CISC 121

Introduction to Computing Science I

Queen's University

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.
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Wendy L Powley

Current Lecture
CISC 121 Lecture 15: Execution tracing, choosing how to do execution tracing, pausing execution, idle's debugging tools,

find more resources at EXECUTION TRACING Execution tracing: tracking the course of a running programs execution Computers can execute code faster than we can think about it. E.g. Python 3 can initiali...

CISC 121
Wendy L Powley
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Available as soon as 13 Feb 2019

CISC 121
Wendy L Powley

CISC 121 Syllabus for Wendy L Powley — Winter 2019

Introduction to Computer Science 1
CISC 121
Winter 2019
Instructional Team
Wendy Powley
Richard Linley
Instructor Office Hours
Wendy Powley
Goodwin 632
Wednesday 12:30 3:30pm
Richard Linley
Goodwin 550
Monday 3:30 4:30pm
Wednesday 3:30 4:30pm
Teaching Assistants (email contacts are on OnQ)
Zac Baum
Emily Altman
Hershil Devnani
Hongkai Chen
David Tang
Emma Landry
Wanyu Zhang
Yiding Gao
Intended Student Learning Outcomes
1. Design and construct simple software in a conventional procedural programming language.
2. Use an interactive development environment (currently IDLE) to write programs in a
conventional procedural programming language.
3. Implement the basic searching and sorting algorithms: linear and binary search; bubble,
insertion and/or selection, merge, and quick sort.
4. Write and analyse programs using recursion
5. Analyse the worst-case computational complexity of small iterative and recursive programs
6. Build a foundation for further learning by exposure to multiple computer languages,
development tools, and methodologies.
Course Outline
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.
There is no text for CISC 121. There are many resources (videos, narrated power points, readings
etc) posted on ONQ. The best way to learn the material is to come to class and to do the
assignments individually.
Grading Scheme
5 (4% each)
Final Exam *
*You must achieve 50% or more on the final exam to pass the course.
Late Policy
All assignments are given an automatic extension of 24 hours with a penalty as specified in the
rubric for each assignment. Late assignments are not accepted beyond 24 hours except in the case
of documented extenuating circumstances.
Academic Integrity
The Faculty of Arts and Science principle of academic integrity has six core values: honesty, trust,
fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage (see These values are central
to the building, nurturing and sustaining of an academic community in which all members of the
community will thrive. Adherence to the values expressed through academic integrity forms a
foundation for the “freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas” essential to the intellectual life of the
University (see the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities). Students are responsible for
familiarizing themselves with the regulations concerning academic integrity and for ensuring that
their assignments conform to the principles of academic integrity. Information on academic integrity
is available in the Arts and Science Calendar (see Academic Regulation 1) on the Arts and Science
website, and from the instructor of this course. Departures from academic integrity include
plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials, facilitation, forgery and falsification, and are antithetical to
the development of an academic community at Queen’s. Given the seriousness of these matters,
actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity carry sanctions that can range from a
warning or the loss of grades on an assignment to the failure of a course to a requirement to
withdraw from the university. Although collaboration between students in discussing and
understanding ideas related to this course is encouraged, violation of Regulation 1 will not be
In addition to the Queen's University official policies for academic dishonesty outlined in the syllabus,
I would like to share some additional guidelines for CISC 121. With the vast array of programming
resources available on the web, it is difficult to understand the difference between consulting the web
for help in understanding and plagiarism in this course. This guide is to let you know what I consider
reasonable and unreasonable. Plagiarism (that is, using code from the web without attribution or
submitting code copied from another individual) will be dealt with harshly -- as outlined below. A
positive finding of departure from academic integrity will result in an automatic F in this
In short, all work submitted in this course should be your OWN work. If you are in doubt
about whether or not something is a breach of academic dishonesty, please ask before doing it.
Working together on practice exercises, sharing solutions, posting solutions to practice
problems and/or old exams is permitted.
Discussing assignments verbally (or via the forums) to better understand or to plan a solution
is permitted.
Incorporating snippets of code that you find on-line to help you solve the problem as long as
the code is NOT the solution to the problem. The URL containing the source of the code that
you use must be cited in the comments. Failure to do so will be considered a breach of
academic integrity.
Viewing a classmate's solution.
Providing a classmate with a solution.
Failing to cite code sources that you have used from the web.
Submitting a copy (even with minor modifications) of someone else's code. (Beware that
people are as unique in coding as they are in writing -- it is quite easy to determine if two
assignments are similar)
Posting your solution on a public (or private) web site for others to view.
Soliciting solutions to the problem on on-line forums or purchasing solutions from on-line
Submitting a combined solution with a classmate.
PENALTY: If you are deemed in violation of Queen's Academic Integrity Policy, you
will receive an F in the course. Departures from academic dishonesty will be dealt with
following the Queen's procedures. If there is evidence of academic dishonesty, you will be
first be notified in writing and given a chance to appeal. You may continue with the
course until a final decision is made, however if a finding of academic dishonesty is filed,
your final mark in the course will be F.
Accommodation Requests
Please contact the instructor if you need special accommodation. The Faculty of Arts and Science
Academic Regulation 6.3 provides guidelines on accommodation.
Academic Considerations for Students in Extenuating Circumstances
If you have extenuating circumstances for missing a midterm or assignment deadline see the Student
Wellness website.
Automatic Copyright of Course Materials
As recommended by the University, this is a reminder to students of copyright: In accordance with
Canadian statutory and common law, any written or visual material that the instructor produces is
automatically copyrighted. The instructor may pursue any violator of that copyright whether or not a
notice is placed on the course material. Copyright does not dampen any ordinary use that colleagues
or students make of the material.

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