CPSC 315 Programming Studio:
Fall 2010


NEWS: 12/6/10, 12:27PM (Mon)
Read-Only Bulletin Board.: 9/2/10, 09:02AM (Thu)

Page last modified: 9/2/10, 08:50AM Thursday.

General Information Resources Weekly Schedule Credits Lecture Notes Example Code Read-Only Board

I. General Information


Dr. Yoonsuck Choe
Email: choe(a)tamu.edu
Office: HRBB 322B
Phone: 979-845-5466
Office hours: Tuesday/Thursday 1pm-2pm.


Timothy Mann
Email: mann23@tamu.edu
Office: HRBB 339
Phone: TBA
Office hours: 1:40pm - 2:40pm, Monday - Friday


This class is intended for students who have completed CPSC 314 - Programming Languages, and are concurrently taking CPSC 313 - Intro to Computer Systems. It is meant to be somewhat of a "capstone" course for the lower-level computer science courses, before taking courses in the upper-level tracks.


Tue/Thu 3:55-5:10pm, HRBB 113

The course is listed as a 2-hour per week lecture, and 2-hour per week lab, however it has been intentionally scheduled for 3 hours per week of lecture (along with the lab). We will meet a total of 28 lecture periods over the course of the semester. The idea is to "front-load" these lectures in the earlier part of the semester, to cover material that might be useful when working on the programming projects, and spend less lecture time during the project periods themselves. Also, some days when the instructor travels might be used as some of the "missed" days. The specific list of days we will meet will be provided on the course web page.

There is a final exam time reserved for this class. Although the plan is to wrap up the course before this time, students should leave the final exam time available until instructed otherwise, since it might be used for project presentations or something similar. However, there will not be a final exam in the course.


Section 501: MW 4:10pm-5:00pm, RMDC 111C Section 503: MW 12:40pm-1:30pm, RMDC 111C


This course is intended as an intensive programming experience that integrates core concepts in Computer Science and familiarizes students with a variety of programming/development tools and techniques. Students will primarily work in small teams on month-long projects emphasizing different specializations within computer science. The course focuses on honing good programming techniques to ease code integration, reuse, and clarity.

The primary goal for this class is to have students emerge with strong programming skills, able to address both individual and team programming challenges competently. The class is meant to allow students to improve their programming skills through significant practice.


We will be using the following textbook: Other books that may be drawn from, and that might be useful references include both the first edition of Code Complete, as well as:

Computer Accounts:

  1. Computer accounts: if you do not have a unix account, ask for one on the CS web page.

Topics to be covered:

Among the topics to be covered in lecture periods are: Though many topics will overlap, this course is not intended to be as in-depth or comprehensive as a standard software engineering course, which focuses more on project management - students may take the software engineering class after taking this class.

Note: You should expect to spend a significant amount of time (>10 hours/week) outside of class time on programming projects. This may require meeting with team members outside of the class/lab periods.

See the Weekly Schedule section for more details.


There will be three major projects in the course, each counting for 28% of the overall grade. Specific grading practices for each project will be announced when that project is given out, but the grade may include factors such as evaluation of code clarity, teamwork, etc. Peer evaluation may be used as a significant contributing factor to these grades. The remaining 16% of the grade will be an individual grade based on individual exercises, quizzes, participation in the course survey, and an evaluation of class participation (which might include participation in code reviews). Individual assignments will be small programming assignments to be completed on an individual basis.

The 16% of the grade will start off as being based totally on instructor judgement of class participation and effort. As the course progresses, any quizzes given out, individual assignments given out, or other specific graded material will note the portion of this individual grade which that quiz/assignment/etc. affects. The remainder of the individual grade will be based on the subjective class participation and effort grade. For example, if there are 8 quizzes at 1% each, one individual assignment at 4%, and participating in the course evaluation is 2%, then the remaining 2% is based on the subjective evaluation.

The grading scale expected to be used is ? 90% > B ? 80% > C ? 70% > D ? 60% > F. In addition to this, the instructor reserves the right to provide a relative or absolute curve to the final class grade (note that such a curve has not always been applied, and should not be assumed). Also, the instructor may raise the grades of any students near a borderline based on a subjective evaluation of class participation and effort.

Academic Integrity:

AGGIE HONOR CODE: An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.

Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning, and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the TAMU community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System.

For additional information please visit: http://www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/

For this class, certain aspects of the honor code need to be clarified.

  1. There may be times in this course where you or your team make use of external code/software/libraries. Whenever this is done, you must make sure that, in addition to following any restrictions on that code itself, you clearly document what the source of the external code was, and how it was used.
  2. There may be cases in this course where you or your team seeks outside assistance related to one of the projects. Any assistance received from people other than members of your team, the professor, teaching assistant, or peer teacher needs to be clearly documented.
  3. You will be working in team environments in this course, and your work as a team will be used to determine grades. As such, it is your responsibility, when asked, to:
    • accurately describe the work that you have done on a team project. Claiming credit for work that you have not done or that others did instead is a violation of the code.
    • accurately describe (to the best of your knowledge) the performance of other team members. "Covering" for another team member (claiming they did more work than you know they did) or "spiking" them (claiming they did less work than you know they did) are examples of honor code violations.
    • prevent (as best you can) or report (known) violations of the honor code by your other team members. You share responsibility when a project is turned in; if you are aware of a teammate having violated the code in his/her work on the project, and do not report it, you are claiming credit for that violation yourself.
If there are any questions or concerns about whether an action is appropriate, you should check with the professor or teaching assistant first. If in doubt, assume that it is not appropriate.

Course Policy:

Students with Disabilities:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities, in Cain Hall or call 845-1637.

II. Resources

  1. TBA

III. Weekly Schedule and Class Notes

Notices and Dues
1 8/31 Introduction, Naming Chap 1,2,7.3     slide01.pdf
1 9/2 Style, commenting Chap 11, 31,32 Individual assignment Announced   slide03.pdf
2 9/7 Project 1: Intro to Databases. Entity-Relationship Model. Relational Databases, SQL schema       slide05.pdf
2 9/9 SQL queries, Database implementation       slide08.pdf
3 9/14 API design,General software design principles   Project 1 announced Individual assignment due slide10.pdf
3 9/16 General software design principles, Testing       slide11.pdf
4 9/21 Debugging, Software development approaches, Agile development       slide13.pdf
4 9/23 No class        
5 9/28 Agile development, Collaborative software development,Design patterns       slide15.pdf
5 9/30 Code portability, Code performance, Code tuning       slide18.pdf
6 10/5 Project 2 lectures: Introduction to AI       slide21.pdf
6 10/7 Search       slide22.pdf
7 10/12 Game search   Project 2 announced   slide22.pdf
7 10/14 Advanced Game AI: Neuroevolution     Project 1 due slide23.pdf
8 10/19 Network protocols and socket programming Mani Radhakrishnan and Jon Solworth's lecture slides will be used      
8 10/21 No class Project 3 lectures: XML, Middleware and web services, test-driven development       slide24.pdf
9 10/26 No class        
9 10/28 No class Project 3 lectures: XML, Middleware and web services, test-driven development       slide24.pdf
10 11/2 Project 3 lectures: XML, Middleware and web services, test-driven development       slide24.pdf
10 11/4 No class        
11 11/9 Project 1 review Class moved to 11/18 Project 3 TBA   Project 2 due 11/10  
11 11/11 No class        
12 11/16 No class        
12 11/18 No class Project 1 review        
13 11/23 Project 2 review No lab this week!      
13 11/25 No class: Thanksgiving No lab this week!      
14 11/30 No class        
14 12/2 Course wrap up and Q&A session        
15 12/7 Project 3 presentations     Project 3 due 12/6 11:59pm  

IV. Credits

Most of the course content and lecture slides were originally developed by Prof. John Keyser.

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