Wade Fagen, Ph.D., Illinois '13
2215 Siebel Center for Computer Science

Teaching Assistants

  • Qijun Liu, qliu38@
  • Omkar Lokhande, lokhand2@
  • Sandeep Murthy, srmurth2@
  • Yidan Sun, ysun69@
  • Guy Tal, guytal2@
  • Kyle Tsai, ktsai6@

Course Assistants

  • Richard Kacirek
  • Catherine Kang
  • Tim Krock
  • Ashley Simon
  • Eric Zhang
  • TBA

All addresses are
All office hours are listed on the Getting Help / Contact page

Course Description

Introduction to basic concepts and applications in Computer Science. Emphasis on an understanding how a computer "thinks" through algorithms, data manipulation, and simple programs. Application of computation-based tools such as spreadsheets and databases. Intended for non-engineering majors.

Topics Covered

  • Programming
    • Overview of an algorithm
    • Variables, conditionals, and looping
    • Abstraction and function calls
    • Arrays, searching, and sorting
    • Security and encryption
  • Data Use and Manipulation
    • Data Conversion: XML, CSV, TXT, and others
    • Data Manipulation
    • Excel functions: SUMIF, VLOOKUP, etc
  • Data Visualization
    • JSON data representation, d3.js

Languages and Tools

  • Scratch
  • JavaScript
  • HTML / CSS
  • Microsoft Excel
  • d3.js

Required Materials


There are two midterm exams and one comprehensive final exam. The midterm exams are 90-minute evening exams that are held from 8:00pm - 9:30pm. The final exam is during the Univeristy-scheduled time slot during finals week.

Conflict exams will be available for students that have a conflict as outlined in the student code. Conflict exam signups will start about two weeks before the exam and end one week before the exam date.

Midterm #1

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
8:00pm - 9:30pm

Midterm #2

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
8:00pm - 9:30pm

Final Exam

Tuesday, May 12, 2014
8:00am - 11:00am


There is a total of 1,000 points available in this course, plus opportunities to gain small amounts of extra points (called +1 problems). The distribution of the 1,000 points are as follows:

Exams, 500 points

Machine Problems (MPs) and Projects, 310 points

Weekly Assignments, 190 points

Course Grade

Your final course grade will be determined by the number of points you have based on the following scale:

Points Earned Final Grade Points Earned Final Grade Points Earned Final Grade
970+A+ 930-969A 900-929A-
870-899B+ 830-869B 800-829B-
770-799C+ 730-769C 700-729C-
670-699D+ 630-669D 600-629D-

Academic Integrity

Cheating is taken very seriously in CS 105 and all cases of cheating will be brought to the University, your department, and your college. You should understand how academic integrity applies to Computer Science courses. Note that the recommended sanctions for cheating on a programming assignment includes a loss of all points for the assignment and that the final course grade is lowered by one whole letter grade.

You are a respected individual in a community of collegiality and trust. We honor and believe your word. We trust what you say and will generally not ask for proof. However, with trust comes responsibility. Violation of trust will not be tolerated. In particular, acts not befitting this community such as cheating (e.g., collaboration on homeworks or exams that are not meant to be collaborative) fall in the category of violation of trust. Individuals who commit such acts will lose the privileges of trust and receive grade reductions as described above.

With the exception of the final project and labs, your work in this class must be your own. Your work must be a result of individual work and you are responsible for protecting your work. In the past, we had cases of copying solutions from other students without their knowledge. To avoid having your work copied without your knowledge:

It is reasonable to to speak to others about the lecture, readings, or lab work. It is also reasonable to speak in broad terms about assignments and reasonable to share one or two lines of code from your program to have help finding a bug in your code.

However, do not share flow-charts, algorithms, "pseduo-code", or speak in technical terms about an assignment. Do not share code that is working. Do not send or post an entire function or a full program to a friend or publicly in any way. Do not copy a solution from the internet or a previous semester.