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CS 111 Syllabus

C++ Programming II

Fall 2017

CIS Department

Saint Vincent College

General Information

  • 3 credits
  • Prerequisite: CS 110
  • Instructor: Brother David Carlson
  • Office: Dupre Science Pavilion, Tenley Hall W217
  • Office hours:
    • Mon, Wed, Fri 9:30 - 10:20 am
    • Tue 10:00 - 11:20 am
    • Tue, Thurs 12:30 - 2:00 pm
    • Mon 2:00 - 4:00 pm
    • and by appointment
  • Phone: 724-805-2416
  • Email:
  • The CIS lab in W214 of the Dupre science complex will be available according to this schedule that will also be posted on the bulletin board outside our lab. In addition, this schedule shows you which tutor is staffing the lab at what times. All or nearly all of these tutors should able to assist you with this course.
  • Text: Problem Solving with C++, 10th ed., Savitch, Walter; contributor, Kenrick Mock, Pearson Education (2018), ISBN 978-0-13-444828-2. The 9th edition would also be acceptable. Most students will already have an appropriate text from CS 110.
  • Supplementary material: The intermediate section of the online resource Software Design Using C++ will also be used in this course.


This course continues the study of programming and problem solving where CS 110 left off. More advanced programming techniques and stricter programming style will be put into practice while covering more advanced data structures and algorithms, such as arrays, strings, file processing, stacks, queues, linked lists, classes, class definition, and recursion.

Why Take This Course

This course is required for CIS majors, but is also taken by a number of other students who wish to acquire problem solving and software development skills. After taking CS 110 and CS 111, students have sufficient background to write useful programs, to continue on into the CS 221 data structures course, and to learn other computer languages and algorithms. This course provides the foundation for many other CIS courses and is, in fact, a prerequisite for many CIS courses. CIS majors should strive to do well in this course in order to prepare for their later courses.

The Text

Besides reviewing topics from CS 110 (such as functions, arrays, and strings) we cover much of chapters 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 15 in the text. We also do much of the intermediate section of Software Design Using C++.

Core Goals

This course contributes especially toward the following core curriculum goals, listed in order of emphasis. Written communication skills are the type emphasized and are shown by students' abilities to write both program code and documentation that describes clearly what their software does.

  1. To form habits of ordered inquiry, logical thinking, and critical analysis
  2. To develop mathematical skills and quantitative literacy
  3. To develop effective communication skills
  4. To foster historical awareness (of the computing discipline)

CIS Department Student Outcomes

This course contributes mainly to the following desired departmental student outcomes listed in order of emphasis.

  1. An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs
  2. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline
  3. An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities
  4. An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice
  5. An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution
  6. An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and society
  7. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

Course Goals and Means of Assessment

  1. By the end of the course the student should be able to describe basic aspects of software engineering and how they apply to producing better software.
  2. By the end of the course the student should be able to write programs using good software engineering techniques, programming style, documentation, and practices.
  3. By the end of the course the student should be familiar with, able to use, and in many cases implement in C++, a variety of data structures, such as arrays, structs, classes, stacks, queues, and linked lists -- as well as typical associated algorithms for operating on those data structures.
  4. By the end of the course the student should have obtained more significant problem solving, programming, testing and debugging ability than that attained in CS 110.

These objectives will be assessed mainly through the use of homework assignments, in-class labs, and exams. Informal discussions with students provide additional feedback.

Methods Used to Reach These Goals

Lectures, demonstrations, class activities such as labs, and class discussion are used to assist students in mastering the course material. Homework assignments are designed to allow students to grow in their understanding of the topics at hand. Exams provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learned.

Grading and Course Policies

  • 20% First Exam
  • 20% Second Exam
  • 20% Final Exam
  • 40% Homework, Labs, Projects, Class Participation

Letter grades will be given using the scale found in the College Bulletin. Exams will be announced in advance and will be closed-book, pencil and paper exams in nature, except that you may use one two-sided 8.5 in. x 11 in. page of written notes of any kind. Thus, on exams, only the test paper, calculators, the one page of notes, pens, pencils, and erasers may be used. Cell phones, tablets, laptops, and similar devices should be turned off and put away. Calculators may be used on exams but are not to be shared among students.

Both the instructor and students are expected to do their best to produce a good class and to treat each other with respect. This includes many factors, such as listening when someone else is speaking, trying to understand what others are saying, being of assistance to others, etc. It definitely does NOT include making fun of others. On a practical level, do your best to improve your grade: read the course materials, attend class, do the labs and homework, ask questions, and try to answer questions in class! Computer science requires active participation and repeated practice. If you begin to feel lost, consult one of the tutors, see the instructor, or work through the difficulties with the help of another student in the course. Do not let yourself get behind. In fact, one key to academic success is to start early on homework and other tasks. Last-minute miracles seldom work, particularly with software development! Note in particular that attendance is expected. Student performance is bound to deteriorate when classes are missed. Partly in order to emphasize the importance of attendance, the policies outlined after this paragraph will be used.

  1. If the student does not attain an overall passing test average, a failing grade will be received for the course.
  2. Each unexcused class absence after the first 3 results in 1.5 percentage points being deducted from the final course grade.
  3. Arriving late for class or leaving early (without a proper excuse) is counted as 1/2 of an absence.
  4. An unexcused absence from an exam results in the failure of the course.
  5. Unexcused absence from more than one-third of the semester's classes results in the failure of the course.
  6. Attendance is used to decide borderline grades at the end of the semester.
  7. Unexcused absence from class results in a grade of zero for any lab or other activity done in that class.
  8. Late work is not accepted unless resulting from an excused absence, but partial credit is given for incomplete homework that is submitted on time.
  9. Written documentation (such as a note from a doctor's office or coach of one's sports team) is normally required for an absence to be excused. Always bring a copy of such a note to give to your instructor when you can do so. In special circumstances, check with your instructor, as it is not always possible to get documentation.
  10. An additional 1.5 percentage points will be added to the final course grade at the end of the semester for any student who attends two-thirds of the Collaborative Learning Program (CLP) sessions for this course. For example, there might be 15 CLP sessions in a semester, so if a student attends at least 10 of those sessions in their entirety, and ends up with a grade of 78.5% (a C+), an additional 1.5 percentage points would be added to the grade, yielding an 80.0 (a B-).

Missed labs should be made up as they are designed to teach important aspects of the course. For an excused absence, the makeup lab will be graded normally. For an unexcused absence, the lab (whether made up or not) will receive a grade of zero. Make-up exams are strongly discouraged. If possible, take the regularly scheduled exam. For an excused absence or other significant reason, the instructor may agree to give a make-up exam. Whenever possible, see your instructor ahead of time if you know you must miss an exam (e.g. due to sports). Normally some type of written documentation is required (such as a note from the coach, doctor, etc.). If the documentation or reason for missing an exam is poor, the student can count on receiving a significantly more difficult exam, if one is given at all! Do ask about a makeup exam if you have a good reason to miss an exam, even if documentation is not readily available, as it is understood that illnesses and other complications do happen.

Tests will ask critical thinking questions that require careful analysis, explanation, and conclusions. For example, you might be presented with a section of a program and asked to trace what it produces, to write the documentation describing at a high level what this section does, or to give an alternative implementation of this section. You might also be asked to write a section of code that carries out a particular task. A few multiple choice or true/false questions may also be included. Labs involve a lot of hands-on activity to try out certain aspects of programming, but on a smaller scale than what is usually needed for programming assignments. In this course you will be asked to write programs that are about 2 to 7 pages in length, including well-written documentation. In the labs, much of the code may be written for you, so that your job is to fix errors, to make modifications and additions, etc.

Homework usually consists of programming assignments. Programming involves typing code into a source file, compiling it, testing it, and fixing it as necessary. Programming assignments normally require careful planning and the use of several hours of out-of-class time. Aim to have the program done early so that there will be time to test it and to fix the problems that testing usually reveals. Engineering a program requires a development process that cannot normally be done at one sitting. Allot several hours over multiple days to develop your program. Note that it nearly always takes longer than you expect! Students are generally allowed to work in small groups for the purpose of doing the labs, but homework assignments must be done separately by each individual unless the instructor tells you otherwise.

Assignments are due at the date and time posted in Schoology and are normally turned in electronically by placing a copy in one's hw111 mapped network drive. Exceptions to these deadlines are only granted for serious reasons and normally require written documentation of the reasons.

Every programming homework assignment should list all sources that contributed to the solution. This would include the individual student. It may also include the instructor, a tutor that was consulted, a reference book, a web site, etc. You may consult other students who are not our tutors only to clarify what the homework assignment is asking. If you need assistance beyond simple clarification of the description of the assignment, the best person to consult is the instructor. Tutors may also be able to assist with this, though only the instructor knows the full details of how the homework should work. You may not look at the homework code for another student in this course or show yours (even a part of it) to another student in the course. You may not work out the design or code for a homework assignment with one or more other students from the course. If you break one of the conditions spelled out in the last two sentences, then this is a case of program plagiarism. See the next paragraph for how this gets handled and the possible consequences.

Intellectual honesty is important at Saint Vincent College. Attempts to pass off the work of another as one's own will result in action appropriate to the seriousness of the situation. If there is some doubt as to whether you wrote a programming assignment yourself, you may be asked to explain the code. If you can do so, that provides good evidence that you did do the assignment yourself. All cases of apparent intellectual dishonesty will be referred to the administration. If the administration does not say what to do about the grades in such a case, the first offense will involve a significant grade penalty (such as a grade of zero) on the assignment, while a second offense may result in failure of the course. In this course, students are expected to do entirely their own work on tests and homework assignments. For the in-class labs, students are encouraged to help each other. Thus the above rules do not apply to the labs, though each student should still do mostly his/her own work. Assignments that are unduly similar (which means that a prudent individual would reasonably conclude that the assignments were done by the same person or collection of persons) will be reported to the administration as likely cases of plagiarism. If you really do your own work, you will not produce something that is unduly similar to someone else's work.

Be sure to read and follow the CIS Department Policies, available under the CIS Department web site. (This statement covers especially the proper use of departmental computing facilities, policies concerning your web pages, academic honesty, etc.) Be sure to read the Regulations section of the College Bulletin (which covers such things as grading, academic honesty, etc.) and the Student Handbook (which covers academic honesty, classroom etiquette, etc.).

Students with disabilities who may be eligible for academic accommodations and support services should contact Ms. Marisa Carlson, Director of Academic Accommodations and Academic Advisor, by phone (724-805-2828), email ( or by appointment (Academic Affairs-Headmasters Hall). Reasonable accommodations do not alter the essential elements of any course, program or activity. The Notification of Approved Academic Accommodations form indicates the effective date of all approved academic accommodations and is not retroactive.

If the instructor needs to cancel class, every effort will be made to send an email message to students' Saint Vincent email accounts.

Maintained by: Br. David Carlson
Last updated: August 26, 2017