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COMP125 – Fundamentals of Computer Science

2017 – S1 Evening

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor, Lecturer
Gaurav Gupta
E6A330
tba
Tutor
Robertus Nugroho
tba
Tutor
Daniel Susatyo
tba
Tutor
Scott Buckley
tba
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
COMP115 or admission to BActStud
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
ITEC625
Unit description Unit description
This unit studies programming as a systematic discipline and introduces more formal software design methods. Programming skills are extended to include elementary data structures and abstract data types. There is a strong emphasis on problem solving and algorithms, including aspects of correctness, complexity and computability.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply enhanced problem solving skills to develop algorithms
  2. Implement programs (from algorithms), showing an understanding of the underlying architecture of the computer
  3. Adhere to standard software engineering practices (in particular documentation using Javadoc, testing using JUnit framework and debugging using Eclipse debugger)
  4. Compare different methods available for the same problem in terms of efficiency and other criteria

General Assessment Information

Late Submission

Late submission of assignments will not be accepted, except in the event of unavoidable disruption.

If you experience unavoidable disruption, and wish to apply for late submission, please submit a Disruption to Studies notification with appropriate evidence. 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Written tests 10% Weeks 2 to 11
Assignment 1 5% 23:45, Friday ending week 4
Assignment 2 10% 23:45, Friday ending week 11
Mid-semester practical exam 10% Week 7 workshop
End-of-semester Practical Exam 15% No Week 12 Workshop
Final examination 50% TBA

Written tests

Due: Weeks 2 to 11
Weighting: 10%

20 to 30 minutes written test. 5 tests over the semester, worth 2% each.  

Week Content
2 Diagnostic task (Loops, Functions, Arrays)
5 Lecture 2, 3 (classes and objects 1, 2)
8 Lecture 4, 5 (searching and sorting)
9 Lecture 7 (recursion)
11 Lecture 8, 9 (arraylist, linkedlist)

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply enhanced problem solving skills to develop algorithms
  • Implement programs (from algorithms), showing an understanding of the underlying architecture of the computer
  • Adhere to standard software engineering practices (in particular documentation using Javadoc, testing using JUnit framework and debugging using Eclipse debugger)
  • Compare different methods available for the same problem in terms of efficiency and other criteria

Assignment 1

Due: 23:45, Friday ending week 4
Weighting: 5%

This will be a programming assignment that will help you to practise concepts from weeks 1 - 3. You code will be assessed via automated tests that will be provided to you.  You will also be marked on code quality and completeness. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply enhanced problem solving skills to develop algorithms
  • Implement programs (from algorithms), showing an understanding of the underlying architecture of the computer
  • Adhere to standard software engineering practices (in particular documentation using Javadoc, testing using JUnit framework and debugging using Eclipse debugger)
  • Compare different methods available for the same problem in terms of efficiency and other criteria

Assignment 2

Due: 23:45, Friday ending week 11
Weighting: 10%

This will be a programming assignment that will help you to practise concepts from weeks 4 - 8. Your code will be assessed via automated tests that will be provided to you.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply enhanced problem solving skills to develop algorithms
  • Implement programs (from algorithms), showing an understanding of the underlying architecture of the computer
  • Adhere to standard software engineering practices (in particular documentation using Javadoc, testing using JUnit framework and debugging using Eclipse debugger)
  • Compare different methods available for the same problem in terms of efficiency and other criteria

Mid-semester practical exam

Due: Week 7 workshop
Weighting: 10%

The practical exam will assess students on topics from weeks 2 to 6.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply enhanced problem solving skills to develop algorithms
  • Implement programs (from algorithms), showing an understanding of the underlying architecture of the computer
  • Adhere to standard software engineering practices (in particular documentation using Javadoc, testing using JUnit framework and debugging using Eclipse debugger)

End-of-semester Practical Exam

Due: Week 12 Workshop
Weighting: 15%

The practical exam will assess students on topics from the entire semester.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply enhanced problem solving skills to develop algorithms
  • Implement programs (from algorithms), showing an understanding of the underlying architecture of the computer
  • Adhere to standard software engineering practices (in particular documentation using Javadoc, testing using JUnit framework and debugging using Eclipse debugger)
  • Compare different methods available for the same problem in terms of efficiency and other criteria

Final examination

Due: TBA
Weighting: 50%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

This will be a three hour written invigilated examination which will cover content from the entire semester. This is a hurdle assessment with a pass mark of 40% (20 out of 50).

a. you must pass the final exam in order to pass the unit, and,

b. if you achieve above 30% (above 15 out of 50), you will get a second chance.

NOTE: If you apply for Disruption to Study for your final examination, you must make yourself available for the week of July 24 – 28, 2017.  If you are not available at that time, there is no guarantee an additional examination time will be offered. Specific examination dates and times will be determined at a later date. Second-chance hurdle examinations will also be offered in the week of July 24 - 28.  Results will be released on July 13.  You will be notified shortly after that date of your eligibility for a hurdle retry and you must also make yourself available during that week to take advantage of this opportunity.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply enhanced problem solving skills to develop algorithms
  • Implement programs (from algorithms), showing an understanding of the underlying architecture of the computer
  • Adhere to standard software engineering practices (in particular documentation using Javadoc, testing using JUnit framework and debugging using Eclipse debugger)
  • Compare different methods available for the same problem in terms of efficiency and other criteria

Delivery and Resources

CLASSES

Each week you should attend

  • three hours of lectures and
  • two hour workshop - structured as one hour tutorial followed by one hour practical.

For details of days, times and rooms consult the timetables webpage.

Note that Workshops commence in week 1.

You should have selected a workshop during enrolment. You should attend the workshop you are enrolled in. If you do not have a class, or if you wish to change one, you should see the enrolment operators in the E7B courtyard during the first two weeks of the semester. Thereafter you should go to the Science and Engineering Student Services Centre.

Please note that you are required to submit work regularly. You will get the help that you need by attending your workshop. Failure to submit work may result in you failing the unit (see the precise requirements in the "Grading Standards" section) or being excluded from the final examination.

HELP101

A help desk where tutors are available for consultation on 100-level units. 

 

REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDED TEXTS AND/OR MATERIALS

Textbook

The first book in the following list, namely Starting out with Java, is the required text book for COMP125. The other books listed are helpful references.

  • T. Gaddis, Starting out with Java: From control structures through objects (Pearson), Global edition (6th). ISBN 9781292110653
  • W. Savitch, Absolute Java (Pearson) 5th edition. ISBN 9780132830317
  • B. Eckel, Thinking in Java (electronic book, 3rd edition available within iLearn is fine and is free but does not cover data structures)
  • A. Drozdek, Data Structures and Algorithms in Java (Cengage) 2nd edition. ISBN 9780534492526 (this book will also be used in COMP225)
  • D. Carlson, Eclipse Distilled (Addison-Wesley) 1st edition. ISBN 9780321288158 (extensive coverage of the software development platform eclipse)

TECHNOLOGY USED AND REQUIRED

Audio Lecture

Digital recordings of lectures are available from within iLearn via Echo360.

Technology

  • Eclipse - download Eclipse IDE for Java Developers
  • Java SE JDK - download Java SE 8 to be compatible with the labs
  • Note that you need the Java JDK 8 which includes the compiler tools. Make sure that you also the Java Runtime Environment JRE 8 to allow you to run Java applications.
  • Learning Management System iLearn
  • iQ system for the quizzes

Discussion Boards

The unit makes use of forums hosted within iLearn. Please post questions there, they are monitored by the unit staff.

Unit Schedule

Note that three important themes will pervade the entire unit:

  1. Problem solving. A crucial skill for all of the weekly topics will be to write appropriate code to meet a given problem specification. This theme relates to the first two learning outcomes for this unit.
  2. Software development. Use of the JUnit testing framework is an important development practice which will be taught from the beginning, and used throughout the unit. This theme relates to the third learning outcome of this unit.
  3. Comparing different solution methods. Very often different algorithms are available for the same problem. Another important skill to develop throughout this unit is the ability to compare different algorithms in terms of efficiency and other criteria. This theme relates to the fourth learning outcome of this unit.

Week

Topic

1 Introducing Java
2 Classes and Objects - 1
3 Classes and Objects - 2, unit testing
4 Searching algorithms (and time complexity)
5 Sorting algorithms (and time complexity)
6 Problem-solving in object-oriented domain and file input output
7 Recursive Algorithms
8 Containers (and the ArrayList class)
9 Linked Lists
10 Stacks
11 Problem-solving with data structures
12 Review for end of semester practical exam (bring a worksheet and pen/pencil)
13 Review for final exam (bring a worksheet and pen/pencil)

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Disruption to Studies

The University recognises that students may experience disruption that adversely affects their academic performance in assessment activities. Support services are provided by the University, and it is the student's responsibility to access such services as appropriate. For information concerning the Disruption policy and procedures please visit http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/exams/disruption_to_studies/

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply enhanced problem solving skills to develop algorithms
  • Implement programs (from algorithms), showing an understanding of the underlying architecture of the computer
  • Adhere to standard software engineering practices (in particular documentation using Javadoc, testing using JUnit framework and debugging using Eclipse debugger)
  • Compare different methods available for the same problem in terms of efficiency and other criteria

Assessment tasks

  • Written tests
  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Mid-semester practical exam
  • End-of-semester Practical Exam
  • Final examination

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply enhanced problem solving skills to develop algorithms
  • Adhere to standard software engineering practices (in particular documentation using Javadoc, testing using JUnit framework and debugging using Eclipse debugger)
  • Compare different methods available for the same problem in terms of efficiency and other criteria

Assessment tasks

  • Written tests
  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Mid-semester practical exam
  • End-of-semester Practical Exam
  • Final examination

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment tasks

  • Written tests
  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • End-of-semester Practical Exam

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment tasks

  • End-of-semester Practical Exam
  • Final examination

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment task

  • Final examination

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Compare different methods available for the same problem in terms of efficiency and other criteria

Assessment tasks

  • End-of-semester Practical Exam
  • Final examination

Changes from Previous Offering

Changes since S2, 2016

         None

Changes since S1, 2016

  1. Weekly exercises replaced by 5 tests and marks decreased from 15 to 10, marks for end of semester practical exam increased from 10 to 15.
  2. Introduction of the final exam as a hurdle assessment. Please refer to assessment tasks for further details.

Chances since S2, 2015

  1. Change of textbook from "Absolute Java" to "Starting out with Java". Please refer to "Delivery and resources" for more details about the textbook.
  2. Classes-first approach will be adopted this semester. We will try to familiarize students with the object-oriented environment that is Java, and then move on to more complex problem solving.
  3. Exceptions and queues have been removed from the course content.
  4. In-class tests replaced by practical examinations.
  5. Weekly submissions replaced by in-class oral assessments.
  6. Quizzes introduced as a pre-requisite to assignments.
  7. Number of assignments reduced to two.

Grading Standards

Three standards, namely Developing, Functional, and Proficient, summarize as many different levels of achievement. Each standard is precisely defined to help students know what kind of performance is expected to deserve a certain mark. The standards corresponding to the learning outcomes of this unit are given below:

  Developing Functional Proficient
L.O. #1 Limited ability to solve problems. Limited knowledge of basic data structures. Ability to write simple algorithms and solve simple problems using OOD. Know basic data structures (queues, stacks, linked lists) and how to manipulate them. Ability to write complex algorithms and solve complex problems using OOD and recursion. Ability to select the most appropriate data structures to solve a problem.
L.O. #2 Show poor programming skills. Limited ability to write code that compiles or excutes properly. Show basic programming skills. Understand notions of compiler and virtual machine. Know types, how to implement simple conditions, simple loops, simple data structures, simple objects. Show advanced programming skills. Understand notions of compiler and virtual machine. Know types, how to implement conditions, loops, data structures, objects. Understand inheritance and polymorphism.
L.O. #3 Unability to follow specifications. Poor coding style. Poor documentation. Submission of incorrect programs showing no sign of testing/debugging skills. Follow simple specifications. Document code (e.g. pre-post conditions). Test and debug a simple program. Understand the notion of modularity/object file. Understand the importance of specifications. Neat code/consistent programming style. Clear and insightful comments. Design test cases and debug programs.

At the end of the semester, you will receive a grade that reflects your achievement in the unit.

  • Fail (F): does not provide evidence of attainment of all learning outcomes. There is missing or partial or superficial or faulty understanding and application of the fundamental concepts in the field of study; and incomplete, confusing or lacking communication of ideas in ways that give little attention to the conventions of the discipline.
  • Pass (P): provides sufficient evidence of the achievement of learning outcomes. There is demonstration of understanding and application of fundamental concepts of the field of study; and communication of information and ideas adequately in terms of the conventions of the discipline. The learning attainment is considered satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the specified outcomes.
  • Credit (Cr): provides evidence of learning that goes beyond replication of content knowledge or skills relevant to the learning outcomes. There is demonstration of substantial understanding of fundamental concepts in the field of study and the ability to apply these concepts in a variety of contexts; plus communication of ideas fluently and clearly in terms of the conventions of the discipline.
  • Distinction (D): provides evidence of integration and evaluation of critical ideas, principles and theories, distinctive insight and ability in applying relevant skills and concepts in relation to learning outcomes. There is demonstration of frequent originality in defining and analysing issues or problems and providing solutions; and the use of means of communication appropriate to the discipline and the audience.
  • High Distinction (HD): provides consistent evidence of deep and critical understanding in relation to the learning outcomes. There is substantial originality and insight in identifying, generating and communicating competing arguments, perspectives or problem solving approaches; critical evaluation of problems, their solutions and their implications; creativity in application.

In this unit, your final grade depends on your performance for each component of the assessment. Indeed, for each task, you receive a mark that captures your standard of performance regarding each learning outcome assessed by this task. Then the different component marks are added up to determine your total mark out of 100. Your grade then depends on this total mark and your overall standard of performance.

Concretely, you will pass the unit, if

  • your total mark is at least 50 out of 100; and
  • The final examination in this unit is a hurdle requirement. You must get a mark of at least 40% in the examination to pass the unit. If you get a mark of at least 30% in your first attempt at the final examination you will be given a second and final attempt.

In order to obtain a higher grade than a Pass, you must fulfill the conditions for a Pass and have a total mark of at least

  • 85 for High Distinction;
  • 75 for Distinction;
  • 65 for Credit.