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Introduction to Computer Science

Computer Science Department



Welcome to Introduction to Computer Science, CS111. In this course you will be introduced to fundamental concepts in programming. After completing the course the student will be able to:

  • Design algorithmic solutions to problems.
  • Develop, implement, test, and document program code.
  • Analyze program code for correctness, efficiency, equivalency, and errors.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of object-oriented methodology in program development.
  • Select appropriate data types/structures for use in a given application.
  • Design and modify data structures capable of insertion, deletion, search, copy, and other related tasks.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of searching and sorting algorithms.

We use pseudocode and the Java programming language for all assignments and exams in the course, but many Java features, such as applets, GUI programming, Java Server Pages (JSP), etc., are not covered.

CS111 “Grey” and “Scarlet” Sections

  • The “grey” section is designed for students without programming experience.
  • The “scarlet” section is designed for students with prior programming experience on any language. This section covers the same material as in “grey”, but spends less time on topics that are familiar to students with some programming experience. Students in this section will take a Java placement exam at the end of the first week of classes to assess if they are well prepared for this section. Students that are not well prepared will be switched to the “grey” section. This exam does not count towards the student’s course grade.

Both, “grey” and “scarlet” sections provide students with the same preparation for CS112.

CS111 meets SAS goals QQ or QR, ITR:

  • Formulate, evaluate, and communicate conclusions and inferences from quantitative information. [QQ]
  • Apply effective and efficient mathematical or other formal processes to reason and to solve problems. [QR]
  • Employ current technologies to access and evaluate information, to conduct research, and to communicate findings, and understand the principles that underlie information systems.[ITR]
Introduction to Programming in Java, Second Edition

Required textbook Introduction to Programming in Java: An Interdisciplinary Approach, 2nd Edition, Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne, Princeton University

Book site 

Academic Integrity

You are responsible for reading and understanding the DCS Academic Integrity Policy. Read the overview as well as the specific policies for exams. Instances of cheating will be punished by a zero grade, a failing grade for the course, and/or referral to your dean, at the discretion of the course staff.

All assignments and exams are individual but we encourage collaboration with course staff and classmates. However, you must be careful how you collaborate. Use the guidelines bellow for reference:

Course staff Classmates Other people
Discuss concepts with: Yes Yes Yes
Acknowledge collaboration with: Yes Yes Yes
Expose code/solutions to: Yes No No
Copy code/solutions from: No No No


Attendance is expected and participation is very welcomed. Everyone benefits when you attend lecture and ask questions. Note that some examples might not be in the lecture slides. If you miss a lecture, you are responsible for getting class notes from a classmate.

You will find the links for remote lectures under the last name of your instructor on the course Canvas home page.


Recitations are the shorter of the listed periods on your class schedule listed as CS111. i.e. the only CS111 class meeting time that is NOT 1 hr 20 min. The recitation period is problem-solving oriented and is led by a Learning Assistant (LA), a senior undergraduate student that has taken CS111 previously. The Dynamic Recitation (DynRec) system releases the problems ahead of the week’s recitation and the solutions the Monday of the following week. Use your Rutgers credentials to login into DynRec.

Each recitation is worth 10 points: 8 points for attendance and 2 points for the DynRec online quiz. You will only receive the quiz points if you attend the recitation. The quiz requires an activation code that is disclosed by the LA at the end of recitation. The code is section specific, changes weekly, and it will ONLY be disclosed in person at the end of recitation. The online quiz is to be taken up to 24 hours after the end of the recitation.

Attend the recitation you are registered for, if you do not you will not receive credit for attendance or receive the quiz code.


Assignments involve programming and written work. The due dates are strictly followed by the course staff. All assignments are due at 11:00PM and no late assignments are accepted.

Written assignments are to be submitted via Gradescope, and programming assignments via AutoLab. No assignments will be accepted via e-mail.

Always make a copy of your assignment. Remember that technical problems happen and that due dates are enforced.

Gradescope: when your first written assignment is released you will receive an email from Gradescope with login information.

Autolab: when your first programming assignment is released you will be able to login into AutoLab using your Rutgers credentials.

Also note that if Gradescope or AutoLab is busy it may take some time before it gets to your submission request. If the deadline passes while you are waiting, your assignment will not be accepted. In other words, if you try to hand in your work close to the end of the deadline, you may be too late. 

Programming Assignments

Programming assignments are graded automatically by AutoLab. Your program must compile without errors on Autolab – otherwise you will not receive any credit for the assignment. For each problem, your code will be tested using a suite of test cases, and you will receive credit for each case on which your code performs correctly. AutoLab will not display a score but it will give you feedback on your submitted program, which you can then update and submit again for grading. You have 3 submissions without deductions; 5% of the problem total points are deducted for every submission thereafter. Autolab uses the last submission for the assignment grade.

Plan to submit your work with at least one day in advance. Depending on the load AutoLab may take up to 1 day to give you feedback. AutoLab uses Java 11 to compile and run assignment’s test cases. After each submission the feedback includes a written text and a light:

  • red means that either your program didn’t compile or it passed very few of our test cases (20% of points maximum grade);
  • yellow means that your program passed some test cases (80% of points maximum grade);
  • green means that your program passed most of our test cases (100% of points maximum grade).

Programming assignments have a built-in extension of 3 days. The extension works are follows:

  1. if you submit up to 24 hours after the deadline a 10% penalty applies.
  2. if you submit after 24 hours but before 48 hours after the deadline a 20% penalty applies.
  3. if you submit after 48 hours but before 72 hours after the deadline a 30% penalty applies.


Programming assignments are automatically graded by Autolab, you will see your score the following day after the due date. Written assignment and quizzes are graded by a group of senior or graduate students in Gradescope and you will receive your score one week after the assignment due date or quiz date.


For written assignments, quizzes and exams, you have one week after the grades are released to ask for a regrade. Only ask for a regrade if you think there was a grading error, do not request a regrade simply because you think you deserve more partial credit.

All programming assignments are autograded, make sure you read the Hints for each submission and correct your code accordingly before your next submission. Programming assignments are not regraded unless there is a problem on the autograder. A regrade of a programming assignment would involve running the same autograder code that Autolab runs, and that would not affect your grade. If your program does not perform correctly on a particular test case, you will not receive points for that test case. For all programming assignments you have one week after the grades are released to contest your grade. The grades are released the next day after the assignment is due.


Canvas is a course management tool that will be used to keep students scores and send out announcements. Once registered to the course you will be automatically added to Canvas. Use your Rutgers credentials to login.

The course staff expects all students to read the announcements.


This term we will be using Piazza for class discussion. The system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, the LAs, and instructors. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, we encourage you to post your questions on Piazza. If you have any problems or feedback for the developers, email Find our class page at Canvas’s left menu under Piazza.

DO NOT post any assignment solution or partial solution on Piazza. Those posts will be promptly deleted.

Quizzes and Exams

There will be four quizzes. You can consult the textbook, notes, and assignments. You will have 80 consecutive minutes to complete each quiz in a 24 hour period.

Refer to the Exams page for tentative dates, we are waiting confirmation from the university.

You are required to be available online to take the quizzes, so DO NOT make arrangements for those days. 

There is NO pre-scheduled general makeup quiz. A makeup quiz may be given to specific individuals only on the basis of a legitimate, documented conflict, or an university approved reason, or any other emergency that is deemed a legitimate reason for taking a makeup. If you cannot attend a quiz, you must inform your instructor at least one full week in advance in order to be allowed to take a makeup quiz (except in case of emergency). Students that require accommodations, such as extra time, must contact ODS at least two weeks before the quiz date. Email your accommodations letter to the course coordinator. Extra time will be added to your quiz allowed time. 


Your grade is computed out of 1000 points. The donut chart to the right has the distribution of the 1000 points among assignments, recitation attendance, quizzes and exams.

Each recitation is 10 points (8/10 attendance, 2/10 quiz). There are 13 recitations, you have to attend at least 10 recitations and take the respective quiz for the full 100 points. 

There is no curve: you must earn a minimum of 900 of the available points for an A, 850 for a B+, 800 for a B, 750 for a C+, 700 for a C, and 600 for a D. You will fail the course if you earn less than 600 points.

The cutoffs are strictly followed for each letter grade. A computed grade of 749.99 is a C not a C+.

Extra credit Surveys

For the purpose of improving the course, there are two surveys that you will be asked to fill out, an entry survey at the beginning of the semester and an exit survey at the end of the semester. The surveys are extra credit and each is worth 2.5 points.

The surveys can be found under the Surveys tab on the left pane of Sakai.

There are no other extra credits activities for the course. No exceptions.