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Chapter 1

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CITS1401
Problem Solving and Programming
Introduction and Admin
Semester 1, 2014
A/Prof Lyndon While
School of Computer Science & Software Engineering
The University of Western Australia
Objectives
• CITS1401 covers
– Many important problem-solving techniques used
widely in Computer Science and in programming
– Writing basic programs in Python, a modern
high-level programming language
– An introduction to software engineering
Computer Science is no more about computers than
Astronomy is about telescopes. (Edsger Dijkstra)
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Philosophy
• CITS1401 is a first programming unit
– No prior programming experience is assumed
– But there is a wide range of student backgrounds
• CITS1401 is the first in a series of units
designed to give you
– Excellent problem-solving skills
– A good understanding of the programming process
– Exposure to a wide range of topics in ICT
Problem solving and programming are like
swimming and juggling: practice is everything!
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People & places
• Unit coordinator: A/Prof Lyndon While
• Consultation times: 11am-noon Wednesdays
• Lectures:
–
–
–
–
1–2 pm Mondays in Simmonds LT
1–2 pm Wednesdays in ELT2
All lectures are recorded and available via LMS
The slides are also available online via LMS
4
Labs
• Supervised lab sessions run in Lab 2.03,
starting in Week 2
• Several times are available
– You are expected to attend one session each week
• But feel free to attend multiple sessions
– Free Wi-Fi is available
– Working from home is also fine
• But make sure you keep up!
• The first two hours of each session is supervised
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Workshop
• Workshops are at 3–4 pm Thursdays in ELT2,
starting in Week 2
• Purely optional on an as-needed basis
– Aimed at students who are having difficulty with
the content or the pace of the unit material
– Basic questions will be given priority over
more-advanced questions
– Additional examples complementing the lectures
– Embarrassment-free zone!
The only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked!
CITS1401 admin, Sem. 1 2012
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Online
• Everything that is distributed in CITS1401
will be available from
http://undergraduate.csse.uwa.edu.au/courses/CITS1401
– The lecture recordings and slides are on LMS
• Nothing else will be available via LMS
• To make a query in CITS1401, or to initiate
discussion on any relevant topic, go to
https://secure.csse.uwa.edu.au/run/help1401
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help1401
• Online discussion forum for CITS1401,
based on the philosophy of
READ FIRST: if the answer is not there, THEN POST
• Asking questions is useful:
– Sometimes just formulating a question properly
helps you to realise the answer yourself!
• Answering questions is useful:
– Explaining something helps you to understand it,
and it generates good karma too!
DO NOT post assessment code to help1401
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Announcements
• Announcements will be made in three places
– In CITS1401 lectures
– On the CITS1401 web-site noticeboard
– On help1401
When an announcement has been made in these
three places, we will assume that you are aware of it.
• Any information distributed by email
will be sent to your UWA account
– Check your account regularly, or forward it
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Text and other resources
• Fundamentals of Python:
First Programs
• Kenneth A. Lambert
• ISBN: 9781111822705
• http://undergraduate.csse.
uwa.edu.au/units/CITS1401/
resources/
10
Development environment
• In the lab you will be using the Python 3.3 IDLE
available from python.org
– An integrated software environment where you can
create, edit, execute, and debug programs
• You can download this software free from
python.org and install it at home
– It is available for all major operating systems
Note that all work submitted for assessment
will be tested on the lab set-up
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Assessment
• Assessment is based on both
– understanding of fundamental concepts
– practical problem-solving and programming skills
• Mid-semester test
– In Week 8, worth 15%
• Two programming projects
– Project 1 due in Week 8, worth 10%
– Project 2 due in Week 13, worth 15%
• Final exam
– In the June exam period, worth 60%
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Passing and satisfactory progress
• To pass CITS1401, you must achieve
– At least 50% overall, and
– At least 40% in Project 1 and the test combined, and
– At least 40% in the final exam
Everyone in CITS1401 is capable of passing,
but history suggests that 15-20% of you will fail
– who do you want to be?
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Seeking help
• There are many avenues for seeking help
–
–
–
–
–
–
help1401
Supervised labs
Workshops
The text and other resources
Consultation times, and after lectures
http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/learning
You are not alone: when problems arise, seek help early!
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UWA compulsory online modules
• All students are required to complete
three online learning modules
– Academic Conduct Essentials
– Communication and Research Skills
– Indigenous Study Essentials
http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/learning/resources
• The above site also contains many other resources
which will be useful in your studies
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Week 1 in the labs
•
•
•
•
Obtain your computer account name and password
Organise your UWA email account
Obtain your timetable from OLCR
Familiarise yourself with the School web-site,
and the CITS1401 web-site
• Install Python 3 on your computer at home
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