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COMS 1004

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  • Top Course Tags

    Go to Office Hours

    Great Intro to the Subject

    Always Do the Reading

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    • Profile picture
    Mar 15, 2017
    | Would highly recommend.

    Not too easy. Not too difficult.

    Course Overview:

    It's a course on Java programming designed for students with little to no experience in programming. It features weekly (optional) recitation sessions designed to reinforce the material covered during the week. There are problem sets and programming projects due every week (alternating between problem set and project, never both in one week), and they are designed to be challenging regardless of prior programming or computer science experience, but not unreasonably long or difficult. It is advised to take advantage of the 40+ office hours throughout the week because questions and obstacles to your study are almost bound to appear. The course stresses the importance of terminology of key computing and programming concepts and the effective and rational design of (Java) programs.

    Course highlights:

    The highlights of the course for me were 1) reading the daily posts on Piazza (an online forum where students can ask questions and get answers for teaching assistants and instructors very quickly), 2) working through the problem sets alone and with others, and 3) the amusing lectures given by Professor Cannon that were humorous and engaging yet insightfully and deeply informative and educational. From this course (which is still currently running as I'm writing this), I learned fundamental computer science concepts, including the structure of computer systems, basic algorithms, and computer logic, as well as key programming skills and concepts, including classes, objects, methods, parameters, and data structures.

    Hours per week:

    9-11 hours

    Advice for students:

    I would say it helps to work someone else on the problem sets if you're not comfortable with mathematics or are completely new to programming. Also, DO NOT start the problem sets or programming projects late! I cannot stress this enough; if you start 2 or 3 days before they are due, you will be in trouble, unless you took a great set of notes during lecture AND for the readings (or if you have a good deal of experience in computer science and mathematics). The teaching assistants are surprisingly harsh on the grading, so try to get a good grasp what is considered good programming practice from the beginning. Finally, please use the resources available to you! Office hours and instructors are your friends! You can always also use Piazza.

    • Spring 2017
    • Adam Cannon
    • Great Intro to the Subject Go to Office Hours Always Do the Reading
    • Profile picture
    Mar 14, 2017
    | Would highly recommend.

    Not too easy. Not too difficult.

    Course Overview:

    Prof. Blaer has one of the best demeanors and energies out of all the teachers I have had, regardless of subject.

    Course highlights:

    I learned the foundation of critical thinking skills that are needed in the field of computer science. Prof. Blaer speaks from countless experiences and teaches us to think outside of the box to solve problems in seemingly unconventional ways. Blaer teaches this class as though he were giving himself advice back in his own undergrad. My favorite moment was a time when we were working on a difficult problem, in Data Structures (the follow up course), and he had students working in groups outside his office to help each other solve the problems efficiently and to not waste their time waiting for him when he's already answered questions. It felt as though we were working on a special project for an IT company and we were on the verge of a breakthrough.

    Hours per week:

    9-11 hours

    Advice for students:

    I think that attending all of the lectures and asking questions is critical. Lectures can seem a little unnerving considering that 100-200 students will attend, but Blaer will still take the time to answer questions either during class, afterward, or during office hours. He makes sure that you really understand the problems and the methods that are required for solving them.

    • Fall 2017
    • Paul Blaer
    • Great Intro to the Subject Go to Office Hours Meetings Outside of Class

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