Bryn Mawr College
CS 110: Introduction to Computing
Spring 2015

Professor Douglas Blank

General Information

Item Description
Instructor Doug Blank
Office hours Tuesday 9:30am - 11:00am
Lecture Monday/Wednesday 2:40pm - 4:00pm
Room Park 338
Open Lab Thursday 9:30am - 11:00am Park Room 231 (Computer Science Lab)
Lab Assistants

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 and Javascript. 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 Assignment Notes
1 Jan 21 Introduction For Monday do:
After completing the tutorial, read Chapter 1 (Read pages 1-12, glance at 12-32)
Processing Step 1
2 Jan 26 Drawing Sketches Assignment1 Jan26, Chapter 2
3 Feb 2 Objects Assignment2 Feb2, Feb4, Chapter 3
4 Feb 9 Study in Spirographics Assignment3 Chapter 4
Feb 11 Bouncing Ball to Angry Birds Chapter 5
5 Feb 16 Visualization, part 1 Assignment4
Feb 18 Visualization, part 2
6 Feb 23 Genetic Algorithm Work on Collecting Data, Visualization Chapter 5
Feb 25 Visualization, part 3
7 Mar 2 Review Chapter 1 - 5
Mar 4 Exam #1 Covers Chapter 1 - 5
8 Mar 9 Spring Break!
9 Mar 16 Object Oriented Programming Assignment5 Install Processing, Chapter 1; Read Chapter 6. Rag Dolls and Tapestries
10 Mar 23 Object Oriented Programming, continued Assignment6 Termites, Infectious Diseases
Mar 25 OOP Practice See Chapter 6 for discussion of OOP
11 Mar 30 State and Perspective Assignment7 See Chapter 11 for discussion of Projection
Apr 1 Sorting See Chapter 5 (apge 158) and Chapter 7 (page 252) for discussions of sorting
12 Apr 6 Robot control Robot.pde, World.pde, Hit.pde: Assignment 8 Additional notes on Sorting, Java, and Tutor
Apr 8 Image Processing Assignment 9 Robot Practice, Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 (Convolution, page 390)
13 Apr 13 Vision and Images Photoshop-like Functions Chapter 10
14 Apr 20 What is Computer Science? Tie up loose ends
15 Apr 27 Review Jeopardy! Chapters 1 - 5, 6, 9 - 11
Apr 29 Exam Chapters 1 - 5, 6, 9 - 11

Important Dates

  • January 20: First lecture
  • March 4: Exam 1
  • April 29: Exam 2/Last lecture

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 55%
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.

Reference Links