Welcome to the course webpage for the Fall 2013 term of CSC108H, an Introduction to Computer Programming, on the St George campus. This course teaches the basics of programming in Python, which is an industrial-strength programming language used at companies like Google and Industrial Light and Magic.
There are five lecture sections of this course with two different instructors, Paul and Michelle. You are welcome to attend office hours with either of us. Paul is the course coordinator, which means that he deals with all administrative issues: missed work, problems with your grades, switching lab rooms, problems with assignment partners, the course website, and TA issues. If you're not sure who to contact, though, feel free to ask either of us!
The course is delivered through 3 lecture hours a week. For weeks 2 through 12, you will also watch video lectures to prepare for on-campus lectures. Your labs begin in the second week of term.
The textbook, Practical Programming (2nd edition): An Introduction to Computer Science Using Python 3, matches very closely with the course material. Some notes:
- The first edition is out of date: it uses Python 2, not Python 3. Also, the material in the second edition is much, much closer to what we teach in this course.
- You can purchase an eBook or a paper book. eBook ($25 USD): available in PDF, ePub, and mobi. Paper book ($48 USD): shipping in a few weeks, but you get the eBook now.
A typical week
Here is what a typical week will look like for you, in addition to attending the lectures:
- Sunday 10pm: Deadline to complete video prep for the coming week (estimated time: 2 hours)
- Monday afternoon: Video prep and lab exercise for next week posted
- Monday-Friday: Attend lecture (3 hours); work on this week's lab exercise (2 hours); work on current assignment (2 hours)
- Friday 4pm: lab exercise due
The time estimates are very rough: some of you will spend far less time on parts of the work (for example, the videos can be sped up; also, some of you will spend much more or much less than 2 hours on a lab exercise), but for a majority of you it will work out to about 9 hours a week, give or take 2 hours. Some weeks you will spend less time, and some weeks you will spend more.
The three assignments are due in weeks 4, 9, and 12. Don't leave these to the last minute: they are substantially more work than the weekly lab exercises, and we expect that you will work on them for several hours each week.
In addition to this website, please see the Course Info Sheet, which is required reading.
We'll use Coursera for electronic discussion. Follow the link in the navigation bar.
For office hours, please see Office hours.
Are you on the waiting list?
If you are on the waiting list, please send email to Paul so he can help you get set up on Coursera, where we have posted required weekly video lectures.