Purdue University

Department of Computer Science

CS 158
- C Programming, Fall 2010

Office Hours

Exam Dates

HW Due Dates


Re-grade Requests


Course Objectives:

CS 158 introduces the tools of software development that have become valuable for creative problem solving in Science and Engineering disciplines. We believe that it is important for future professionals in these field to be able to function as part of a technical team and will require students to work in assigned teams for lab assignments. Educational research informs us that structured collaboration leads to increased learning gains for students participating in an introductory programming course.

CS 158 explores programming concepts and how those concepts can be used to solve a problem.


The University asks students to place 2-3 hours outside of class per week in preparation for each credit hour of a course. The most successful students in previous offerings of CS 158 report habits such as reading the text, attending every lecture, and daily code writing that goes beyond the minimum of completing assignments.

Course Staff:

Instructor: William Crum

Office Location: HAAS G-26

Instructor Office Hours (HAAS G-26):
  • Tuesday 1:30-3:00
  • Wednesday 9:00-11:00
  • Thursday 1:30-3:00
Additional TA Office Hours (HAAS G-24):
  • Friday 10:30 - 11:20 and 11:30 - 1:00

TA Evening Hours:
Sunday through Thursday 7:00pm - 9:00pm SC 189

Important Dates:

Midterm Exam #1 Midterm Exam #2 Final Exam Academic Calendar

Date: Tuesday October 5, 2010
Time: 6:30pm

Location: Loeb Playhouse
Stewart (STEW) Center

Date: Wednesday November 10, 2010
Time: 6:30pm

Location: Loeb Playhouse
Stewart (STEW) Center

Date and Location: TBA

Last Day to Drop:
Wednesday October 27th


All relevant class information, updates, and announcements will be available on the CS 158 Blackboard site. Regular announcements will be posted on the "message of the day" which is visible when you log into your UNIX account. It is expected that you check both frequently for updates.

In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines, and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances.

Course Required Materials:


Lab Assignments (12 total, 5 points each):

Lab assignments are to be completed collaboratively in your assigned lab groups and each of these lab assignments will be due 30 minutes prior to your next lab meeting.

Lab Quizzes (12 total, 5 points each):

At the end of every lab there will be an individual assessment of your knowledge related to the topics implemented in the most recent assignments.  Knowledge of course standards and good programming practices will be evaluated throughout the semester.

Homework Assignments (7 total, 5 points each):

The homework assignments are individual efforts designed to give you the opportunity to solve problems on your own without the assistance of other students.

All assignments will be posted on Blackboard 10-14 days before they are due.

Homework Assignment

Due at 11pm on


September 6


September 20


October 4


October 18


November 1


November 15


November 29


Lecture Quiz (50 total points possible): 

Dates of in-lecture quizzes will not be made known in advance, you should assume a quiz will take place at each and every lecture meeting.  Quizzes may take place at the start of lecture, in the middle, and/or at the end of lecture. 

iClicker response pads are required to participate in lecture quizzes.  You should bring your response pad to every lecture.  Should your pad fail, or if you forget your pad, you may submit a written quiz using the form found in the back of your notes packet.  You may only utilize this method once during the semester.  Only the form provided in the current version of the packet will be accepted.

Exams (two midterms 100 points each, one final exam 150 points):

Exams will be individual assessments of your knowledge.  Exams will consist of multiple-choice problems. You will notice from the point distribution of the course that we feel being competent on exams is very important. You need to be able to communicate intelligently with others, including supervisors, on this topic without needing to be in front of a computer to demonstrate what you know.

Lecture Policies:

You are expected to arrive to lecture on time and to remain attentive. Disruptive students will be excused from lecture and asked to meet with course staff before returning to class. Please silence your cell phone during lecture. Lecture seats will be assigned by section and group. Check Blackboard for your seat assignment.

Lab Policies:

CS 158 labs will meet weekly (see lab schedule). You are expected to attend and to participate in every lab this semester. All lab assignments (as described previously) will be completed in collaborative teams assigned by your lab instructor. These lab assignments will be due 30 minutes before the start of your next lab and may require that your team meet outside of lab to complete the assignment.

Several lab sessions will be dedicated to teaming principles. Attendance at these sessions will be required as will completing the required teaming reflection responses as assigned throughout the semester. Failing to comply will result in a loss of lab points.

Because of our use of teaming, no points will be given to a student who is absent from, or late arriving to, a lab. If you are going to have a regular conflict with your lab time, please change sections.

You must bring your books and notes to every lab.


Assignment Points


Lab Tasks






Lecture Quizzes


Lab Quizzes





Grade Points Required









Our expectation of your lab instructor is that he/she grades your assignment in a timely manner and provides you with adequate feedback.  If you feel this is not the case please address your concern to your lab instructor and the lecturer of the course.  Typically, your lab instructor should be returning assignments 4-6 days after a given assignment is due.

Re-grade Request Policy:

To request a re-grade on any assignment you must formally make your request in writing to the instructor during office hours. You have five days to appeal any grade from the day the assignment is returned to you. After that period the grades are frozen and no appeal will be considered.

A re-grade request must include the following:


Only documented serious hardships will be considered for any make-up work.

If you have documentation of what you consider to be a serious hardship then you should contact the instructor in a timely manner during office hours. Any student who knows in advance of a coming absence must make a request for consideration one week prior to the planned absence.

Important Assignment Guidelines:

All assignments must abide by the programming and documentation standards of the course.  In ALL cases no credit will be given for programs that do not compile (that is, execution is suppressed due to compilation errors). Programs that execute and meet minimum assignment requirements but are not correct or complete will be considered for partial credit. To receive full credit, your program must produce correct results, be well-designed, be efficient, follow assignment requirements, and adhere to course programming and documentation standards.

An assignment that is not submitted as expected cannot be considered for a grade.  Only work submitted correctly prior to the assignment deadline can be considered for grading.  Late work is not accepted.

Resources and course staff may become heavily loaded as an assignment deadline nears. Waiting until the last minute to work on your project is dangerous! Our policy is NOT to extend deadlines unless campus resources (not your local ISP) are unavailable for an extended period near the deadline for an assignment.

ITaPís Outage (scheduled and unscheduled) Notification RSS Feed:

You are responsible for knowing how to use the technology utilized by the course, this includes but is not limited to UNIX and related course tools such as the assignment submission script.

Plan to submit work early!  Allow sufficient time to seek assistance should you experience any difficulties with assignments or submitting an assignment.

Collaborative Learning/Teaming/Participating as a Member of a Technical Team:

Here are our expectations of you and your group:

  1. Make time to meet with your group regularly.  There are 168 hours in a week, finding some common time for two or three people to meet should not be that difficult.  It is acceptable for just part of the group to meet some of the time if everyone cannot attend every meeting.  It is up to each individual to plan their contribution to the group effort accordingly.
    • A group may exclude the name of a member from the lab assignment header as a means of indicating a lack of satisfactory contribution to the group assignment.
  2. Allow everyone an opportunity to express their ideas on how to approach an assignment.  One benefit of collaborative teaming is that everyone brings a different idea to the group and the resulting effort should be a stronger one than if it was completed individually.
    • When a group member becomes unresponsive to requests to meet or to update the other members of the goup then those contributing members must continue without unresponsive member.
  3. All group members must be satisfied with the final submission.  It is not acceptable for a group to submit an assignment that is not approved by all group members.  "It is good enough" may be true for you but it is unfair for the others in the group who aspire for the strongest grade possible.
    • Likewise, each group member must be satisfied with your contribution to the group effort.
  4. Each group member must fully understand the entire assignment submitted.  Do not start your group meetings by trying to delegate the tasks to the different group members.  Everyone must understand and contribute to every aspect of the assignment and its development.
    • Assignments are an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge of the topic. Additionaly, an assignment can be a measure of what you don't know.
  5. Designate who will turn in the assignment, when it will be turned in, and how successful submission will be communicated with the rest of the group.  Only one person from the group will submit the assignment.  Set a goal to submit the assignment well in advance of the due date to avoid any last minute problems related to group communication.
    • All groups are encourage to exchange that work which was developed in lab before leaving.  Should a group member be unresponsive outside of class the remaining group members can proceed without starting over.
  6. You will work with the group assigned.  There is no other option in this course.  Please see us with concerns you may have with your group.  Take a professional approach with your group experience as similar to what you may experience at an internship or co-op experience.
    • Groups will be re-assigned after every four labs.

Academic Integrity: 

CS 158 applies very strict set of criteria regarding academic integrity and the consequences for violating course policies are serious.

You are encouraged to discuss any CS 158 topic including ideas about how to complete assignments. But, under no circumstances will exchange of code via written or electronic means be permitted between teams for collaborative assignments or individuals for individual assignments. It is considered dishonest either to read another team's solution or to provide anyone with a copy of your work.  Be very careful when working with others on individual assignments as this is generally discouraged.  The work you submit must be your own original effort.

When is it no longer acceptable to discuss an assignment with another student or someone not from my group?
  Discussions with peers are most appropriate during the early phases of solution development.  Once you begin to implement your solution or have constructed detailed flowcharts or structure charts you should be referencing course staff members exclusively for assistance.

Every student is responsible for protecting his/her own work.  Do not make the assumption that roommates, neighbors, significant others, or other "trusted" individuals would not take advantage of knowing your password, having access to your computer (use a password protected screen saver, logout when done), or finding a stray copy of your work left on a printer.  You are responsible for such events that leave your work unprotected.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that superficial changes in a program (such as altering comments, changing variable names, or interchanging statements) will avoid detection. If you cannot do the work yourself, it is extremely unlikely that you will succeed in disguising someone else's work as your own. We are adamant that violations in any form will not be tolerated. Even the most trivial assignment is better not done than if you violate course integrity policies to complete it.

As easy as it is to share an electronic copy of a file, to gain access to a file through account sharing, or sharing a hard copy of your work, it is as just as easy to analyze and detect such sharing as it results in similar efforts being submitted.

Assume that every submission you make during the semester will be analyzed by a software similarity service.  This service will return the percentage of similarity between your solution and those submitted by others in the course.  The service indicates the number of lines matched.  You will be solving problems this semester that have no unique solution and your solution is expected to be uniquely yours.  Concerns regarding any of our policies should be addressed during office hours.

The software service utilized is not for profit.  The service does not retain your file.  The course will retain your files for the purpose of record keeping for the current semester and may retain your files for similarity comparisons in future semesters.

Minimum consequences for violating course policies will include:

Exceptions to the minimum consequences:



CS 158 Lab Schedule

All assignments due 30 minutes before the next lab begins.

Week of Lab Assignment
August 23 Lab #0
August 30 Lab #1
September 6 Lab #2
September 13 Lab #3
September 20 Lab #4
September 27 Lab #5
October 4 NO LAB
October 11 Lab #6
October 18 Lab #7
October 25 Lab #8
November 1 Lab #9
November 8 Lab #10
November 15 Lab #11
November 22 NO LAB
November 29 Lab #12
December 6 OPEN
December 13 Finals Week - No Lab

CS 158 Topic Schedule
All reading is a reference to the Gilberg/Forouzan text


Week of Tuesday Thursday
August 23 Introduction UNIX and Chapter1
August 30

Chapter 1 & 2

Chapter 2 & 3
September 6 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
September 13 Chapter 4 Chapter 4
September 20 Problem Solving Techniques Problem Solving Techniques
September 27 Chapter 5 Chapter 5
October 4 Chapter 5 & 6 No Lecture - Midterm #1 Compensation
October 11 No Lecture - October Break Chapter 6
October 18 Chapter 6 Chapter 7
October 25 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
November 1 Chapter 8 Chapter 8
November 8 Chapter 8 Chapter 8
November 15 Chapter 8 & 11 Chapter 11
November 22 No Lecture - Midterm #2 Compensation No Lecture - Thanksgiving Break
November 29 Chapter 9 & 10 Chapter 9 & 10
December 6 Chapter 12 Chapter 12
December 13 Final Exam Week

Course Syllabus Subject to Change with Notice