30539 - COMPUTER SCIENCE - MODULE 1 (INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE AND PROGRAMMING)
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 27
Scope of the course is to provide the basic methodological and conceptual tools which are instrumental for algorithmic thinking and computer programming, using the C and Python programming languages as references. The course sets the basis for the programming knowledge which is extensively used in subsequent courses of the education program.
- Introduction to computer architecture and programming languages;
- introduction to C
- Basic algorithmic constructs
- Basic data structures
- Introduction to Python
- Basics of object-oriented programming
- Principles of functional programming
- Describe the basics of the modern computer architecture
- Summarize how most common imperative programming languages work, and the difference between compiled and interpreted languages;
- Identify basic algorithmic patterns in C and Python
- Recognize and apply the object-oriented programming paradigm
- Develop basic C and Python programs
- Design basic algorithms
- Create simple classes with an object-oriented programming approach
- Face-to-face lectures
- Online lectures
- Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
- Online lectures: short videos consisting of slides, diagams and live-coding that demonstrate the syntax and concepts of the C and Python programming languages and the basic data structures and programming paradigms
- Exercises: Online exercises on a dedicated coding platform with automatic assessment; also demos and general discussions with the instructors and the TAs
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
Continuous assessment will consist in programming exercises given almost weekly, done via an online platform with automatic grading. It will contribute to a maximum of 28 out of 31 points of the final grade.
For the first two exams after the end of the course (winter exam session), the students will have the option to cumulate the points obtained from the continuous assessment with a reduced final exam, which will give a maximum of 5 points. The reduced exam will include both C and Python exercises (2.5 points per part). It will have an overall passing threshold of 2 points out of 5. The total number of points is thus 33, but it will be capped at 31 for the final grade.
Alternatively, the students can opt to do a full final exam for the whole 31 points (in which case the grades of the continuous assessment are discarded). The final exam will have a C and a Python part (worth 15 and 16 points, respeccively). The sum of the grades for the two parts is the final grade; the passing threshold is 18, there is no threshold for the individual parts.
The exercises will start from the basics of each language (syntax, evaluation order, types, types conversions, type coercion, etc), which are directly tied to modern computer architecture and translate almost directly into how the computer operates. They will progressively test more complicated constructs, allowing to explore and recombine common programming patterns and reach the level of designing simple algorithms for previously unseen tasks. When object-oriented-programming will be introduced, the exercises will focus on the creation of progressively more complicated objects, testing at first the understanding of the basic mechanism of objects creation, methods dispatch and the role of special methods, and later operating at a more abstract level, with the aim of reaching a full separation between the objects interface and the internal representation. By the end, the exercises will involve the creation of simple classes based only on the interface specification, leaving the concrete implementation and the internal representation in large part as a task for the students.
- Textbook for C: "C Programming Language", Prentice Hall, by B. Kernighan and D. Ritchie
- Textbook for Python: "Think Python 2e", O’Reilly Media (http://greenteapress.com/wp/think-python-2e/), by A.B. Downey