CSC 241 Introduction to Computer Science I

Craig Miller

Office: CDM 745
Spring 2022-2023
Class number: 40034
Section number: 602L
W 8:30AM - 10:00AM
14EAS 00512 Loop Campus


An introduction to problem solving, algorithms and structured programming using a higher-level programming language. The course will focus on skills for developing algorithms, and for writing and debugging programs. Students will learn how and when to use loops, conditionals, and functional abstractions in the context of problems motivated by real world applications.

Course Goals

This course is the first of a two-course sequence introducing computer science. The focus of the course is on problem solving, algorithm development, and structured and object-oriented programming using Python and the Python API (application programming interface), all in the context of building computer applications.

In the first course we will focus on structured programming and learn how and when to use conditionals, loops, and functional and modular abstractions.

After you have taken this class:

  • You will understand that a main focus of computer science is developing applications for computer systems.
  • You will have stronger problem solving skills.
  • You will know who to develop algorithmic solutions for basic computational problems.
  • You will understand fundamental programming structures such as expressions, assignments, decision and iteration structures, functions and modules.
  • You will have basic Python programming skills.
  • You will be prepared for the second course in the sequence, CSC 242: Introduction to Computer Science II


Introduction to Computer Science with Python, 2nd edition (ebook) Ljubomir Perkovic, Wiley, 2015. ISBN (ebook): 978-1-118-89105-6


Assignment Weight
Eight programming assignments (10 points each) 35% (70 points, best 7 of 8)
Nine lab exercises (2.5 points each) 10% (20 points, best 8 of 9)
Midterm Exam 20% (40 points)
Final Exam 35% (70 points)

Students receiving more than 90% of possible points are guaranteed at least an A-, more than 80% at least a B-, more than 70% at least a C-, and more than 60% at least a D.

Students are generally expected to attend class and lab sessions in person. When attending in person is not possible (e.g. because of sickness), students are still responsible for the course content, which may involve accessing notes, examples and watching any recorded content.

Attendance is noted, although not formally counted in the grade.

Remote attendance by zoom will not be supported. For needed absences, the Tuesday/Thursday class meetings are recorded for synchronous review.


The goal of the labs is to practice concepts taught in the class. Collaboration is encouraged. However, all collaboration must be documented in the submissions. A submitted lab without documentation of collaboration or external use of resources constitutes a violation of academic integrity.

Attendance at the lab is highly encouraged. Students who do not attend the lab should plan on completing and submitting the lab before the beginning of the lab period. Later submissions are not guaranteed any support or help from the TA or instructor. Collaborative submissions without lab attendance are not permitted. At most, three non-attending lab submissions are permitted.

Labs are due one hour after the lab period ends. Late labs are allowed until the lab submission box closes at the end of the following day. Labs that are submitted after the submission box closes will not be accepted without a documented excuse filed with the Dean of Students office.


The goal of assignments is to become proficient with the concepts taught in class. You are expected to individually complete your own assignments. However, some collaboration with other students is allowed for assignments. The following types of collaboration are allowed:

  • Discussing strategies for solving a problem
  • Explaining why a script does not work
  • Reviewing and testing someone else's programming script
  • Using Python code provided by the instructor and texts

Students are invited to discuss labs and assignments on the class-sanctioned online forum (e.g. designated Discord channel). However, discussion should not include anything more than short snippets of code (less than one line).

The following types of collaboration are not allowed for assignments:

  • Copying someone else's Python code
  • Literally telling someone what code to write

Engaging in these last two types of collaboration will be considered a violation of the university's policy on academic integrity. Violators will receive a zero for the corresponding assignment and will be reported as required by the policy.

Late assignments will be accepted up to three days late with a one point penalty. Assignments submitted more than 3 days after the due date will not be accepted without an excused absence cleared by the dean of students office.

Additional assignments for extra credit will not be offered.


When completing exams, students may not collaborate with any other person, nor use any external resources. Collaboration with others on exams will be considered a violation of the university's policy on academic integrity. Violators will receive a zero for the corresponding exam and will be reported as required by the policy.

Exams can be made up with a serious documented excuse (e.g. illness, death in the family) and must be arranged as soon as possible. Arrangements involving other excuses require prior permission from the instructor.

All grade challenges must be submitted in writing and include an explanation why the given score or grade should be reconsidered.


MAT 130 or placement into MAT 140

Tentative Schedule

Week Topic Reading Lab Exercise Assignment
Mar 28 & 30 Course overview, Intro to CS, Expressions Ch. 1 Lab 1  
Apr 4 & 6 Assignment statements, data types Ch. 2, 3.1 Lab 2 Assn 1
Apr 11 & 13 I/O, Control statements Ch. 3 Lab 3 Assn 2
Apr 18 & 20 Functions, Complex Data Types Ch. 3, 4 Lab 4 Assn 3
Apr 25 & 27 File I/O Ch. 4 Lab 5 Assn 4
May 2 & 4 Errors, Debugging   Lab 6 Midterm (Monday)
May 9 & 11 Exceptions Ch. 4.4 Lab 7 Assn 5
May 16 & 18 Patterns and loops Ch. 5 Lab 8 Assn 6
May 23 & 25 Advanced types Ch. 6 Lab 9 Assn 7
May 30 & J1 Functions and namespaces, Review Ch. 7   Assn 8
Jun 8       Final Exam (Thursday)

The final exam is on Thursday June 8 from 8:30 AM to 10:45 AM.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296