pchapin's CIS-2271 Java Programming, Fall 2014


Peter C. Chapin. Office: BLP-414 on the Williston campus. Office hours are as shown on my schedule or by appointment. Phone: 802-879-2367 (voice mail active). Email: PChapin@vtc.vsc.edu. I will respond to email within 24 hours, not including weekends or holidays. Email is the best way to contact me. I am sometimes on Skype under the ID pchapin. I may also be on the FreeNode IRC network under the nickname pcc.

Course Description

This is a first course about programming using the Java programming language. In this course you will build your programming "basic skills" that will serve you throughout your career both at VTC and beyond. Note that although we will be using Java in this course, the concepts of programming are independent of any particular programming language. It is those concepts that we hope to exercise.

This course differs from the related CIS-2261 in that it covers the entire content of an introductory sequence in one course. In contrast students taking CIS-2261 will continue with the follow-up CIS-2262 in the spring to complete the introductory programming sequence. Consequently this course covers the material about twice as fast as CIS-2261. If you discover the pace here to be too quick, switching to CIS-2261 is a possibility and, due to the closely related nature of the material covered, can even be done quite late in the semester.

The official course outline lists high level course objectives and content. The working course outline is more detailed than the official outline but it is a work in progress and subject to frequent changes throughout the semester.


None. Some programming experience might be useful but it is not required.


The text is Java for Everyone (Late Objects), Second Edition by Cay Horstmann. Copyright 2013. Published by Wiley. ISBN=978-1-118-06331-6.

To write programs you will need a Java compiler. The lab machines will have the necessary software pre-installed. You can also install the required software on your personal system.

I have created an email distribution list for the class. I will use this list to distribute announcements and other supplementary materials. Be sure to check your mail regularly (daily) or you might miss something important. If you send a question in email directly to me, I may reply to my distribution list if I think that others would benefit from my answer. If you would rather I did not reply to the list you should say so in your message.

My home page contains various documents of general interest.

Grading Policy

I grade on a point system. Each assignment is worth a certain number of points. At the end of the semester I total all the points you earned and compare that to the total number of possible points. In this course there are three components to your grade.

  1. Homework. 10 pts/each. There will be approximately ten to twelve assignments during the semester (approximately every week) for a total of about 100 to 120 points.

  2. Labs. 10 pts/each. There will be 14 labs during the course (one every week) for a total of about 140 points.
  3. Exams. 50 pts/each. There will be two exams for a total of 100 points. The first exam will be given around the middle of the course and the second will be given at the end of the course during the final exam period.

In-class exams are closed everything. No notes, no text, and no computing devices of any kind can be used during the in-class exams.

Take home exams (if there are any) are more open. You can use any resources available to you except that you can not consult with other students about exam questions nor post questions related to the exam on Internet forums or mailing lists (it is okay to read existing posts, however). If you have questions about the exam, please contact me with your questions.

Homework and lab assignments have even fewer restrictions. You can discuss the questions with other students and post questions related to the assignments in on-line forums. However, you should still do your own work. See the section on "Copying Policy" below for more information.

I will take note of attendance. If you go missing or are chronically late, I (or someone) will talk to you about it before it goes on too long. Attendance is not specifically part of my grading policy but it will, like other intangible items such as "professionalism," play a role in how likely I am to round up borderline grades.

Late Policy

Late homework submissions are not accepted. If something comes up that prevents you from handing in an assignment on time, contact me before the deadline to discuss your issue. Under some circumstances I may be willing to grant an extension.

Copying Policy

Don't Copy!

I encourage you to share ideas with your fellow students so I won't be shocked to learn that you've been talking with someone about an assignment. In fact if you worked closely with someone else you should make a note on your submission that mentions the names of your associates.

However, I do ask you to do your own work in your final submissions. If two submissions exhibit what I feel to be "excessive similarity" I will grade the submissions based on merit and then divide the grade by two, assigning half the grade to each submission. If I receive more than two excessively similar submissions I will divide the grade by the number of such submissions and distribute the result accordingly.

Since "excessive similarity" is a bit subjective, I may only give you a warning if the similarity is not too excessive—especially for a first offense. However, I do keep records on when I find excessive similarity and I will be much less inclined to be forgiving if I discover it again. If you are concerned about the possibility of submitting something that might be too similar to another student's work, don't hesitate to speak with me first.

If you find material on the Internet or in a book that seems to answer questions I ask in an assignment, you may include such material in your submission provided you properly reference it. If I discover that you have included unreferenced material from such sources, I may not give you any credit for the question(s) answered by such material. You do not need to provide a reference to our text book or to materials I specifically provide in class.

Other Matters

Students with disabilities may request accommodation as provided within federal law. All such requests should be made by first contacting Robin Goodall, Learning Specialist, in the Center for Academic Success on the Randolph campus. She can be reached by phone at (802) 728-1278 or by email at rgoodall@vtc.edu.

Last Revised: 2014-07-12
© Copyright 2014 by Peter C. Chapin <PChapin@vtc.vsc.edu>