CMSC106 (Spring 2023) Introduction to C Programming


CMSC 106 is an introduction to computing and program development in the C programming language. This includes a brief introduction to basic computer concepts, an understanding of the UNIX operating system sufficient for writing class programming assignments, studying the syntax and semantics of the basic control structures of C, learning C's fundamental data types and structures, understanding the design and methodical construction of computer programs, learning how to test and debug programs, and lastly, practice in these through creating several programs in C.

Visit this link to find the prerequisites and restrictions for this course. The course Piazza page is your best source for getting course information. TA office hours, additional resources and essential course information will appear on Piazza, and all course-related questions will also be answered on Piazza to ensure all students have equal access to the information.

Prerequisites and Restrictions

Administrative Information


Course Topics (Subject to Change)

Course Communication and Office Hours



Grades will be computed using the following weights:

Evaluation Components Percentage
Projects 25%
Quizzes, Lab Work, In-Lecture Exercises 10%
Exam 1 (Date: March 2023) 20%
Exam 2 (Date: April 2023) 20%
Exam 3 (Final) (Date/Time: See SPRING 2023 FINAL EXAMINATION TABLES (Standard Final Exams) 25%

Programming Assignments (Projects)

The due dates for programming assignments are 11:00 PM on the day they are due. They are to be submitted electronically according to instructions given with the assignments. Late submissions will be strictly penalized -- e.g., if you submit at 11:01 pm, it is a late submission. It is strongly encouraged to submit frequently instead of submitting once at the last minute. Extension requests will be considered only if discussed with the instructor at least 48 hours before the assignment due. Late submissions will have points deducted as follows:

You can submit your work multiple times to the submit server. Once again, do not wait until the assignment due. We strongly encourage you to submit multiple times before the due date/time.

Project descriptions will be shared in ELMS, and project starter files will be posted in a directory (folder) in the grace cluster (a set of connected computers that work together so that they can be viewed as a single system). In a lab, you will learn how to set up your work environment, how to access files on the cluster using ssh, and how to submit your work from your work directory to the submit server.

Good Faith Attempt Policy

Your work for every project must satisfy a minimum set of requirements called Good Faith Attempt (GFA) requirements. Each project will define its own GFA criteria and deadline. In case that your last ontime/late submission for a project does not meet the GFA requirements for the project, you must submit an updated version of your work (called GFA version) that satisfies the requirements by the GFA due. If you fail to submit a GFA version, you will not pass the course (automatic grade of F) regardless of your grades on other evaluation components (e.g., other projects or exams).

If you start a project on time and look for assistance (if required), you should have no problems satisfying the GFA requirements. Passing the requirements guarantees you have the skills necessary for upper-level courses. Note that you will NOT receive any extra points for completing the GFA requirements. The grade you earn for programming assignments will be based on your ontime/late submission (usually, the highest-scoring ones).

Academic Integrity

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. 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.

It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. 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. 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 CS Department takes academic integrity seriously. Information on how the CS Department views and handle academic integrity matters can be found at Academic Integrity.


On any graded project or lab, you are NOT allowed to collaborate or exchange code. We compare each student's code with every other student's code to check for similarities. Every semester, we catch an embarrassingly high number of students that engage in cheating and we have to take them to the Honor Council.

GroupMe / Other Group Chats

We encourage students to talk about course material and help each other out for better understanding the course topics in group chats. However, this does NOT include graded assignments. For example, talking about implementation of the programming assignments or release tests is NOT okay.

There have been instances in the past where students have posted pictures/source files of their code.

Online source code repository (e.g., Github)

You may post your project code to private Github (or similar service) repository, only after the semester ends. The Honor Council can retroactively give an XF (even to students who have already graduated) if your code is then used by another student to cheat. So just be careful. Posting graded code to a public repo will give you a free ticket to the Honor Council.

Study Guides

Creating collaborative study guides on Google docs is OK. Encouraged, even. Just do this before the exam, and don't bring the study guide to the exam. Don't add exam questions to the study guide after the exam start time.

PRACTICE Exams/ Worksheets/ Lecture examples/ Ungraded Lab examples

Totally cool. Highly encouraged to co-create and share (with the same caveats as study guides).

A few examples of academic integrity violations

The following are just a few 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 work available on the internet/web or any other source. For example, using work from StackOverflow, Sourceforge, or GitHub.
  • Hiring any online service to complete an assignment for you.
  • Discussing project implementations (everything beyond clarifications) with your classmates.
  • Sharing your work with any students.
  • Looking at another student's work.
  • Using online forums to ask for help regarding our assignments.

Additional information can be found in the sections titled "Academic Integrity" and "Code of Student Conduct" available at Course Related Policies.

For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Office of Student Conduct, visit

Disabilities Support Accommodations

In case academic accommodations are needed, you must provide a letter of accommodation from the Office of Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS) within the first two weeks of the semester. For details, see the section titled "Accessibility" available at Course Related Policies.

Excused Absences

If you need to be excused for an absence from a single lecture due to a medical reason, you shall make a reasonable attempt to inform the instructor of your illness prior to the class. Before returning to the class, you will submit a self-signed note attesting to the date of your illness. Each 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(i) of the Code of Student Conduct (V-1.00(B) University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct) and may result in disciplinary action.

Missing a quiz or an exam for reasons such as illness, religious observance, participation in required university activities, or family or personal emergency (such as a serious automobile accident or close relative's funeral) will be excused so long as the absence is requested in writing in advance and the student includes documentation that shows the absence qualifies as excused;

A self-signed note is not sufficient for exams because they are Major Scheduled Grading Events. In the case of medical absence, you must furnish documentation from the health care professional who treated you. The documentation must clearly include verification of (1) treatment dates and (2) the time period for which the student is unable to meet academic responsibilities. In addition, it must contain the name and phone number of the medical service provider to be used if verification is needed. No diagnostic information will ever be requested. Note that simply being seen by a health care professional does not constitute an excused absence; it must be clear that you were unable to perform your academic duties.

For additional details, see the section titled "Attendance and Missed Assignments" available at Course Related Policies

Course Evaluations

The department and faculty take student feedback seriously. At the end of the course visit to complete your course evaluations.



All course materials are copyright UMCP, Department of Computer Science © 2022. 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.

Although every effort has been made to be complete and accurate, unforeseen circumstances arising during the semester could require the adjustment of any material given here. Consequently, given due notice to students, the instructor reserves the right to change any information on this syllabus or in other course materials.

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