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Introduction to Programming

CS 167-B, Whitman College, Spring 2016
TThF 8:00 - 8:50 a.m., Olin 165
Instructor: Janet Davis (davisj@whitman.edu)
Office hours: As posted and by appointment

About this course

Welcome to CS 167! The official course description:

An introduction to programming techniques applicable to most high-level programming languages. Covers core programming topics including logic, loops, functions, and objects. Uses an object-oriented programming language like C++ or Java. Frequent programming projects are required.

A course very much like this one is the reason that I became a computer scientist.  I'm very excited to be teaching this course, and I hope to share some of that excitement with you. 

My main goal for this class is that you will begin to learn how computer scientists solve problems. We will be using Python as our first programming language. Python is relatively easy to learn. It is widely used to solve problems in a range of domains, including professional software development.

Course goals

By the end of this class, you will learn to:

How to be successful in this class

Experience shows that learning computer science exercises different parts of your brain than other courses (even math and science courses). Learning to program is difficult for most people, but with mindful practice you can succeed. Be patient with yourself. Expect some frustrating times, but have confidence that you can work through them. You'll come out of the course with new skills and knowledge.

Like learning math or a foreign language, learning in this course is cumulative: New ideas often build on ideas from earlier in the course. Make sure you understand key ideas. Review readings, notes, and exercises after class. If you feel like you've missed something important, please come talk with me ASAP.

Computers have no common sense or compassion. They are complex systems, and sometimes they do things we don't expect. If things go wrong, don't blame yourself. Ask for help.


Janet Davis (davisj@whitman.edu) with thanks to Albert Schueller and Sam Rebelsky

Created January 14, 2016
Last revised January 17, 2016, 05:11:07 PM PST
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.