pchapin's CIS-3050 Programming Languages, Fall 2016


Peter C. Chapin. Office: BLP-414 on the Williston campus. Office hours are 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 may also be on the FreeNode IRC network under the nickname pcc or on Skype under the ID pchapin.

Course Description

The official course outline lists high level course objectives and content. The working outline is on the main class page. The working outline is more detailed than the official outline but it is a work in progress and subject to change as the semester progresses.


This course assumes you are already familiar with the basic concepts of programming and have taken a course in C (such as VTC's Computer Organization course). Although we won't be doing any object oriented programming in this course directly, you should be familiar with the concept of information hiding and abstraction. The OOP course is officially a prerequisite of this course because of the experience having that course implies. The programming we'll be doing here is more involved than a person with just one programming course could be expected to handle.


There is no text for this course. Instead I will provide supplementary material and links to online resources.

I have created an email distribution list for the class. I will use this list to distribute announcements and other materials. Most materials can also be found on the class web page. 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 assignments during the semester for a total of 100 points. You will normally have one week to do each assignment. Many, but not all, of the assignments will entail programming. I will drop the lowest homework grade.

  2. Projects. 20 pts/each. There will be two of these "project" assignments during the semester for a total of 40 points. These are longer, more involved programming problems that exercise your skills more broadly. They are, in effect, long homework assignments.

  3. Final. 50 pts. There will be an in-class final exam at the end of the semester. The exam will be closed everything.

Late Policy

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

Copying Policy

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. If you worked closely with someone you should make a note on your submission that mentions the name(s) of your associate(s).

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: 2016-07-13
© Copyright 2016 by Peter C. Chapin <PChapin@vtc.vsc.edu>