CS 509 - Advanced Programming II

Fall 2002


Programming computers can be great fun, but doing the job well requires almost impossible amounts of discipline, attention to detail, and pure drive. The machines churn through billions of operations per second and a mistake in just one can send everything tumbling out of control.

--- Peter Wayner, reviewing Bitter Java
Slashdot, 16 May 2002

Table of Contents

Course Description

This is a graduate-level course in advanced programming. See the CS 509 course catalog entry for more information.

The prerequisites for this class are CS 502, Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science and CS 503, Advanced Programming I. You must be a programmer with a working knowledge of C++.

The course is divided into seven two-week sections. See the syllabus for details.

The class meets in Howard Hall L512 (Go past Howard Hall to Pollak Auditorium; make a left at the Auditorium doors; L512 is the lecture hall past the Box Office) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:50 p.m. There will no be classes on Thanksgiving, Thursday, 28 November. Wednesday, 6 November, is the last day you can withdraw from the class with a W.

Objectives

The course objectives are to hone your skills in program design and implementation. At the end of this course, you should know

Instructor

Grading

There will be seven tests and seven programming assignments, one assignment and test for each of the seven sections; see the syllabus for the schedule. Tests will be given in class, and are closed book with no notes; calculators and computers will not be necessary. The tests are cumulative, covering everything taught up to and including the class before the test. Tests should take no more than an hour to complete, and will be given in the first hour of class. Test answers will be made available off the syllabus.

Each programming assignment will be made available on the syllabus at the start of the associated section. Programming assignments are due two weeks from the day the assignment is issued. My version of the programming assignment will be made available on the syllabus after all the assgnments have been received.

The final grade is a weighted average of test scores and programming assignment grades; the programming assignments grades make up 85% of the final grade and the test grades make up the remaining 15%.

The usual grade ranges are in effect:

95 <=A
90 <=A-< 95
86.6<=B+< 90
83.3<=B < 86.6
80 <=B-< 83.3
76.6<=C+< 80
73.3<=C < 76.6
70 <=C-< 73.3
F < 70
All grades are kept with one digit of precision to the right of the decimal point and 0.05 rounded up. No grades are adjusted to a curve; that means, for example, that 89.9 is always a B+, never an A-.

The final grades.

Media

Textbook

There are two textbooks for this course, one required and one optional. The required textbook is

Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example by Andrew Koenig and Barbara Moo, Addison Wesley, 2000. With errata.

The optional but highly recommended textbook is

STL Tutorial and Reference Guide: C++ Programming with the Standard Template Library, second edition, by David R. Musser, Gillmer J. Derge, and Atul Saini; Addison Wesley, 2001. With errata.

If you buy a copy of this from elsewhere, make sure you get a copy of the second edition (the one with the green swoop and three authors, not the one with the blue swoop and two authors).

In addition, you should also have a C++ book handy so you can learn new C++ features and resolve some of the finer points for C++ features about which you already know. I will be using C++ How to Program by Deitel and Deitel - the textbook for 500 and 503 - but any reasonably complete C++ book would do as well.

I've also put together a bibliography of C++ and programming books I've found helpful.

E-mail

You should feel free to send me e-mail. Unless I warn you beforehand, I'll usually respond within a couple of hours during the usual work days; if I don't respond within a day, resend the message.

Mail relevant to the class will be stored in a hyper-mail archive. If your message is of general interest to the class, I'll store it, suitably stripped of identification and along with my answer, in the archive.

News group

The class news group mu.cs.cs509 can be found at the news server on cslab.monmouth.edu. The news group is not available outside Monmouth University. Those unfamiliar with news groups will probably find it easiest to start with Netscape Navigator (last modified on 4 September 2002).

Home page

If you're reading this on paper, you can find the class home page at http://www.monmouth.edu/rclayton/web-pages/f02-509/index.html. I'll make the class notes, assignments, and tests available off the syllabus; you should get in the habit of checking the home page and syllabus regularly.

Policies

Assistance

People who need assistance or accommodations above and beyond what is usually provided in class should contact the University's ADA/504 coordinator to get those needs met. See me or the Disability Services page for more details.

Attendance

I have no class attendance policy; you may attend class or not as you see fit. However, I hold you responsible for knowing everything that goes on in class; "I wasn't in class for that." is not an acceptable excuse for a wrong answer, or for giving no answer at all.

My attendance policy applies only to lecture attendance; it does not apply to other kinds of attendance which may be required for the course. Repeated failures to meet the attendance expectations set for tests, meetings, projects, labs or other forms of course work will have a bad influence on your grade.

Cheating

I deal with suspected cheating by failing first and asking questions later. Although cheating has many forms, I generally consider cheating to be any attempt to claim someone else's work as your own; also, I consider both the provider and the user of the work guilty of cheating. See the chapters on Academic Information and the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook for more details.

Complaining about Grades

I recognize and encourage a student's sacred right to complain about their grade. There are, however, a few rules under which such complaining should take place, and those students who don't follow the rules will be less successful in their complaints than those students who do follow the rules.

First, the only complaint that matters is that something got marked wrong when it was actually right. When you come to complain, be prepared to present, in explicit detail, what it is you did and why you think it's right.

Second, complaints about a particular test or assignment are only valid until the next test or assignment is due; after that point the book is permanently closed on all previous test or assignment grades.

Late Assignments

Assignments must be turned in by their due date; assignments turned in after their due date are late. You should contact me as soon as possible if you need to negotiate a due-date extension. The longer you wait to negotiate, the less likely it is you'll be successful; in particular, you have almost no chance of getting an extension if you try for one the day before the due date, and you have no chance of getting an extention on the due date.

A late assignment is penalized five points a day for each day it's late. I use a 24-hour clock running from midnight to midnight to measure days; note this means that an assignment handed in the day after it's due is penalized ten points: five for the day it was due and five for the next day.

Missing Tests

There may occasionally be a conflict between taking a test and doing something else, particularly among those working full time. If you're going to be out of town, or on jury duty, or whatever, on a test day, let me know beforehand and we'll discuss a make-up test.

A make-up test must be scheduled to be taken by the date of the test following the missed test (or the final exam if you miss the last test). If a missed test is not made up by the time of the next test, you get a zero for the missed test.

There will be only one make up given per missed test. If more than one person misses the same test, those people will have to coordinate among themselves to pick a mutually agreeable date for the make up.

Links

The previous time I taught this course.

A description of SaferSTL (last modified on 17 September 2002), which I'll be using when I test your assignments.

The ISO working group responsible for creating standard C++.

The SGI Standard Template Library (STL) pages.

The Boost libraries is a collection of libraries for C++. There is some amazing C++ programming here, particularly template programming.

Taligent's Guide to Designing Programs. Taligent was an IBM-Apple partnership formed in the early 90s to develop a next generation, object-oriented operating system (codenamed, at least for a while, "Pink"). The partnership dissolved without, as far as I know, producing anything apart from documentation.


This page last modified on 20 December 2002.