CS1112 --> Syllabus
Course: Introduction to Computing Using MATLAB (4 credits)
Instructor: K.-Y. Daisy Fan
Website: http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs1112/2014fa
Alternative: CS1110 (Python)
Forbidden Overlap: Credit is given for only one of CS 1112, CS 1114, CS 1115, and BEE 1510. Due to a partial overlap in content, students will receive 6 credits instead of 8 if they take CS 1112 and CS 1110. Students will receive 5 credits instead of 6 if they take CS 1142 and CS 1110.

Course Description Expected Outcomes Academic Integrity Times & Places Staff Material Grades Special Accommodation Schedule

Course Description

4 credit hours. S/U Optional. Programming and problem solving using MATLAB. Emphasizes the systematic development of algorithms and programs. Topics include iteration, functions, arrays and vectors, strings, recursion, algorithms, object-oriented programming, and MATLAB graphics. Assignments are designed to build an appreciation for complexity, dimension, fuzzy data, inexact arithmetic, randomness, simulation, and the role of approximation. NO programming experience is necessary; some knowledge of Calculus is required.
CS1142 co-meets with CS1112 for the first seven weeks of the semester. CS1142 will have the same lecture, discussion, homework, and prelim as CS1112 during the first eight weeks of the semester. CS1142 carries 2 credits.

Expected Outcomes

In CS1112, students will acquire the following skills:

Academic Integrity

Simply put, academic integrity is about respecting yourself and respecting others. You respect yourself by submitting work completed through your own effort; you respect others by acknowledging contribution from others when such external contribution is allowed, e.g., for group projects. When your individual effort is required, for exams and in-class quizzes, you may neither seek nor accept help from others. You must read the complete Code of Academic Integrity as it applies to this course. Ignorance of the Code is not an acceptable excuse.

Times & Places

T, Th
Hollister B14
T, Th
Upson B17
201 T 12:20PM - 1:10PM UPS B7 & HLS 314 Alex Maass
202 T 1:25PM - 2:15PM UPS B7 & HLS 401 Danny Sperling
203 T 2:30PM - 3:20PM UPS B7 & HLS 401 Tommy Ashmore
204 T 3:35PM - 4:25PM UPS B7 & HLS 401 Alex Maass
205 W 10:10AM - 11:00AM UPS B7 & HLS 401
Dana Warmsley
206 W 11:15AM - 12:05PM UPS B7 & HLS 401
Dana Warmsley
207 W 12:20PM - 1:10PM UPS B7 & HLS 401
Tommy Ashmore
208 W 1:25PM - 2:15PM UPS B7 & HLS 401 Danny Sperling
209 W 2:30PM - 3:20PM UPS B7 & HLS 401 Dana Warmsley
210 W 3:35PM - 4:25PM UPS B7 & HLS 401 La Vesha Parker

Upson B7 is a computer lab. (UPS B7 is split in half; we will use the right half.)  The first two weeks and then every other week, discussion will take place in the lab instead of the regular classrooms. A reminder of the section location will be posted every Monday.


Instructor: K.-Y. Daisy Fan dfan at cs.cornell.edu
Teaching Assistants: Thomas Ashmore tba24 at cornell.edu
  Alex Maass am838 at cornell.edu
  La Vesha Parker ldp47 at cornell.edu
  Daniel Sperling dhs252 at cornell.edu
  Dana Warmsley dw457 at cornell.edu

See CS1112 --> Staff for other course staff and office hours.


Required material:

Optional software:   MATLAB Student Version (2008 or later)


You must adhere to the Code of Academic Integrity for all work.

Items that count towards your course grade include homework (programming projects), discussion/lab exercises, quizzes, and exams (prelims and final).

  • CS1112 students are allowed to drop one project (e.g., you added the course late, you submitted the wrong file, your partner forgot to submit your joint work, your dog ate your flash drive, etc.). CS1142 students may not drop any projects.
  • Discussion exercises are assigned and checked in discussion only. CS1112 students may have two non-excused absences; CS1142 students may have one non-excused absence.
  • In-class quizzes usually are done using clickers. For each question,
    • earn one point for submitting an answer
    • earn another point for getting the correct answer
    You will get full credit (1% of course grade) if you earn half of the maximum possible number of quiz points. We will start counting the questions as quiz questions after the "Add deadline," end of week 3.
  • CS1112 uses the following weights to determine the course grade:

    Exercises (E)  =   4% (discussion exercises)
    Quizzes   (Q)  =   1% (in lecture)
    Projects  (P)  =  25%
    Prelim 1  (T1)  =  20%
    Prelim 2  (T2)  =  20%
    Final     (F)  =  30%

  • CS1142 uses the following weights to determine the course grade:
    Exercises    (E)  =   9% (discussion exercises)
    Quizzes      (Q)  =   1% (in lecture)
    Projects 1-3 (P)  =  40%
    Prelim 1     (T1)  =  50%
    Prelim 1 is the only exam in CS1142.

Your course grade will follow the "cut-off" structure given below. You need an overall score higher than 55 (out of 100) to get a "D" ("marginal pass"). Note that your College (or Major) may require a "C-" to be a passing grade. We reserve the right to make adjustments both up and down based on our knowledge of each student.

     Overall score    Letter grade
        > 93           A-, A, A+ 
        > 80           B-, B, B+
        > 65           C-, C, C+

Special Accommodation

You must write all prelims and the final exam at their scheduled time unless your request for special accommodation (based on medical/disability reasons, religious holidays, exam conflicts as posted on the University exam schedule, or official travel for Cornell Althletics) has been approved beforehand. Any request for exam-taking accommodation must be made at least two weeks before the exam, with official documentation as appropriate (e.g., letter from Cornell Student Disability Services or Cornell Althletics team coach). If you have an illness that prevents you from completing required work, email the course instructor as soon as possible to make an alternative arrangement for the missed work.

Schedule and Lecture Materials

Topics and the course schedule are given below. Selected lecture slides and example code will be posted after each lecture. These posted files are not complete transcripts of the lectures. You are expected to attend lecture and to take notes for yourself. Topics and dates are subject to change.

No. Date Topics Lecture Slides Program Examples Reading (Insight)
1 8/26 T Introduction Slides
- Preface & Software sections
2 8/28 Th Programming basics Preview
sphereArea.m, diffArea.m 1.1
3 9/2 T Conditionals Preview
- 1.2
4 9/4 Th Nested conditionals; logical operators Preview
quadMin.m, quadMinGraph.m 1.2
  9/4 Th Project 1 due
5 9/9 T Iteration: for Preview
stickExp.m, showForLoop.m, ave10.m, mcPi.m 2.1
6 9/11 Th Iteration: while Preview
areaCircle.m, Eg2_2.m from Insight, areaIndef.m DrawRect, DrawStar from Insight, DrawDisk.m drawDemo.m,   2.2, 3.2
7 9/16 T Developing algorithms; nested loops Preview
DrawRect, DrawStar from Insight, DrawDisk.m drawDemo.m, nestedStars.m moreNestedStars.m, isItPrime.m, areTheyPrime.m, table.m 3.1
8 9/18 Th User-defined functions Preview
polar2xy.m, dotsInRings.m, randDouble.m, drawColorDot.m 5.1, 5.2
  9/18 Th Project 2 due
9 9/23 T Executing a user-defined function Preview
dotsInRings.m, randDouble.m, polar2xy.m 5.3
10 9/25 Th Probabilities and Averages; vectors Preview
plotComparison2.m, rollDie.m, rollDieV1.m   6.1
11 9/30 T Simulation; vectors Preview
RandomWalk2D.m, ShowRW.m, RandomWalk2D_v2.m, ShowRW2.m, Centralize_nonvec.m, Normalize_nonvec.m, Smooth.m, ShowSmooth.m   6.2, 6.3
12 10/2 Th Discrete vs. continuous; linear interpolation Preview
xenoDisks.m, threeFadingDisks.m fadingXenoDisks.m, rowsOfXenoDisks.m   4.1--4.3
  10/2 Th10/3 F Project 3 due
13 10/7 T 2-d Arrays--matrix Preview
plotComparison.m, minInMatrix.m   7.1
14 10/9 Th Matrix examples Preview
RandomLinks.m, CirclePoints.m, ShowRandomLinks.m Cheapest.m, ShowCheapest.m   7.2, 7.3
  10/11 - 10/14 Fall break
15 10/16 Th Working with Images Preview
pictureFrame.m, pictureFrame2.m, pictureFrameV.m, showMirror.m, LawSchool.jpg, bwduck.jpg   12.1, 12.2
  10/16 Th Prelim 1 at 7:30pm
16 10/21 T Working with Images Preview
showToGrayscale.m, medVal.m, MedianFilter.m, showFilter.m, Edges.m, LawSchoolNoise.jpg   12.4
17 10/23 Th Characters and strings Recording
caps.m, toUpper.m removeChar_loop.m, censor.m, showCensor.m 9.1
  10/23 Th 10/27 M Project 4 due
18 10/28 T Cell arrays Recording
CardDeck.m, Deal.m, Shuffle.m RomanNum.m, RN2Int.m, matchIDs.m, ShowMatchIDs.m   8.1
19 10/30 Th Working with numeric/text data (file I/O) Recording
file2cellArray.m, cellArray2file.m proteinXYZData.m population.m, statePop.txt   9.2, 11.1, 11.2
20 11/4 T Structures and structure arrays Preview
MakePoint.m, DrawLine.m, PickUpStix.m, CirclePoints.m, DrawPoints.m, DrawTriangle.m, LotsaTriangles.m,   10.1--10.3
21 11/6 Th Objects and Classes Preview
ShowIndices.m, demoPlotObj.m   -
  11/6 Th Project 5 due
22 11/11 T Class definition--properties & methods Preview
Interval.m, demoInterval1.m   -
23 11/13 Th Overloading, array of objects, constructor that handles variable number of args Preview
Interval.m, intervalArray.m, biggestInterval.m, LocalWeather.m, ithacaWeather.txt -
  11/13 Th Prelim 2 at 7:30pm
24 11/18 T Why OOP? Private vs. public, Inheritance Preview
Interval.m   OOP syntax summary
25 11/20 Th Inheritance Preview
Die.m, TrickDie.m, demoDice.m   -
26 11/25 T Recursion Preview
removeChar_loop.m, removeChar.m, removeChar2.m MeshTriangle.m, showMeshTriangle.m,   14.1, 14.2
  11/26 - 11/30 Thanskgiving Break
27 12/2 T Sorting and Searching Preview
InsertionSort.m, ShowInsertionSort.m, InsertionSortIntervals.m, demoSortIntervals.m, see Interval.m and intervalArray.m from previous lectures. binarySearch.m, showBinarySearch.m   9.1, 9.2
28 12/4 Th Divide and Conquer: merge sort Preview
mergeSort.m, merge.m, showMergeSort.m, comopareInsertMerge.m, insertSortInplace.m,   8.2, 9.3
  12/4 Th Project 6 due
  TBA Final Exam