CMSC 131 C.S. logo
Sections 020X, 040X
Web Accessibility

12/10/18   Final exam information: The final exam will be on Thursday 12/13 from 4:00PM to 6:00PM. Please plan to arrive at 3:50 so that we can get everything settled.
All students must bring a photo ID to the exam. If you arrive without a photo ID you will be turned away and your grade on the final exam will be 0.
Students must report to the room indicated in the table below. Your room assignment depends on your last name. This table is for all of Fawzi Emad's students (sections 020X and 040X).

First letter of LAST name Room Assignment
A through C ESJ 2208
D through K ESJ 0224
L through Z TYD 0130

11/29/18   Project #7 has been posted.

11/08/18   Project #6 has been posted.

10/28/18   Project #5 has been posted.

10/18/18   Project #4 has been posted.

10/08/18   Project #3 has been posted.

09/23/18   Project #2 has been posted!

09/15/18   If you'd like to have Eclipse draw a vertical line in the editor at the 80th column (so that you can easily check that your lines are not too long), see this link.

09/12/18   Project #1 (Orioles Baseball) has been posted!

09/06/18   I made an error posting yesterday's slides on the class webpage -- the announcements were incomplete. I have corrected the mistake.

09/04/18   The deadline for submitting Project #0 (Hello World) has been moved to Wednesday 9/12.

08/27/18   There is an important survey that we want all CMSC131 students to take. Please click this link for more information and to complete the survey (if you have not already done so).

08/22/18   The first day of class is Monday 08/27. Be sure to attend the lecture that day. If you are in section 040X your lecture is in room ESJ 0202 at 3:00PM. If you are in section 020X, your lecture is in room CSI 1115 at 5:00PM). Note that the discussion sessions for Monday 08/27 are cancelled.

08/22/18   All students are required to attend the class session for which they are registered. This applies to both the lecture session and the discussion session. This rule will be strictly enforced.

08/21/18   This is the class webpage for CMSC131, sections 020X and 040X only. Please check here often (at least once a day) for important class announcements.


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 Coordinator: Fawzi Emad

Recommended Text:
There is no required book for this course. There are many excellent introductory books on programming in Java. One that I can recommend is Java Foundations Older editions of this book are nearly identical to the latest edition, and you can find them sold cheaply online.

Major Topics
  • Intro to Computer Systems
  • Programming Basics:  Variables, Operators, Expressions, Statements, Methods
  • Java Text Input/Output
  • Conditionals
  • Loops
  • Principles of Object Oriented Programming
  • Basics of Program Design
  • Testing and Debugging
  • Java Memory Map
  • Arrays and Java ArrayLists
  • Java interfaces
  • Inheritance
  • Recursion


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. There should not be any machine-specific dependencies in your code. 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:

  • 20 points are subtracted from your total if submitted within 24 hours.
  • No late assignments will be accepted after 24 hours.

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

Percentage Component
25% Projects (8)       [The weights of the individual projects will vary. Longer/harder projects will be worth more points.]
15% Lab assignments (quizzes & exercises to be completed during your discussion sessions)
15% Midterm #1
15% Midterm #2
30% Final Exam

Online Posting of Project Implementations Not Allowed
  • Do not post your assignments' implementation online (e.g., GitHub, PasteBin) where they can be seen by others. Making your code accessible to others can lead to academic integrity violations.
  • Even if the course is over, do not make your code available to others.
  • Notice we constantly monitor online sources.


You need to keep backups of your projects as you develop them. No extensions will be granted due to hardware failures or because you accidentally erased your project. Feel free to use the submit server as a backup tool by submitting often. You can also use tools like git, etc. Do not post code in any online system that is accessible to others (e.g., GitHub).

Academic Honesty

Note that academic dishonesty 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 pursued to the fullest extent possible as stipulated by the Office of Student Conduct. Without exception every case of suspec\ ted academic dishonesty will be referred to the Office. 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 the course coordinator.

The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council.B This code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit

Examples of Academic Integrity Violations

The following are examples of academic integrity violations:

  • Hardcoding of results in a project assignment. Hardcoding refers to attempting to make a program appear as if it works correctly (e.g., printing expected results for a test).
  • Using any code available on the internet/web or any other source. For example, using code from Sourceforge.
  • Hiring any online service to complete an assignment for you.
  • You may not post the implementation of your assignments, materials related to the class (e.g., project description), or any other material associated with this course. Even if the class is over and you have graduated, you may NOT post any material.
  • Sharing your code or your "test code" with any student.
  • Providing ideas/suggestions on how to solve/implement a programming assignment.
  • Looking at or debugging another student's code.
  • Using online forums to ask for help regarding our assignments.

Excused Absence and Academic Accommodations
  1. Any student who needs to be excused for an absence from a single class session , due to a medically necessitated absence shall:
    • Make a reasonable attempt to inform the instructor of his/her illness prior to the class. If you are going to miss an in-class assignment then we expect to hear from you (either email or telephone message) before the class session begins.
    • Upon returning to the class, present their instructor with a self-signed note attesting to the date of their illness. The note must contain an acknowledgment by the student that the information provided is true and correct. Providing false information to University officials is prohibited under Part 9(h) of the Code of Student Conduct (V-1.00(B) University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct) and may result in disciplinary action.
    • This self-documentation may not be used for the Major Scheduled Grading Events as defined below and it may only be used for one class meeting during the semester.

  2. Any student who needs to be excused for more than one absence, or for a "Major Scheduled Grading Event", must provide written documentation of the illness from the Health Center or from an outside health care provider. This documentation must verify dates of treatment and indicate the timeframe that the student was unable to meet academic responsibilities. The documentation should be given to the instructor, not the TA. We will not accept a "self-signed" note for "major scheduled grading events", as defined below. The note must be signed by a health care professional.

    The Major Scheduled Grading Events for this course include:
    • Midterm #1
    • Midterm #2
    • Final Exam
    • Programming projects

It is also the student's responsibility to inform the instructor of any intended absences from exams for religious observances in advance. Notice should be provided as soon as possible but no later than one week prior to the exam.

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 Department of Computer Science takes the student course evaluations very seriously. Evaluations will usually be open during the last few weeks of the course. Students can go to to complete their evaluations. 

All course materials are copyright UMCP, Department of Computer Science © 2018. All rights reserved. Students are permitted to use course materials for their own personal use only. Course materials may not be distributed publicly or provided to others (excepting other students in the course), in any way or format.

Exam Dates:

  • Midterm #1    Monday 10/08 in lecture
  • Midterm #2    Monday 11/19 in lecture
  • Final Exam    Thursday 12/13, 4:00PM - 6:00PM; Location to be announced.

Lecture Schedule (Approximate):
Week 1
Course intro
Lecture 01 Slides
Eclipse demo, computer systems (hardware/software), RAM
Lecture 02 Slides
data storage, programming languages, compilers/interpreters
Lecture 03 Slides
Week 2
Labor Day Holiday Intro to Java, local variables, primitive types
Lecture 04 Slides
Continue primitive types, Strings, concatenation, Scanner
Lecture 05 Slides
Week 3
Finish primitive types; arithmetic operators, escape sequences, integer division, comparison and equality operators, comparing objects
Lecture 06 Slides
If and if-else statements, logical operators, nesting if and if-else statements, "else if" style
Lecture 07 Slides
Continue "else-if" style; programming errors; variable scope and initialization, choosing identifiers, named constants
Lecture 08 Slides
Week 4
While loops,do-while loops, for loops
Lecture 09 Slides
Nested loops, increment/decrement operators
Lecture 10 Slides
Alternate assignment operators; writing static methods, operator precedence, short-circuiting
Lecture 11 Slides
Week 5
Project #2 overview; casting with primitivies; What are objects?
Lecture 12 Slides
Java classes, instance variables, instance methods, memory diagrams, assignment with references, garbage collection, == vs. equals
Lecture 13 Slides
Writing a typical Java class (instance members, return types)
Lecture 14 Slides
Week 6
Continue writing a typical class (constructors, equals method, toString)
Lecture 15 Slides
Static vs. instance members; Summary and review of variables
Lecture 16 Slides
Review for Midterm
Week 7
Midterm #1
Continue review of static/instance variables; Overview and intro to Project #3; Code correctness, formal verification, testing, Begin JUnit
Lecture 19 Slides
Finish JUnit; Memory diagram for method calls, Begin Java keyword "this"
Lecture 20 Slides
Week 8
Finish "this"; public vs. private visibilities, API, data encapsulation
Lecture 21 Slides
Commenting, Floating point error
Lecture 22 Slides
Java packages, libraries, API for String and Math classes, break, continue, Intro to exception handling
Lecture 23 Slides
Week 9
More exception handling (catch blocks, multiple catch blocks, finally)
Lecture 24 Slides
More exception handling (multiple catch blocks, finally), Intro to Arrays
Lecture 25 Slides
More about arrays (iterating, copying, "resizing"), arrays of references, Mutability
Lecture 26 Slides
Week 10
StringBuffer, deep vs. shallow copy, Privacy leaks and defensive copies
Lecture 27 Slides
Finish privacy leaks, using the Eclipse debugger
Lecture 28 Slides
Corner cases, 2-dimensional arrays, Intro to Java interfaces and polymorphism
Lecture 29 Slides
Week 11
Continue Java interfaces, wrapper classes (Integer, Double, etc) and auto-boxing/unboxing
Lecture 30 Slides
Finish up Java interfaces, method overloading, ternary operator
Lecture 31 Slides
Switch statements, intro to inheritance, polymorphism via extension, overloading vs. overriding
Lecture 32 Slides
Week 12
Object class, correct equals method, package visibility
Lecture 33 Slides
Javadoc utility, overview of abstract data types and Java collections framework, ArrayList
Lecture 34 Slides
Review for midterm
Week 13
Midterm #2 Thanksgiving Break
Week 14
ArrayList example, for-each loops, Intro to asymptotic complexity
Lecture 36 Slides
Big-O notation, intuition for thinking about asymptotic complexity
Lecture 37 Slides
More big-O examples, intro to recursion
Lecture 38 Slides
Week 15
Easy recursion examples
Lecture 39 Slides
More recursion (including examples requiring a "helper" method)
Lecture 40 Slides
More recursion examples
Lecture 41 Slides
Week 16
Review for final exam (Last day of class)


Fawzi Emad
Office: 3265 A.V. Williams
Office Hours: MW 1:00-2:00, Fri 12:00 - 1:00

Teaching Assistants
 Email Responsibilities Office Hours
Carolin Arnold 0201 & 0204 discussion leader (See table below)
Peter Thompson 0202 discussion leader (See table below)
Masataro Koizumi 0203 discussion leader (See table below)
Nick Franzese 0401 & 0409 discussion leader (See table below)
Brennan Hula 0402 discussion leader (See table below)
Goonwanth Namireddy 0403 & 0407 discussion co-leader (See table below)
Deepthi Raghunandan 0403 & 0407 discussion co-leader (See table below)
Anastasiya Stolyarova 0404 discussion leader (See table below)
Isabella Stevens 0406 discussion leader (See table below)
Sigurthor Bjorgvinsson 0501 & 0502 discussion leader (See table below)
Ananth Penghat 0503 discussion leader (See table below)
Roozbeh Bassirian Jahromi Grader (See table below)
Janit Anjaria Grader (See table below)
Omer Akgul Grader (See table below)
Varun Manjunatha Grader (See table below)
Yixuan Ren Grader (See table below)
Zhichao Liu Grader (See table below)
Zehua Zeng Grader (See table below)
Hamid Kazemi Grader (See table below)
Fei Shan Grader (See table below)
Kamal Gupta Grader (See table below)
Ping-Yeh Chiang Grader (See table below)

TA Office Hours Schedule

All TA office hours take place in room 1112 A.V. Williams. Please note that a TA may need to leave 5 minutes before the end of the hour in order to go to his/her class. Please be understanding of their schedules.

9:00 - 10:00 Varun Kamal Zehua Deepthi Varun
10:00 - 11:00 Nick Carolin & Kamal Nick Carolin Varun & Deepthi
11:00 - 12:00 Nick Carolin & Kamal Nick & Janit Carolin Deepthi
12:00 - 1:00 Janit & Hamid Zehua Janit Peter Masa & Hamid
1:00 - 2:00 Goonwanth & Omer Peter & Zehua Goonwanth & Omer Peter & Ananth Masa & Hamid
2:00 - 3:00 Omer & Fei Ana & Goonwanth Fei Ana & Goonwanth Brennan & Hamid
3:00 - 4:00 Ananth Roozbeh & Ping Fei & Yixuan Roozbeh & Ping Zhichao & Yixuan
4:00 - 5:00 Ananth & Brennan Roozbeh & Thor Isabelle & Yixuan Roozbeh & Thor Yixuan & Zhichao
5:00 - 6:00 Masa & Ana Thor Isabelle Thor & Ping Zhichao

Online Course Tools

  • Grades Server. This is where you go to see grades on assignments and to get your class account information.
  • Submission Server. This is where you go to view your project submissions and to get limited feedback about how your project is performing on our automated tests.
  • Eclipse Tutorial. Eclipse is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that helps us to write software efficiently. You will use Eclipse to implement the class projects this semester. See the section at the bottom of this page for specific information about setting up Eclipse.

About Java

The following web pages provide detailed references to information about Java.

  • Oracle's Java Homepage. This is the place to come when you really need the latest technical specs and downloads.
  • Oracle's Java Tutorial. This page has a number of links to books and web pages about Java, which you may find of interest.
  • Java 8.0 API Specs. This page contains (javadoc) documentation for the Java libraries. It is an excellent reference and you should bookmark it on your browser.

Setting up Eclipse

In order to complete the projects for this course you must install Eclipse following the instructions in the Eclipse Tutorial. Note that if you install Eclipse from some other source then you will not be able to submit your projects easily!

After you get Eclipse installed, you will need to connect Eclipse to your class account. To the right is a screenshot of the information you will need to enter into the CVS connection dialog box during this process.

You can cut and paste the following lines into the dialog box:

  • Host:

  • Repository Path:
    (Replace "*****" with your login ID.)

Be sure to change the connection type to "extssh", as shown.

CVS dialog

Below are collections of questions and practice problems that are designed to help you to learn the course material. These exercises are not being collected or graded. Answers are provided, but please try your best to solve each problem before looking at the solution! The list will be updated as the semester progresses.

Disclaimer: Your primary resource for studying should be the notes that you have taken during lectures! There will be questions on quizzes and exams that are not in any way represented in this study list. There will be questions on this study list that are not in any way represented on quizzes or exams. Please be aware that exam questions tend to combine more elements into a single question and many of the questions on the list are simpler than questions you will see on your exams. You may discuss these questions openly with anyone, including your classmates. If you are unsure about how the answer to any particular question is obtained, please drop by office hours for help. That's why we're here!

Part 1:  Questions01 Answers01
Part 2:  Questions02 Answers02
Part 3:  Questions03 Answers03
Part 4:  Questions04 Answers04
Part 5:  Questions05 Answers05
Part 6:  Questions06 Answers06
Part 7:  Questions07 Answers07
Part 8:  Questions08 Answers08
Part 9:  Questions09 Answers09
Part 10:  Questions10 Answers10
Part 11:  Questions11 Answers11
Part 12:  Questions12 Answers12
Part 13: Questions13 Answers13
Part 14: Questions14 Answers14


To submit a project, go to the "Java" perspective in Eclipse. Right click on the project folder (e.g., p1) and select "Submit Project" from the pull-down menu. If you do not see the "Submit Project" option then your copy of Eclipse does not contain the class plug-ins. In this case, please see the Eclipse installations instructions on the Resources page, or drop by TA office hours for help.

You may submit many times (we grade only the last submission). You can check the status of your submissions by visiting the Submit Server Home Page and entering your University Directory ID and password.

Important: Your grade for each project will be based on the greater value of two scores: (1) The score on the very last submission prior to the deadline; (2) The score minus 20% on the very last submission prior to the late deadline (up to 24 hours late).

Click the name of a project below to see the project specification.

Project Name Due Date
Hello World! Wednesday 09/12, 11:00PM
Orioles Baseball Sunday 09/23, 11:00PM
Flags of the World Thursday 10/04, 11:00PM
Medieval Soldiers Thursday 10/18, 11:00PM
Mandelbrot Set Sunday 10/28, 11:00PM
Poker Simulator Thursday 11/08, 11:00PM
Cafe 131 Thursday 11/29, 11:00PM
Fish Club Monday 12/10, 11:00PM