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CS 1110: Introduction to Computing Using Python

Fall 2017

Course Materials

Text (Optional)

Historically, the main text for CS1110 was Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, Second Edition, by Allen B. Downey. While we still refer to this text, I have become less enamored with it over the years. It presents material in a fundamentally different order than we do in this course, and it is really only good as a supplementary reference.

Instead of requiring a textbook that you will never use, I recommend that you get the PDF or eBook, which is available free online.You can download it from Green Tree Press. If you absolutely need a paper copy, you can buy one from Amazon.

iClickers (Required)

This course will use iClickers in many lectures. In fact, everyone who registers in this course is expected to have an iClicker and to bring it to class every day. They are primarily intended learn how you think the lecture is going and see how well you understand what has been presented. They will be used often, and they will contribute to your participation grade. However, you will never be graded on whether the answers you submit by iClicker are "correct"; it is more of an attendance grade.

You can buy an iClicker at the Campus bookstore, and you should be able to use it in several of your courses over the years. If you have never used an iClicker before, then you will need to register it with Cornell. The following two URLs will help you with this process:

Use of someone else's iclicker, either because you forgot yours or because they cannot be there and asked you to click theirs once or twice, is a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity and will be prosecuted.

iClicker App (Reef Polling) is Unsupported

In past semesters, we allowed students to use the iClicker App on their mobile phones. This was not ideal. Integrating mobile phones with in-class polls can be quite tricky, and the server went down on students a few times through the semester. However, we supported it because the app was free (as iClicker Go), making one less expenses for you.

Now iClicker has started to charge for the use of this app. There is no point in paying for this app when you can buy a used iClicker cheaper. As no one is benefiting from this app, we are no longer supporting it.

Other Python texts

You may use any other text that you wish as a reference. Here is a sample of conventional texts:

  • Campbell, Gries, Montojo, and Wilson, Practical Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science Using Python. The Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2009.

  • Zelle, Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science. Franklin, Beedle & Assoc., 2010.

  • Budd, Exploring Python. McGraw Hill, 2008.

USB Storage Devices

Unless you install Python on your own machine, a lot of your work will be in the CIT computing labs. You are not allowed to leave personal files on these machines, and the CIT typically deletes any personal file soon after you leave the station. Therefore, you need some place to save your work. Typically, students do this with a USB storage devices that they carry to the ACCEL Labs.

If you do not want to use a USB storage device, an alternative is to e-mail yourself your files at the end of lab. However, the advantage of a USB device is that it keeps your files nice and organized.

IMPORTANT: You should back up your work regularly to protect yourself in case something is lost. No one likes to have to redo everything the night before the due date.

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