Fall 2002, CS173 Computation and Formal Systems
CSC 173 is the third course in the pre-major sequence for Computer
Science, following CSC 171 (Computer Programming) and CSC 172 (Data
Structures). The course serves two principal purposes:
- It introduces students to formal systems of importance in
computer science, and explains their usefulness for real world
computation. In this sense, the course might well be subtitled
Computer Science is not (just) programming.
- It makes the transition from Java on personal computers to C
on Unix. Most of the department's upper-level courses use C or
C++, and while Java is of large (and increasing) commercial
importance, industrial strength programming of large systems is
likely to continue to be be done in C and C++. Given time
constraints, we will focus on C, rather than C++, as the
transition language this term.
Online Notes and Schedule
We will likely have 6 fairly large programming assignments throughout
the semester. Together the projects will be worth 50% of your
Every 2-3 weeks a homework assignment will be handed out. Homework
will not be collected, but for every homework handed out, there will
be one quiz based on it. On the announced day, you will be asked to
solve, in class (10 minutes) and without notes/book, one of the
homework questions (chosen randomly). Together, the quiz grades will
make up 10% of your semester grade.
Make-up quizzes will not be allowed unless you have a good
reason and arrange for the make-up PRIOR to the in-class quiz.
The assignments will be handed out in class, and made available
online. Watch this space.
There will be two exams: a midterm (20%) and a cumulative final