CMSC 131 -- Object Oriented Programming I

Spring 2010

Fear the Turtle!



This is a first programming course for Computer Science majors with a focus on object-oriented programming. The goal of the course is to develop skills such as program design and testing as well as the implementation of programs using a graphical IDE. All programming will be done in Java.

Course Coordinators

Jan Plane and Ben Bederson

Recommended Text

Java Foundations, Lewis, DePasquale, and Chase, Addison Wesley

Major Topics (Not necessarily listed in order of presentation)

For a more detailed listing of topics, see the schedule.


There will be eight programming projects and other assignments to be completed during the lab sessions.  Some are considered "closed" assignments which you must complete by yourself and others are considered "open" assignments where collaboration is permitted. (More information about the open policy will be provided in class and can be found in the Policy Regarding Open/Closed Projects.) There will also be two midterms, a final exam, and occasional quizzes.


All assignments can be done on the machines of your choice. You are welcome to do the work on a home computer if you have one, or on UMD OWL Machines. There should not be any machine-specific dependencies in your code. However, if we are not able to run your program because there is a difference between your and our computer environments, you must work with us to get your program to work in our environment.  You are expected to use the Eclipse IDE for all programming assignments.


All assignments must be submitted before 11pm on the day they are due. They are to be submitted electronically according to instructions given with the assignments. Late assignments will be strictly penalized. Exceptional circumstances will be considered only if discussed with the instructor before the assignment is due. Late assignments will have points deducted as follows:

Final grades will be computed according the following weights. (These weights are tentative and subject to future adjustment.)

40% Projects (8)
10% Quizzes
5% Lab Exercises
11% Midterm #1
11% Midterm #2
23% Final Exam

The weights of the individual projects are: 1%, 3%, 5%, 5%, 6%, 6%, 7%, 7%.

In addition to an overall grade of 70% to receive a C for the course, neither the cummulative project grade nor the cummulative exam grade can be below 60% in order to pass the course with a C or better.

Academic Honesty

All individual assignments/exams must be done individually. (The only exception to this are "open" assignments, which will be discussed in class.) Please visit the webpage of the Student Honor Council for a detailed explanation of what constitutes academic dishonesty. Note that it includes not only cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism, but also includes helping other students commit acts of academic dishonesty by allowing them to obtain copies of your work. You are allowed to use the Web for reference purposes, but you may not copy code from any website or any other source. In short, all submitted work must be your own.

Cases of academic dishonesty will be dealt with harshly. Each such case will be referred to the University's Office of Judicial Programs. If the student is found to be responsible of academic dishonesty, the typical sanction results in a special grade "XF", indicating that the course was failed due to academic dishonesty. More serious instances can result in expulsion from the university. If you have any doubt as to whether an act of yours might constitute academic dishonesty, please contact your TA or one of the course coordinators.

Excused Absence and Academic Accommodations

Students claiming an excused absence from any assessment item must contact their instructor by the end of the day of that assessment. This contact can be by phone, email or in person. This policy applies to quizzes, exams and projects. At the time the instructor is informed about the missed assessment, arrangements can be made for extension on the project, a makeup exam or quiz or a record of an excused exam or quiz. No projects will be excused - extensions in the due date are possible only if the illness was for a significant amount of time during the work time for that project (i.e. 1 or 2 days missed from a 2 week project will probably not result in an extension). All documentation must be presented in written form (such as from a health care professional who treated the student) for any assertion that the absence qualifies as an excused absence. The support should explicitly indicate the dates or times the student was incapacitated due to illness, and it must contain a phone number for follow-up verification. Self-documentation of illness is not itself sufficient support to excuse the absence. It is also the student's responsibility to inform the instructor of any intended absences from exams for religious observances at least one week in advance.

Any student eligible for and requesting reasonable academic accommodations due to a disability is requested to provide, to the instructor in office hours, a letter of accommodation from the Office of Disability Support Services within the first two weeks of the semester and the arrangements for individual exams must be made with the instructor at least one week in advance.

Disability Support Services

Any student eligible for and requesting reasonable academic accommodations due to a disability is requested to provide, to the instructor in office hours, a letter of accommodation from the Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) within the first two weeks of the semester.

Course Evaluations

The De partment of Computer Science takes the student course evaluations very se riously. Evaluations for the spring will be open in the beginning of May. Students can go to the to complete their evaluations.