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CS 101—Introduction to Programming for Engineers and Scientists

Neal Davis · Teaching Assistant Professor · Computer Science


What When and Where
Lectures Mon/Wed 11h00–11h50; Foellinger Auditorium
Labs Per-section, see below; L416 Digital Computer Laboratory
Class URL
Enrollment Course catalog
Instructor email
Class forum Piazza
Python Run online » Install (3.6 or higher) » Practice »
MATLAB Run online » Purchase MATLAB » Practice »
Syllabus PDF. For informational purposes only. This course website supersedes anything written there.

Textbook & Materials



We will rely on two textbooks throughout the semester:

Although I encourage acquiring a hard copy of them to both support the author and provide an annotatable resource, you should at a minimum have ready access to the digital copy via an on-campus connexion.


Assignments such as homeworks are due at 10 p.m. on the date indicated on the calendar (with the exception of materials assigned before the course add deadline; these are due on Wednesday, September 12). Lessons are due on Friday at 10 p.m. of the week of the corresponding lecture.


Section Date & Time TA Section Date & Time TA
AYA Mon 13h00–14h50 Ritwika Ghosh AYK Thu 09h00–10h50 Shubham Jain
AYB Mon 15h00–16h50 Zhe Xu AYL Thu 11h00–12h50 Dipayan Mukherjee
AYC Mon 17h00–18h50 Shubham Jain AYM Thu 13h00–14h50 Xiaodan Du
AYD Tue 09h00–10h50 Sanket Kanjalkar AYN Thu 15h00–16h50 Shekar Brahma
AYE Tue 11h00–12h50 Ritwika Ghosh AYO Fri 09h00–10h50 Zhe Xu
AYF Tue 13h00–14h50 Xiaodan Du AYP Fri 11h00–12h50 Yuanyi Zhong
AYG Tue 15h00–16h50 Shekar Brahma AYQ Fri 13h00–14h50 Yuanjing Shi
AYH Wed 13h00–14h50 Yuanyi Zhong AYR Fri 15h00–16h50 Yuanjing Shi
AYI Wed 15h00–16h50 Dipayan Mukherjee
AYJ Wed 17h00–18h50 Sanket Kanjalkar

Office Hours

Office hours will be held in 0222 Siebel Center. TAs and CAs will be present to assist you in understanding course concepts and completing course assignments. You may also ask questions on the course forum on Piazza.

Office hours will begin on September 10.

Day Times
Mon 16h0020h00
Tue 16h0020h00
Wed 16h0020h00

The Engineering CARE Center also has tutorial hours available for CS 101.

If you have spent more than two hours working on a problem and you can not see a way forward, post your code (not a screenshot!) privately to Piazza and include #twohours in the title. A TA will help you resolve your issues and be able to proceed.


Component Value per Assignment Total Value Explanation
Lessons 1% 22% Due one week after assigned for 100% credit; due two weeks after assigned for 50% credit. Seven lowest grades are dropped.
Attendance ½% 10% Six attendances are excused, period.
Homework 2% 24% Due Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Two lowest grades are dropped.
Lab/Discussion 2% 24% Labs missed for an approved reason (medical or dean's note) may be made up until the end of the subsequent lab. The lowest grade is dropped.
Quizzes 4% 20% The lowest grade is dropped. Quizzes are held in the CBTF.
Extra credit Occasionally available throughout the semester.

Because we automatically drop several assignments in each category, CS 101 does not excuse absences or failure to complete assignments. Please plan to complete assignments early or before necessary travel.

Letter Grade Range Letter Grade Range Letter Grade Range
A+ $[96⅔,100]$ A $[93⅓,96⅔)$ A- $[90,93⅓)$
B+ $[86⅔,90)$ B $[83⅓,86⅔)$ B- $[80,83⅓)$
C+ $[76⅔,80)$ C $[73⅓,76⅔)$ C- $[70,73⅓)$
D+ $[66⅔,70)$ D $[63⅓,66⅔)$ D- $[60,63⅓)$

James Scholar credit is available.


Students should attend the lecture and lab section for which they registered, or they will receive a zero for that lecture attendance or lab. Several assignments will be dropped in each category, and exams are available over several days. Taken together, this means that almost no exceptions should need to be made for absences. Permitted exceptional absences require proof of overriding considerations. Official proof of absence need to be in forms of doctor's note or letter provided by an authority that clearly states that the purpose of the letter is to prove absence; examples include a doctor's note, notice of travel from an athletic team, etc.; religious or DRES-based exemptions should be handled as directed in their respective policy sections on this website. Special events may be taken into consideration only if we are contacted at least 72 hours in advance. In these exceptional cases, to request an absence, students shall email course administration If the request is for a lab absence, the TA of the lab section should also be cc'd.

When a student has a permitted absence for lab, make-up labs will be arranged. Make-up labs will be held in office hours under supervision of a course TA.

Cheating not only robs you of an opportunity to learn, it also devalues your peers' hard work. Because of this, we take cheating very seriously in this course. The first case of cheating will result in a zero on the assignment or exam. The second case of cheating will result in a zero for the course. We will also report instances of cheating to the college and to your department.

Plagiarism is also very easy to detect in a programming class. Do not take shortcuts. Always do your own work. Note that we encourage discussion on course content. However, please write answers/codes to homework and lab assignments on your own (unless in some labs when you are instructed by your TA to complete assignments in pairs or groups).

Although an unpleasant evantuality to ponder, the truth is that we are at the center of campus and if anything ever happens during the day it will likely be near Foellinger Auditorium. The Run–Hide–Fight policy outlines what we should do as an aggregate body in the event of an attack occurring on campus; viz., run (escape the building), hide (hide within the building or nearby), or fight (if possible). The emergency plan for Foellinger Auditorium includes evacuation to the southwest corner of the building (please note that the second page is the ground floor).

Illinois law requires the University to reasonably accommodate its students’ religious beliefs, observances, and practices in regard to admissions, class attendance, and the scheduling of examinations and work requirements. This policy outlines the procedure that students should follow in requesting an accommodation. The policy attempts to strike a reasonable balance between accommodating religious observances of students and meeting the academic needs and standards of the University. Please complete the Request for Accommodation for Religious Observances form (warning: DOCX file). This form should be submitted by the student to the professor of the course and the Office of the Dean of Students by the end of the second week of the course in the semester in which the request applies.

To insure that disability-related concerns are properly addressed from the beginning, students with disabilities who require assistance to participate in this class are asked to contact course administration as soon as possible. Please include a copy of your DRES accommodations letter.

This course uses the College of Engineering Computer-Based Testing Facility (CBTF) for its quizzes and exams:
The policies of the CBTF are the policies of this course, and academic integrity infractions related to the CBTF are infractions in this course.
If you have accommodations identified by the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services (DRES) for exams, please take your Letter of Accomodation (LOA) to the CBTF proctors in person before you make your first exam reservation. The proctors will advise you as to whether the CBTF provides your accommodations or whether you will need to make other arrangements with your instructor.
Any problem with testing in the CBTF must be reported to CBTF staff at the time the problem occurs. If you do not inform a proctor of a problem during the test then you forfeit all rights to redress.