Instructional Format

This course will be run utilizing a "flipped-classroom" model. In this model, students will complete reading assignments at home in an online format. The online portion of this course is intended to replace your weekly lecture meetings. Instead, students will meet once a week on-campus with the instructor in gatherings that are devoted to exercises, projects, and discussion.

The primary advantage to this model is that it allows an instructor to spend less time simply lecturing to students and more time working with them on questions and thoughts they have on the material. We believe that it will truly enhance the learning experience in this and in future courses.

Here are the details:

  1. The course consists of 13 modules, numbered 0 through 12.
  2. The week runs from Monday to Sunday.
  3. Each module consists of:
    • a reading assignment
    • online materials
    • a 2-hour classroom meeting
    • a problem set
  4. Each week you will have an online assignment posted on the course web site. This will consist of a combination of video lectures, PowerPoint presentations, and possibly other media. This replaces the usual 3-hour lecture.

    You will be responsible for studying this material before you come to class.

    As you go through these materials, you are sure to have questions. Please post them on the discussion board in Piazza.

  5. The weekly assignment will may also include some Guided Practice exercises. We strongly urge you to do these exercises, since they give you a quick way of checking your understanding. In some cases the exercises contain new material, so you won't get the whole story unless you do the exercises.
  6. The weekly classroom meeting will be devoted to:
    • Review of previous topics, as needed
    • in-class exercises and other enrichment on this week's materials
    • Questions and answers. You can ask the instructor questions, but the instructor may ask you questions also. Be prepared to be called on during lecture [VIDEO].

    No new material will be presented in class.

  7. Problem Sets are assigned weekly. They will usually come out on Monday (or perhaps earlier) and be due at 6pm local time the following Monday. Familiarize yourself with the homework deliverables. The problem sets are designed to take about 20 hours a week (!), so organize your time accordingly. If you have questions, ask them early. The best place to do this is on Piazza.
  8. On the Tuesday and Wednesday following the due date of each problem set, you will give an oral presentation of approximately 15 minutes on your solution. We call these presentations "codewalks." You will do this in groups of 4 students.

    During this presentation, you will be questioned by a TA on selected aspects of your solution. These presentations are critical for the learning process and they are key to our evaluation of your progress.

    There will be some evening codewalk slots for students who work full-time.

  9. You will be issued a personal, private URL that you can use to set your code walk time slot preferences. There is online help available within the web-based tool. Please try to keep your "flexibility" score as high as you can: doing so maximizes the chances you are assigned a slot you will be happy with.

    Every Sunday at 11.59pm we will take a snapshot of your preferences and compute a code walk schedule for the following Thursday. You will be sent email (to your account) informing you of your time slot for the week.

    If you lose your URL, contact the course staff.

  10. Your solution will be graded using a detailed rubric. You will be judged on
    • adherence to coding & documentation standards
    • appropriate use of tools & techniques
    • your ability to explain your program and your design decisions

Last modified: Mon Jul 14 22:29:36 Pacific Daylight Time 2014