On this page:
Office hours:
General Policies
Computing Environment
Test-only assignments
Pair Programming
Academic Integrity


Office hours:🔗

Here is a calendar of all the office hours that the course staff offer. If you would like to speak to an instructor and you cannot make it to their office hours, send an email to set up a meeting. If you have a general question and cannot make it to anyone’s office hours, post to Piazza (see below).

For the most part, staff members will have the same office hours every week. Before going to someone’s hours, check where they will be on the calendar below. Should there be a change to someone’s hours, there will be a post on Piazza and the calendar will be updated.

Most office hours will be held in person. But occasionally, due to health or other circumstances, office hours will be held online using the Khoury Office Hours website. You will need to have Microsoft Teams available to you, as the course staff will call you back via Teams when they are available to help you.



Ben Lerner

Course staff:

Regan Murphy

Margaryta Polishchuk

Dillon Scott

David Sharick

Dylan Dinio

Thomas Dwyer

Zack Eisbach

Kevin Xu

Henry Barthelemy

Your TAs run the labs, grade the exams and homework sets, and hold office hours. In general, they are apprentice teachers and are here to learn how to run a course. At the same time, though, they are your peers who have taken the course, and can see your problems from your perspective.


If you need help, you may talk to any of the instructors, the TAs or tutors during their office hours.

Use NEU email (@northeastern.edu, as noted below each photo) to reach any of the course staff; usernames are given above. Use @ccs.neu.edu to reach instructors.

Piazza is an on-line forum for class discussions. Anybody can post a question and anybody else can reply. (Please do not post grading questions to Piazza. It’s best to email the grader instead for those kinds of questions.)

Before posting, check whether or not your question has already been asked. If it already has been asked and has not yet been answered, provided the question is not more than a day old, it likely will be answered soon. Do not double post.

Posting any parts of a solution to any parts of a homework assignment is considered cheating. You don’t want to do this. Limit your answers to other students to providing clarity when needed and hints when appropriate. This is good practice should you ever want to be a tutor :)

Note: anonymity on Piazza is implemented to make you anonymous to students but not to staff members.

General Policies🔗


Accelerated section: Mon, Wed and Thurs at 10:30am–11:35am
        Hurtig Hall 130        Lerner

Lectures policy:

You are required to read the lecture material for the given lecture before coming to class. During the lectures we will discuss the material covered in the required reading, answer questions, provide additional examples and applications.

It is OK if you do not understand everything when you first read it, but reading about the new concept ahead of the time will give you a chance to anticipate the questions you may have and allow you to follow better the details of explanation during the lectures.


All labs meet once a week on Fridays.
  • Accelerated Lab 1: 8:00am–9:40am WVH 210A
         Staff: Dillon, Zack and Thomas

  • Accelerated Lab 2: 9:50am–11:30am WVH 210A
         Staff: Regan, Dylan and Henry

  • Accelerated Lab 3: 11:45am–1:25pm WVH 210A
         Staff: Margaryta, David and Kevin

Labs policy:

The goal of the labs is to see in practice problems that illustrate the concepts covered in the lectures, and to prepare you for the next programming assignment. Attendance is required.

There is a lot of technical detail related to running Java programs that will be covered in the early labs. Later labs will focus more on design questions and on good Java programming practice.

In-lab Quizzes and Code review

We will be running quizzes during several of the labs, possibly without prior warning. You must be present in lab to take the quiz. The goal of the quizzes is to see that you are familiar with the most basic concepts covered during the recent lectures, labs, and assignments.

Quizzes will be graded. The intent is to assess your progress in the course in smaller chunks rather than just through lengthy midterm exams.

If you do not pass the quiz, you need to meet with the instructor within the next week, to identify the problems you may have and to help you get back on track. Only one makeup of a lab quiz will be allowed and must be requested within one week of the missed lab.

We may also be conducting code reviews in labs, of either the material from that lab or from the prior week’s homework. As presenters, be prepared to explain your design choices to your classmates. As reviewers, pay attention both to how the presenters organize their explanations and how they organize their code, and feel free to ask clarifying questions about either.

Computing Environment🔗

You will complete your assignments (other than the first one) using the Eclipse IDE. Though, if you feel more comfortable, you may choose to use another IDE (e.g. NetBeans) or work directly from the command line, but you and your partner must both be comfortable with the chosen programming environment, and the staff may not be able to assist you with issues encountered in other environments.

You will use the handin server to submit your homework. You may submit as many times as you wish, though submitting too frequently will be detected and rate-limited, to ensure fairness for other students. Be aware that close to the deadline when everyone submits all at once, the server will become less responsive.


There will be one or two problem sets each week. As with CS2500, the problem sets will include finger exercises and practice problems, that you are strongly encouraged to look at and confirm that you can solve. You are welcome to bring solutions to these problems to the course staff during the semester for informal feedback on how you’re doing.

The graded problems are to be solved collaboratively with your partner when you are assigned one. The problems will consist of structured programming assignments that may be based on the work done in previous weeks, and may also include more creative projects where you can practice your design skills.

Due Dates: Tuesdays at 9:00pm, unless otherwise specified. See the late policy above.

Note: unlike CS2500 last semester, you will submit each problem separately on the handin server. This is for your benefit: the server will attempt to compile and run your program against automated test cases. Having separate submissions for each problem means that a syntax error in one problem won’t immediately prevent your other problems from compiling also. Be careful to submit the correct answers to the correct problems.

Test-only assignments🔗

Every week’s homework will consist of you designing and implementing code to solve the given problems. Most weeks, you will also be given an additional form of assignment, to encourage you to write tests early and to give you exploratory feedback on your own implementations’ correctness. Specifically, there will be an extra assignment per problem, where you will submit test cases only. The server will run your test cases against several implementations – both working and broken – and give you feedback about which of your tests worked properly against our good solutions, and which of those tests successfully caught our broken implementations. You can submit to this as often as you’d like, and the tests you write should then be useful when writing your own solution. Please see Examplar for further information.

Pair Programming🔗

You must work on some of the problem sets in pairs. We will assign you a partner. We may switch partners a few times during the semester.

Important Pair programming means that you and your partner work on the problem sets jointly. You read them together and you work on the solutions together. One of the lab’s purposes is to teach you how to work in pairs effectively; indeed, pairs are provably more effective than individuals in programming. The rough idea is this: One of you plays pilot, the other co-pilot. The pilot works on the keyboard and explains aloud what is going on; it is the co-pilot’s responsibility to question everything. After a problem is solved to the satisfaction of both, you must switch roles.

Every partner must be able to solve every homework problem in the end. In other words, you must be able to solve every homework problem on your own.

If you are having difficulties working with your partner, please inform your lab TA or your instructor quickly: we cannot help if we don’t know there’s a problem.

Academic Integrity🔗

Any and all submitted work must be your own. If an assignment/lab is to be completed individually, only you and the course staff are allowed to look at your code. If an assignment/lab is to be completed with a partner, only you, your partner and the course staff are allowed to look at your code.

You are allowed to discuss the problem sets with others, so long as you acknowledge (in comments, in your submitted files) whoever you discussed the problem with. Discussing the "what to solve" is OK, discussing "how to solve" is a slippery slope. Once you start discussing possible solutions, you may not realize when you have crossed the line. Ultimately we will judge you by the work you submit. If you think you are smart enough to use somebody’s code and hide it well enough to deceive us, please channel that intelligence towards completing the assignment yourself!

NOTE: Be aware that while submitting someone else’s code is clearly a violation, so is sharing your code with others, even if you truly just mean to help. You will be doing your friend or peer a disservice by helping them this way. Please direct them to the course staff instead.

Outside an academic environment, sharing code with unauthorized parties can be a criminal offense and have severe and unanticipated consequences.

Submitting code that is not your own or sharing your code to unfairly help another student will be considered a violation of the University’s Academic Integrity Policy (page 40 of the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Student Handbook). Violations of academic integrity will be reported to OSCCR, and will have strong consequences on your grade, from an automatic zero on the assignment to failing the course.

If you are ever unsure of whether sharing is unacceptable or not, or you are struggling in the course, please contact one of the course staff. We are here to help.


You may bring one sheet of notes to exams (may be typed or hand-written, one-sided or double-sided).


Your final grade is composed of:
  • 45% homework. Most homeworks will be equally weighted, but larger projects that will take more time will be weighted more.

  • 50% exams, with exact proportions to be determined.

  • 5% quizzes and participation

As before, you can use the handin server to see the current weights of each assignment, and your approximate grade in the course so far. The exact weights of assignments, quizzes and exams will change during the semester, depending on exactly how many of each we have. We will let you know when we update these weights, and will try to keep it as infrequent as possible.

The grades will computed on an absolute basis: there will be no overall curving. The instructor may choose to curve an individual homework or exam, but please do not bank on such a chance.

The mapping of raw point totals to letter grades is given below. Please note that these grade boundaries may move slightly in either direction at the discretion of the instructor, but the grade boundary for A is unlikely to change. Grades are not rounded: for instance, earning a 92.5% does not imply we will round up to a 93% and hence to an A.


























Letter grade