Introduction to computer use. Approaches to problem solving; algorithms and their design; fundamental programming skills. Students can receive credit for only one of COMP 110, 116, or 121.
General Course Info
Term: Spring 2017
Course Number: 110
001: TR, Hanes Art Center 121, 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
002: TR, Hanes Art Center 121, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
003: TR, Genome Sciences G100, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM
Teaching Assistants (see course web page)
Within the first weeks of the course beginning, you will be assigned a dedicated TA support staff made up of two members of the COMP110 team. In addition to your personal TA team, our incredible staff will hold copious amounts of open office hours during the week. These hours will be posted on the course website.
Textbooks and Resources
The course web page is the primary resource for this course. There is no textbook for COMP110. We will distribute occasional readings, reference material, and tutorials via the website and announcements.
Course Description, Target Audience and Prerequisites
This course is an introduction to computer programming for students with no previous programming experience. There are two primary goals: i) learn fundamental computer programming skills, and ii) improve your problem solving and logical thinking skills. The course is designed to use the Java programming language.
You should be comfortable with advanced algebra and having completed a first course in Calculus is recommended. Although there are no formal prerequisites, we have found that students who have not had Calculus must put more work into this course to stay on track than those who have. If you do not yet have credit for MATH110, or you did not perform as well as you'd like in MATH110 or MATH130, starting your programming career with COMP101 is recommended.
If you have already taken a college-level (or AP) Computer Science course, you may want to skip this class and take COMP 401. Please refer to the following link for more information: comp110.com/topics/getting-started/am-i-in-the-right-course
Comp 116 is another introductory computer programming course, but with emphasis on scientific computing. Two versions are offered, one using the Python programming language and the other MATLAB. Both 116 and 110 satisfy the prerequisite to continue with further programming courses (e.g. Comp 401).
Goals and Key Learning Objectives
This course is intended to teach basic computer programming skills, using the popular language Java, to students with no prior programming experience. This course aims to teach students general programming language concepts and semantics, problem definition, problem solving, and logical thinking, through algorithm development and writing programs.
Course Requirements and Policies
You should attend the lectures on both meetings of the week and check the course web pages for announcements and updates. You should complete assigned readings, programming assignments, and worksheets on time.
Programming assignments take about 4-10 hours per week; start early and ask questions. Bring your laptop to every lecture session. Please respect your fellow students by maintaining proper etiquette in class; this includes:
Midterm exam schedule (tentative):
Final exam schedule:
The course final is given in compliance with UNC final exam regulations and according to the UNC Final Exam calendar.
You will be evaluated in this class as follows:
If you perform better on a subsequent exam than the very previous exam, the subsequent exam's score will replace the very previous exam's score. For example, the second midterm can replace the first, the third can replace the second, the final can replace the third.
Make sure that you are familiar with The UNC Honor Code. You will be required to sign an Honor Code pledge to hand in with every exam as well as "sign" the code you submit for grading.
In order to do well in this course, you must come to your own understanding of the material independently. As such, collaboration is prohibited outside of the following policies.
Collaboration Policy on General Course Content
You absolutely may, and are encouraged to, discuss general course concepts (i.e. not assignment-specific) material with anyone, including other current students and tutors. This includes going over lecture slides, documentation, code examples covered in lecture, study guides, etc. The examples you use to discuss general course materials must be from lecture or your own creativity, you cannot use examples directly drawn from assignments.
Collaboration on Written Worksheets
You are allowed to discuss written assignments with your classmates on whiteboards. You can talk about approaches to problems to develop solutions. However, no notes may be taken away from these discussions, all whiteboards must be promptly erased, and solutions should be written up completely individually.
Collaboration on Problem Set Programs
No collaboration with peers inside the course, or anyone outside the course, with the exception of our course UTAs, is allowed on problem sets. Your ability to complete each problem set individually is critical for your ability to do well in this course. Illegal collaboration is easily detected in COMP110 because we use Stanford's MOSS program (Measures of Software Similarity), as well as other automated techniques. Every year, a number of violations are caught and prosecuted in the Honor Court, so far always resulting in guilty convictions and sanctions. Avoiding any fears here is simple: work on problem sets on your own and come to office hours when you're stuck.
Permitted Resources on Problem Sets
The following are not permitted resources on problem sets:
When in doubt, ask a Head UTA or Kris.
Tutors and Informal Help from COMP Friends
Tutors and COMP friends are not allowed to help you with problem sets or written worksheets. They may help you with general course material questions and for additional help in preparing for exams, however we encourage you to rely on UTA assistance foremost.
Code Review Test
Kris reserves the right to, at any time, ask you to submit to an "code review" test with him or a head TA. We may ask you to meet to explain any line of code or decision made in your program that we deem suspicious or confusing. Thus, you should be able to comfortably explain why you (and you alone) wrote any single line of code in a problem set.
Early and Late Submission Policy
Starting and finishing programming assignments as early as possible is the key to success in COMP110. As such, we want to reward and encourage you for submitting your work early. Falling behind in COMP110 is perilous because the concepts build on one another as the semester progresses.
Late Point Forgiveness Insurance Policy
As "insurance" against sickness, computer crashes, conflicts with other coursework, etc., every student in the course is forgiven 100 points worth of late penalties at the end of the semester. Note that "late penalty" means points deducted for credit that would have otherwise been earned and these points will not be added unless the assignment has been completed in full. Like insurance, there is no reward for not needing to use these points and you should try to avoid using them outside of unpredictable, emergency situations like a computer crashing or being hospitalized.
Grading Scale Breakdown
F: 59 or below
In cases of fractional points, grades will be rounded up if greater than 0.499999999...
** If you do not score higher than a 30% on the final exam, the highest letter grade you can earn in COMP110 is a D.
Class attendance and participation is required to do well in this course. The instructor reserves the right to use different means to classify as class participation – you will be clearly informed during the semester, but expect to encounter PollEverywhere quite frequently.
See the course calendar.
The instructor reserves to right to make changes to the syllabus, including assignment due dates and exam dates. These changes will be announced as early as possible.
Check comp110.com regularly for updates and announcements!