This course is designed to provide an introduction to programming
and to a modern high level language (Python) so that the student becomes a
competent programmer. Emphasis is placed on structured programming
techniques. By the end of this course the student will be able to
define a problem, determine the necessary input/output
requirements, prepare an algorithm to solve the problem, write
structured Python code, debug the program, and produce
documentation specifying how the program can be used and the methods by
which the program achieves its objectives.
No programming experience is needed, but basic familiarity is expected
with Windows, navigating directories/files, email/web, etc.
This course is about problem-solving, developing software tools to help
others. It is NOT about hacking together web sites or the like.
You must have excellent English skills and the ability to concentrate for
long periods of time on problem solving.
- John M. Zelle,
Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science,
1st ed., Franklin, Beedle & Associates, 2003.
The text is available in the campus bookstore.
- From time to time we may also refer to text and/or exercises
from our supplemental text:
Modula-2: Abstractions for Data and Programming Structures,
by TWU's own Prof. Rick Sutcliffe.
It is also available in the campus bookstore, as well as online at
Letter grade assignment follows the TWU percentage to grade equivalents
except that >=85% and <95% is an A; 95% and above is an A+.
|Labs || 20%
|Major Paper|| 10%
|Midterms|| 10% (x2)
|Final Exam|| 30%
- Main topics (subject to revision):
- Problem solving process, toolsmithing,
the attitude of the computer programmer
- Software development process
- Programs, data, literals/constants/variables, types (static vs. dynamic)
- Expressions, operators, precedence, Boolean logic, shortcut operators
- Documentation: comments, design-by-contract, writing help text
- Branching (if, switch), looping (while, for)
- Functions: parameters, call-by-value vs. call-by-reference,
local variables, scope, recursion
- File I/O
- Arrays, lists, dictionaries, sets
- Applications: math, physics, finance, text processing, encryption,
- Additional topics:
- Namespaces, scope
- Introduction to Object-Oriented programming: classes, methods
- Pointers and indirection, dynamic data structures (linked lists, trees, etc.)
- A big part of this course is hands-on learning through programming lab
assignments (about 5-7 total). Enrolment in this course grants you access
to the CSI computer lab (Neu20), which is reserved for CSI(CMPT) students
only. CMPT140 satisfies the natural science but NOT the lab-science
requirement for a degree at TWU.
- ALL labs and homeworks must be done on time.
Homeworks will not be accepted after the day they are due.
Late labs are penalized 10% per calendar day (or portion thereof), and
are not accepted after 10 days.
You need to complete all labs; if you miss more than one lab, you
automatically fail the course.
- Policy on laptops in class: Laptops are allowed to be used in class
only for course-related work, e.g., following lecture notes online,
trying out Python code interactively, researching add-on libraries pertinent
to the subject, etc. That means no Facebook, IM, personal email, WoW,
Halo, etc.! Students are expected to abide by this on the honour system.
- Academic integrity is a core value of the entire TWU community.
This includes, but is not limited to, avoiding all forms of plagiarism and
cheating. Plagiarism is using someone else's work without attribution.
In this course, if you do it once you will get a zero, if you do it again you
will automatically fail the course. Any such cases also go into the
University's files for future reference.
A tutorial describing plagiarism and how to avoid it has been
prepared by TWU Librarian William Badke:
(14 min flash),
(8 min flash)
- Students who miss more than 25% of class sessions may be barred from taking
the final exam [2009-2010 Academic Calendar p.38].
- In case of inclement weather, the TWU campus conditions will be announced
on local radio stations and posted at
- H1N1 flu note: If you begin experiencing H1N1 flu symptoms, you are
advised to self-isolate (stay at home) until 24hrs after your fever has left.
In the unlikely event that circumstances cause a major disruption in the
face-to-face delivery of our course, every effort will be made to ensure the
completion of course learning outcomes. We may need to rely on electronic
media such as myCourses, this website, and email, so please make sure you check
these regularly. For more details: