Introduction to Computing Science I

CISC 121/3.0

Introduction to design and analysis of algorithms. Recursion, backtracking, and exits. Sequences, linked lists, and references. Binary search trees. Elementary searching and sorting. Assertions and loop invariants. Order-of-magnitude complexity. Numerical computation. Documentation, testing, and debugging.

Description

This course is an introduction to programming using Python.  It is assumed that students have some prior experience in programming and understand the basics of a programming language such as variables, functions, iteration and loops. We will cover these concepts briefly in Python.  In addition, we will cover topics such as recursion, searching and sorting techniques, data structures such as linked lists and binary search trees and computational complexity. Throughout the course you will learn good programming style, how to document your code and testing/debugging techniques.

Recommended: Some programming experience (such as high-school level programming or CISC 101/3.0 or CISC 110/3.0).

Corequisites: CISC 102/3.0 or MATH 111/6.0 or MATH 121/6.0 or MATH 122/6.0 or MATH 110/6.0 or MATH 112/3.0 or MATH 120/6.0 or MATH 123/3.0 or MATH 124/3.0 or MATH 126/6.0.

Computer Requirements: You will need access to a computer (any platform) with Python 2.7.3 installed (the version of Python is very important – there are newer versions of Python, however, we are using 2.7.3 for this course).

Evaluation

Assignments (x 4)20%
Quiz 110%
Quiz 215%
Participation10%
Final Exam45%

** Subject to Change **

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.

Topics

  1. Basic Python
  2. Searching and Sorting
  3. Computational Complexity
  4. Recursion/Recursive Sorts
  5. Linked Lists
  6. Binary Search Trees

Instructor

Wendy Powley is a Research Associate for the Database Systems Laboratory at Queen’s University and a Lecturer in the School of Computing and the Faculty of Education at Queen’s. 

Wendy was the personality featured on the November 19th, 2013 Women in Science and Engineering.

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 15 - 18 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources

About SOLUS

SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About MOODLE

Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.

Dates/Deadlines

The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Dates and Deadlines section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point
A+4.30
A4.00
A-3.70
B+3.30
B3.00
B-2.70
C+2.30
C2.00
C-1.70
D+1.30
D1.00
D-0.70
F0.00

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.