General Information

Description: 3 hours, 3 credits: This course presents an overview of computer science (CS) with an emphasis on problem-solving and computational thinking through 'coding': computer programming for beginners. Other topics include: organization of hardware, software, and how information is structured on contemporary computing devices. This course is pre-requisite to several introductory core courses in the CS Major. The course is also required for the CS minor. MATH 12500 or higher is strongly recommended as a co-req for intended Majors.

Grading Policy

Expectations: Completing homework is an essential part of the learning experience. Students are expected to learn both the material covered in class and the material in the online Labs, the textbook and other assigned reading.

Honor Code: You are encouraged to work together on the overall design of the programs and homework. However, for specific programs and homework assignments, all work must be your own. You are responsible for knowing and following Hunter College's Academic Integrity Policy:

Hunter College regards acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on examinations, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents) as serious offenses against the values of intellectual honesty. The College is committed to enforcing the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty according to the Hunter College Academic Integrity Procedures.
All incidents of cheating will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct in the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students office.

Course Format: This course is taught in condensed format with in-class meetings twice a week and online activities. Each time the course meets:

Lecture Participation: At every lecture, attendance will be taken. Students who arrive on time and stay for the duration of the class, and participate will receive full credit. Attendance will only help your grade. If you miss a class, your grade on the final exam will replace that grade.

Quizzes: Every class, there will be an quiz on the lecture notes, reading, submitted programs, and laboratory exercises.

Laboratory Exercises: Each week, you are expected to work through the associated lab exercise. The on-line labs are available on the course webpage can be completed in the lab or at home (you will need a computer with Python and Unix shell, and as the term goes on, C++).

Homework: Programming exercises are posted on the class website, usually three classes before the due date. They reinforce concepts covered in lecture and lab. Note that as the semester progresses, the programs will require work on design and programming outside of class to complete. To receive full credit for a program, the program must perform correctly, must include comments, be written in good style, and be submitted by 6p deadline. Programs are submitted via gradescope. You can miss up to 5 programming assignments without affecting your grade (if you turn in all the programming assignments, we will drop the lowest 5 scores). No late homework is accepted.

Final Exam: The final exam is required. It is comprehensive, covering all the material of the course. Sample and past exams are available on the course webpage. A mock exam will be available on Gradescope the week before the final. You must take and pass the final to pass the course.

Grades: The grading for the course will be based on:

Materials, Resources and Accommodating Disabilities

Textbook & Readings: The following free on-line book is required for the course:

Additional readings and tutorials are available on the course webpage.

Technology: This course uses multiple software tools and languages.

Computer Access: Part of this course will use university computer laboratories. These machines are for work related to this course only and a code of conduct applies to computer use in the department and on-campus. Misusing university computers could result in losing your computer access for the rest of the term, making it exceedingly difficult to complete this course.

Accommodating Disabilities: In compliance with the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Hunter College is committed to ensuring educational parity and accommodations for all students with documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. It is recommended that all students with documented disabilities (Emotional, Medical, Physical, and/or Learning) consult the Office of AccessABILITY, located in Room E1214B, to secure necessary academic accommodations. For further information and assistance, please call: (212) 772- 4857 or (212) 650-3230.

Hunter College Policy on Sexual Misconduct: In compliance with the CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Hunter College reaffirms the prohibition of any sexual misconduct, which includes sexual violence, sexual harassment, and gender-based harassment retaliation against students, employees, or visitors, as well as certain intimate relationships. Students who have experienced any form of sexual violence on or off campus (including CUNY-sponsored trips and events) are entitled to the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights for Hunter College.

See CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct Link.

Course Objectives

The successful student will be prepared with competencies and knowledge required for subsequent courses required for the Computer Science Major or Minor. At the end of the course, students should:
  1. be able to design and implement a computer program in Python of realistic complexity that includes functions, list/array data structures, user and file I/O, loops and conditionals.
  2. be able to design and implement a simple C++ program using command line tools in a Linux environment, including navigating the Linux file system.
  3. understand the basic architecture of a digital computer to the extent that they can write a simple machine language program for a virtual architecture.
  4. be fluent in hexadecimal and binary numbering schemes.
  5. be able to understand boolean logic to the extent that they can design a simple binary circuit.
  6. understand the relationship between the operating system, application and utility software and how they interact with main memory, disk memory and the software development cycle.
  7. have been exposed to a small selection of more advanced computer science topics such as artificial intelligence, data science, networking, algorithm and data structure design, etc.