Science I • Fall 2014

Instructor: Jeff Pittges, PhD
Office: 008 Davis (540.831.5175)
Office Hours: Mon 2-3pm, Tue/Thu 3:30-4:30pm, Wed 10–11am, and by appointment
Instructor: Don Braffitt
Office: 015 Davis (540.831.5072)
Office Hours: Mon 9-11am, Wed 2-4pm, Fri 4-5pm (email), and by appointment

Radford University, Department of Information Technology
ITEC 120. Principles of Computer Science I.

Credit Hours: (4)
A rigorous, systematic approach to object-oriented problem solving and programming.
ITEC 120 official course description.

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 higher in this course before you can continue with most subsequent ITEC courses (the typical next courses for ITEC majors are ITEC 220, ITEC 225, ITEC 345, and ITEC 122). 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.

Links to ITEC lab schedule, and peer instructor/tutor schedule.

Links to RU catalog, calendar, class schedule, schedule adjustment, final exam schedule, computer recommendations, and emergency preparedness guidelines.

Required Text

Choose any of the six text packages listed below for the 8th edition or the 7th edition of Java Software Solutions.

Textbook cover 8th edition
Textbook cover 7th edition

Tentative Schedule

Week Date Topic


Introduction to Programming
     Data and Expressions
     Using Methods
     Methods and Testing
     Conditionals and Loops
     Exam 1 (in lab) - Thu 25-Sep / Fri 26-Sep




Object Design & Modeling
     Objects and Classes
     Withdrawal Deadline - Fri 17-Oct
     File Processing
     Exam 2 (in lab) - Thu 30-Oct / Fri 31-Oct



     Arrays of Objects
     Two-Dimensional Arrays
     Inheritance and Exceptions
     Thanksgiving Break
Final Exam (in your lab classroom)
ITEC 120-01 (Wed 10-Dec 8-10am)
ITEC 120-02 (Mon 08-Dec 10:15am-12:15pm)
ITEC 120-03 (Mon 08-Dec 12:30-2:30pm)
ITEC 120-04 (Thu 11-Dec 10:15am-12:15pm)

Course Sections


The assessment will be weighted as follows:

Two or more unexcused absences in a week will result in grade of 0 for homework for that week. You must attend 3 of 4 classes in a week and complete the required class participation work for the classes you do attend to receive a homework grade > 0 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 content. All exams are in the lab classroom.

The assessment will be according to the following scale:

Numeric grades will be rounded to the next higher integer to determine letter grades.

During the semester, grades will be provided to students via D2L. Any questions about a particular grade must be resolved by Fri of the following week.

Course Description

This course introduces the fundamental principles of computer science by teaching students to solve problems with the Java programming language. Students learn object-oriented techniques to decompose a problem into smaller problems that may be solved more easily. Concepts are presented in lecture and applied in the lab where students gain hands-on experience with all facets of computer science.


  1. You are expected to spend 8 – 12 hours outside of class each week. If you are unable to invest sufficient time outside of class you must lower your expectations. Your performance and your capacity to learn are directly proportional to the amount of time and effort you invest in this course.
  2. You are expected to participate in class. You are expected to come to class prepared, to ask questions, and to provide feedback.
  3. You are expected to start assignments early and to ask questions. If you wait until the last minute to start an assignment your ability to learn will diminish and your performance will likely suffer. If you start early and ask questions you will find that we are very supportive, you will enhance your ability to learn, and your performance will improve.
  4. You are expected to solve problems by applying the concepts and principles presented in class. This class will not teach you how to solve specific problems. This class will help you build a foundation that will enable you to solve any type of problem related to the concepts and principles covered in class.
  5. You are expected to fail. People often learn more from failure than from success. As we get older we become afraid to fail and our ability to learn diminishes. This class provides a supportive environment rewarding those who are willing to take risks. Ask questions, make comments, and be an active participant in class.

Academic Integrity

The value of the degrees conferred by Radford University is directly related to the integrity of the institution. By upholding the Honor Code you maintain the University’s reputation and the value of the degrees conferred to all students. The Radford University Honor Code applies to this course. The Honor Code will be strictly enforced and all violations will be reported. The purpose of this course is for every student to learn and master the material presented. Consequently, you are encouraged to work with other students and to use the Internet and other sources of information under the following conditions:

As a general rule, if you do not understand or cannot explain what you are handing in, or if you have written the same code as someone else, you are probably cheating. If you have given somebody some code related to an assignment, even in an attempt to help the person learn, you are probably cheating. As an example, here are some clear cases of cheating:

If you work with another person on an assignment or if you use any code from a source other than our textbook, you must acknowledge the person or the source in the header comments of your source code file.

If you are unsure of these guidelines, speak with the instructor before you collaborate with another student or utilize a resource.


Homework from the text as well as other sources will be assigned throughout the semester. All assignments are to be completed on your own. You may not work with a classmate to solve a problem. Late homework will not be graded. D2L tracks two dates: the due date and the cutoff date. Assignments received after the due date will not be graded. Assignments will not be accepted after the cutoff date. Do not send an assignment via email.


Please turn off cell phones. Please arrive for class on time.


Attendance is required. You must be present for at least 90% of a class to be considered to have attended that class.

Attendance counts towards your class attendance and participation grade and your homework grade. You are expected to attend each class, prepare for each class, and contribute to class discussions. You are responsible for all material presented in class and all announcements made in class. If you miss a class, you are responsible for determining what was missed. Being absent when a homework assignment is made or changed, a test date announced, etc., is not an acceptable excuse for not being prepared.

To receive a homework grade > 0 for a week, you must attend at least 3 of 4 classes that week.

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 by the due date whether or not a student has an excused absence for a particular class.


Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

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.