Assignments, Exams, and Readings

Graded Assignments
Assignment Due Date % Final Grade
Homework 1: Thinking about Algorithms Sept. 6, before class. 3%
Homework 2: Compiling and Submitting Programs Sept. 13, before class 4%
Project 1 Design Sept. 20 3%
Project 1
Project 1 Solution
Sept. 27 6%
Project 2 Design Oct. 4 3%
Project 2
Project 2 Solution
Oct. 11 6%
Project 2 Testing Oct. 18 1%
Midterm Exam Oct. 25, in class 20%
Project 3
Project 3 Solution
Nov. 1Before 11:59 PM, November 5th. 8%
Project 3 Testing Nov. 8, before 11:59PM 1%
Project 4
Project 4 Solution
Nov. 20 8%
Project 4 Testing Nov. 27 2%
Project 5 Dec. 6 10%
Final Exam Dec. 17, 9:00 AM (subject to change, check Registrar) 25%

Instructor, TA, and Course Information

  • Times you can get help

    Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    11 Class Class
  • Instructor

    Clay Shields
    Office: 323 St Mary's Hall
    Office Hours: TBD
    Contact information here.
  • Teaching Assistants

    • TBD
  • Course Information

    Although intended for computer science majors and minors, other students with a serious interest in learning C++ programming may take this class. Topics include: basic data types; the C++ string class; variables, constants, and their declarations; input/output (cin/cout), assignment, and arithmetic operators; conditional and repetition control structures; basic file operations; programmer-defined functions; value and reference parameters; scoping rules; name precedence; function and operator overloading; template functions; elementary software engineering principles; the Standard Template Library (STL); the vector class; elementary searching and sorting; abstract data types; programmer-defined classes; pointers; self-referential classes; dynamic object creation and destruction; stacks and linked lists; recursion; abstract base classes; virtual functions; polymorphism; template classes; and exception handling. This course will satisfy the college science requirement, and how. Prerequisite: none.


  • Textbook
    The optional textbook for this class is Starting out with C++, Early Objects, 7th edition by Gaddis, Walters, and Muganda. Most material will be given in lecture, but this is a useful supplement. Will the 6th edition do? Probably, but I haven't seen it. Problems from the book will not be given for grades, but specific problems will be listed as being useful for exam study.
  • Tutorials
    The official class system is a Unix system. There will be help sessions in the third week of class on how to use seva. We also have a number of tutorials available to help you with the system.

    • Unix information: For most of you, working on Unix will be odd. There is no graphical interface; you will need to type commands to make things happen. Here are some references to help you find useful commands.

    • Editing on Unix: You can use a variety of different programs to edit your code. The easiest to learn is called nano, and I recommend you start with that.

      If you plan on doing lots of CS work, I think you should learn emacs. While vi is more widely available than emacs and is smaller and faster to load, but emacs is far more customizable and powerful, can load specific modes that help you with the type of file you are editing, and can include other useful functionalities like web browsing and email. Emacs is probably harder to learn because it does so much more, but once you have mastered it, it is a power tool. It can even emulate vi!

      There are other Unix editors that you can choose to learn as well. The most common is vi, which is installed on many Unix systems. Many people swear by its simplicity, others curse its primordial interface. I am in the

    • Putting it all together: Professor Maloof created this tutorial which shows how to edit and compile a program on Unix.

  • Software
    • Remote Connection Software: Even if you use one of the compilers listed below, you will have to make sure your code works on, since that is our reference platform and gets backed up regularly. The software below will allow you to log into and transfer files back and forth.
      • SSH terminal and file transfer client for Windows. You can use this to both long in and transfer files over an encrypted connection. I recommend this highly and use it regularly myself.
      • For Mac, you can open the Terminal program under /Applications/Utlities, and use ssh from the command line there. For file transfer, you might want to use Cyberduck.
      • For linux, open up that terminal window and use ssh and scp
    • Compilers: These programs allow you to edit and compile programs on your computer.


All my courses are run under the same set of policies which are available here. Students are expected to read and understand these policies. You can also read the Honor Council site.