T-Th 9:05
T-Th 11:15
in Olin 155

CS 1110: Introduction to Computing Using Python

Spring 2014

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT ...
What if I have an exam conflict or special requirement? See the exams page for the make-up petition process.
What's this CS 1130/CS 1132 stuff? Historically, engineering students took one of CS 1110 (Java)/CS 1112 (MatLab) and then had to take a self-paced 1-credit course in the other programming language. This was because Java focused on Object Oriented programming, while MatLab focused on scientific computation. With the move to Python (which supports scientific computation) and the addition of new OO features to MatLab, this is no longer necessary. CS 1130/CS 1132 are only important for students who took CS 1110 or CS 1112 last year.
What if I have a missing lab grade? Contact your section instructor.
WHO ...
Who is my section instructor? See the staff page.
WHY ...
Why do we use Python? We talk about this on the first day of class. Python is a modern, object oriented language that is much more accessible to beginners than traditional OO languages. It is also becoming popular for scientific computation, making it relevant to engineers who do not want to continue on with computer science.
Why will I be able to take CS 2110 if that course uses a different language? CS 2110 is taught in Java, not Python. However, you will learn enough about the principles of object-oriented programming in this class that you should be pick up Java with just a little bit of work. We are currently redesigning CS 2110 so that the beginning of the course will help you with this transition.
Why do we use ActiveState Python? While your computer may already have Python installed (particularly if you use a Macintosh), it is important that everyone use the same version of Python for this class if possible (sometimes there are system updates that make this impossible, but we will tell you explicitly if this is the case). There are a bunch of versions of Python out there, and not all of them are compatible.
Why do we use the command shell? As a scripting language, Python is really designed with a command shell in mind. There are Integrated Development Environments (IDE) for Python that allow you to work without the command shell; this is what we used when we taught this course in Java. However, the Python IDEs are either (1) buggy, (2) too complicated for this course, or (3) not free. Therefore, we elected to go with the command shell.
Why should I retrieve and save my graded work? First, feedback on graded work is important for you; it helps you determine what you know and what you need to work on more. Second, you need to check for accuracy in grading and summing of points in case you need to submit a regrade. Third, in case of a lost grade (it happens from time to time), we will need proof that you completed the assignment. Fourth, you should use previous work to study for exams and to learn about mistakes to avoid in the future.
Where are the computer labs? Look at CIT's Public Labs Schedule.
Where are the sections or recitations or labs? See the Times & Places page.
Where's your office? Look at the staff page.
Where are the handouts? Most lecture handouts can be obtained from the lecture summary page. For labs, assignments, and other things, look at Labs, Assignments, and Exams.
Where is my graded homework/prelim? For assignments submitted online (on the course CMS), you will receive feedback on the CMS itself. Mechanisms for retrieving hardcopy submissions will be announced in lecture.
Where do I request a regrade? For assignments submitted online on the course CMS, submit the regrade request on the CMS. The procedure for exams will be announced in lecture.
Where can I find more practice problems? Refer to the exercises in your textbook. There are also some online coding-practice sites, such as CodingBat. You may also find many problems in archived course websites from the CS Home Page.
MAY I ...
May I change my partner? You may have different partners for different projects, but you may not have more than one partner for any assignment. Please review the Assignments page.
May I use PyDef or an actual Python IDE?
May I program in a different language?
You may not use another language. If you want, you may use an actual Python IDE such as PyDef, Wing IDE, or even the commercial Komodo IDE. However, if you do this, you are completely on your own; we only provide support for using a command shell. See our Python page.
HOW ...
How should I submit my homework? Follow the submission guidelines on the Assignments page.
How do I use Python? Look at our Python page.
How do I print in a public lab?
How do I use Net-Print?
Review this page about Net-Print from CIT.
How do I start an assignment? Read the assignment a few times. Don't expect to absorb it all at once. While reading the assignment, look for clues on what you need to do. When you've figured out the larger tasks, break those large problems into smaller and smaller tasks. Eventually, you can program those smaller tasks!
How do I catch up? I'm lost. Seek help from the CS 1110 staff immediately. We can help you figure out what you need to do.
How do I become a consultant? Take CS 2110, do well, and contact the CS Teaching Coordinator Laurie Buck in the CS Undergrad Suite, Gates Hall 110F.

Course Material Authors: D. Gries, L. Lee, S. Marschner, & W. White (over the years)