Bryn Mawr College
CS 110: Introduction to Computing
Fall 2015

Professor Douglas Blank

General Information

Item Description
Instructor Douglas Blank
Office hours Tuesday 9:00am - 10:00am, and by appointment
Lecture Tuesdays/Thursdays 2:25pm - 3:45pm
Room Park 338
Phone (610) 526-6501
Open Lab Thursday 9:00am - 11:00am Park Room 231 (Computer Science Lab)
TA Hours TA sessions are in Park Science, room 231
Sunday, 2-⁠4pm: Tu
Monday, 6-⁠8pm: Jordan and Katherine
Monday, 8-⁠10pm: Jordan
Tuesday, 6-⁠10pm: Hanna
Wednesday, 6-⁠8pm: Katherine
Wednesday, 8-⁠10pm: Lizzie
Thursday, 6-⁠10pm: Ziting
Friday, 11am-⁠1pm: Lizzie
Saturday, 4-⁠6pm: Tu
Jupyter, login

Syllabus and Schedule

Course Description: An introduction to the nature, subject matter and branches of computer science as an academic discipline, and the nature, development, coding, testing, documenting and analysis of the efficiency and limitations of algorithms. Also includes the social context of computing (risks, liabilities, intellectual property and infringement).

This semester, we will be exploring the creative aspects of coding as a context for learning the above concepts. You will exercise your creativity by designing programs in a language called, Processing. Processing is a new language/environment built upon the programming language Java. Processing was created by artists, designers, and computer scientists to explore ideas of creative coding sing computer algorithms. We will also cover a variety of other topics, from bioinformatics to robotics. We will cover much of the entire text during this semester.


Week Date Topic Activity Assignment
1 Sep 1 Introduction Read Chapter 1, Video 1: Getting Started Assignment1
Sep 3 Drawing Sketches Read Chapter 2
2 Sep 8 Parameterized Drawing Discuss Chapter 2 Assignment2
Sep 10 Programming concepts: variables, math, functions
3 Sep 15 drawLeaf, and Pair Programming Activity Read Chapter 2
Sep 17 Jigsaw for Processing Java variables, functions, and loops Assignment3
4 Sep 22 Spirographics Read Spirographics and Chapter 3
Sep 24
5 Sep 29 Animations Read Chapter 4 Assignment4
Oct 1 Vertex, Shapes, and Rotation
6 Oct 6 Visualizations 1 Read Chapter 5
Oct 8 Review Play Jeopardy! Assignment5
7 Oct 13 Fall break - No classes
Oct 15 Fall break - No classes
8 Oct 20 Review for Exam 1
Oct 22 Exam 1
9 Oct 27 Object-Oriented Programming Read Chapter 6 Assignment6
Oct 29 State of Mind Oct29
10 Nov 3 Java, Arrays, and Sorting Read Ch. 6 on OOP, Ch. 5 (p. 150 - 155) on Arrays; Ch 7. (p. 250 - 255) on Sorting
Nov 5 Robot Control Chapter 6, Inheritance: Is-a Assignment7
11 Nov 10 Divide and Conquer 20 Questions Classroom exercise
Nov 12 Sorting and Evolution Ch. 7 Sorting (again)
12 Nov 17 Image Processing Read Chapter 9 Assignment8
Nov 19 No class - discussion on diversity Read Chapter 10
13 Nov 24 Image Functions Read Chapter 8
Nov 26 Thanksgiving break - No classes
14 Dec 1 Computer Science Laura's Foot
Dec 3 Computer Science Sea Creatures Recursion
15 Dec 8 Live code review Review OOP, translate/rotate, arrays
Dec 10 Review Mathematical Functions

Important Dates

  • Fall Classes Begin: Monday, August 31, 2015
  • Labor Day - No Classes: Monday, September 7, 2015
  • Fall Break Begins (after last class): Friday, October 9, 2015
  • Fall Break Ends (at 8am): Monday, October 19, 2015
  • Last day of classes: Thursday, December 10, 2015
  • Reading Days: Friday, December 11, 2015
  • Exams Begin: Sunday, December 13, 2015
  • Exams End (at 12:30pm): Friday, December 18, 2015
  • Final Grade Due (at noon): Monday, January 4, 2016

Text and Software

Processing: Creative Coding & Generative Art in Processing 2 by Ira Greenberg, Dianna Xu, Deepak Kumar, Friends of ed, 2013. Available at the Campus Bookstore. Also at amazon for \$40.94 A Kindle eBook is available for those comfortable learning from an eBook (Amazon price is \$20.00). The Bryn Mawr Bookstore price is $44.99.

Processing Software (This software is already installed in the Computer Science Lab). The software is also available for your own computer from Processing web site ( Download the latest stable 2.X version for your own computer/Operating System.

Course Policies


Attendance and active participation are expected in every class. Participation includes asking questions, contributing answers, proposing ideas, and providing constructive comments.

As you will discover, we are proponents of two-way communication and we welcome feedback during the semester about the course. We are available to answer student questions, listen to concerns, and talk about any course-related topic (or otherwise!). Come to office hours! This helps us get to know you. You are welcome to stop by and chat. There are many more exciting topics to talk about that we won't have time to cover in-class.

Although computer science work can be intense, please stay in touch with us, particularly if you feel stuck on a topic or project and can't figure out how to proceed. Often a quick e-mail, phone call or face-to-face conference can reveal solutions to problems and generate renewed creative and scholarly energy. It is essential that you begin assignments early, since we will be covering a variety of challenging topics in this course.


There will be about seven assignments, weighted equally in the final grading. Assignments must be submitted according to the Assignment Submission instructions. You should pay careful attention to the Code Formatting Standards and Grading Policy when doing your assignments. The grading structure for individual assignments is broken down in the Grading Policy.

At the end of the semester, final grades will be calculated as a weighted average of all grades according to the following weights:

Item Percentage
Exam 1 20%
Exam 2 25%
Assignments 45%
Project 10%
Total 100%

Incomplete grades will be given only for verifiable medical illness or other such dire circumstances.

Submission and Late Policy

All work must be turned in either in hard-copy or electronic submission, depending on the instructions given in the assignment. E-mail submissions, when permitted, should request a "delivery receipt" to document time and date of submission. Extensions will be given only in the case of verifiable medical excuses or other such dire circumstances, if requested in advance and supported by your Academic Dean.

No assignment will be accepted after it is past due.

No past work can be "made up" after it is due.


There will be two exams in this course. The exams will be closed-book and closed-notes. The exams will cover material from lectures, homeworks, and assigned readings (including topics not discussed in class).

Study Groups

We encourage you to discuss the material and work together to understand it. Here are our thoughts on collaborating with other students:

  • The readings and lecture topics are group work. Please discuss the readings and associated topics with each other. Work together to understand the material. We highly recommend forming a reading group to discuss the material -- we will explore many ideas and it helps to have multiple people working together to understand them.
  • It is fine to discuss the topics covered in the homeworks, to discuss approaches to problems, and to sketch out general solutions. However, you MUST write up the homework answers, solutions, and programs individually without sharing specific solutions, mathematical results, program code, etc. If you made any notes or worked out something on a white board with another person while you were discussing the homework, you shouldn't use those notes while writing up your answer.
  • You should not show your code to other students before it is submitted. After it has been submitted, we will share and demonstrate code.
  • You may discuss high-level code ideas with others.

If you have any questions as to what types of collaborations are allowed, please feel free to ask.