cs445 - Spring 2011


Quick Links

This class is an introduction to methodologies for object-oriented design and programming.

  • Examines the object model and how it is realized in various object-oriented languages.
  • Focuses on methods for developing and implementing object-oriented systems.

Prerequisite: CS 331 or CS 401 or CS 403.

Before you get started

This class requires you to do a LOT of work between homeworks (4), reading assignments (a dozen or so), reading the textbooks, a pretty large project, and two exams.

Grading is quite strict as well, in that failure to get a passing grade in, say, the project will you a failing grade in this class. Put it another way, you cannot get around work by skipping assignments and hoping to pass based on a good class average.

I'm not trying to scare you into not taking this class, I just want you know full well what you're getting yourself into.

^ Top ^


Section 1
(CRN: 20056, Main Campus)
Section 2
(CRN: 23005, TV channel 405)
Section 3
(CRN: 20058, Internet)
Instructor Virgil Bistriceanu
Office hours Mon, Tue 5:30 pm - 6:15 pm
Office SB-214
Phone (312) 567-5146
Fax (312) 567-5067
e-mail bistriceanu@iit.edu
Lecture Mon 6:25 pm - 9:05 pm, room SB-238
Teaching Assistant
  • Name: Di Ma
    • Office: SB-115
    • Office Hours: Mon: 3:30pm-5:00pm, Tue: 6:30pm-8:00pm
    • Phone: TBA
    • email: dma2@iit.edu

^ Top ^



  • [1] Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design, Brett D. McLaughlin, Gary Pollice & David West, Addison Wesley, ISBN: 0-596-00867-8
  • [2] Head First Design Patterns, Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Freeman, O'Reilly, ISBN-13: 978-0-596-00712-6

Other books

  • Test-Driven Development by Example, Kent Beck, Addison Wesley, ISBN: 0-321-14653-0
  • Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, Martin Fowler, Addison Wesley, ISBN: 0-201-48567-2
  • Thinking in Java, Bruce Eckel, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-187248-6
  • Surviving Object-Oriented Projects, Alistair Cockburn, Addison Wesley, ISBN: 0-201-49834-0
  • The Pragmatic Programmer, Andrew Hunt and David Thomas, Addison Wesley, ISBN: 0-201-61622-X
  • Programming Ruby - The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide, 2nd edition, Dave Thomas, Pragrmatic Bookshelf, ISBN: 0974514055
  • Object-Oriented JavaScript, Stoyan Stefanov, Packt Publishing, ISBN-10: 1847194141, ISBN-13: 978-1847194145

^ Top ^


  • Homeworks: 15%
  • Midterm: 25%
  • Final: 30%
  • Project: 30%

The following grading scale will be used to determine your grade in this class:

  • A: 90 - 100
  • B: 80 - 89
  • C: 70 - 79
  • D: 60 - 69 (this grade may not be assigned to graduate students)
  • E: 0 - 59 This is a failing grade!
To pass this class you will need to have the following marks:
  • 60% for the homeworks average, and
  • 60% for the project, and
  • 60% in the final exam, and
  • The overall average is 60+ as well

Please read this again since it is not your typical grading policy.

Class participation will help settle borderline grades. While class attendance is not taken, your instructor believes that regular class attendance is important and expects students to actively participate in class. Questions and comments are always welcome.

^ Top ^

Late Work

All work that you turn in must be submitted on the Blackboard before midnight (Central Time) the day the work is due.

I understand that from time to time you'll get overwhelmed with work, or that you may have personal problems that will make you less productive than you'd like. That's why each student in this class has a credit of five (5) days for late work.

You can use this credit as you see fit, for good reason or no reason at all, all at once or in pieces -- though there is no fractional credit. The only thing we ask for is that, in your Blackboard submission (in the COMMENT field) you indicate how much of your credit you want to use.

After you've used your "late work credit", or if you don't want to use it, there is a 5% per calendar day penalty for late work.

^ Top ^

Exceptional circumstances

Your teacher will try to accomodate you in those cases that are beyond your control, such as medical and personal emergencies, as described below. In any event, you'll be using your "late work credit" first, before any additional accomodations can be made.

  • A documented medical emergency. Based on provided documentation your teacher will try to assign you a new due date for late assignments. Please note that, based on circumstances, the teacher may decide to assign you an incomplete grade, "I", or otherwise ask you to drop the class.
  • A personal emergency other than a medical emergency, such as a death in the family, etc. Based on provided documentation your teacher will try to assign you a new due date for late assignments. Please note that, based on circumstances, the teacher may decide to assign you an incomplete grade, "I", or otherwise ask you to drop the class.

^ Top ^

Incomplete ("I") Grades

Yes, you can get an incomplete in this class even if you're not dealing with a personal emergency. Here are the conditions:

  • It's not automatic; you have to request an incomplete from your instructor before final grades are posted.
  • It's a single piece of work that's holding you back. For example, you forgot it's finals day and failed to take the final exam. Well, I can give you an incomplete for that. However, I cannot give you an incomplete if you've failed to get a passing grade in the project and you failed to get a passing score in the final.
  • You accept whatever work I'll be assigning you to remediate the incomplete; I promise you that the work will be relevant to this class, however it may not be the exact same as the work you just missed. For example, you're requesting an incomplete because you failed to submit a homework and your homeworks average is below 60: in this case I might ask you to just do the homework, or otherwise give you a programming assignment instead, or a presentation, etc.

^ Top ^

Academic Honesty

All the work you submit must be individual, including, but not limited to, those cases when your instructor has approved pair-programming for you; in these cases the only thing that may be identical with somebody else's is code.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. IIT has a strict academic honesty policy; here are the top points:

  1. The misrepresentation of any work submitted for credit as the product of a student’s sole independent effort, such as using the ideas of others without attribution and other forms of plagiarism.
  2. The use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests or examinations.
  3. The acquisition, without permission, of tests, answer sheets, problem solutions or other academic material when such material has been withheld from distribution by the instructor.
  4. Deliberate harmful obstruction of the studies, research or academic work of any member of the IIT community.
  5. Making material misrepresentation in any submission to or through any office of the university to a potential employer, professional society, meeting or organization.
  6. The intentional assistance of others in the violation of the standards for academic honest.

You can read IIT's Code of Academic Honesty here. You should read it until you fully understand it. A good way to test whether you understand it is to try to explain it to somebody else.

^ Top ^

Extra Credit

There are multiple ways you can receive extra credit in this class, here are some:

  • Take class notes: scan them and return them to your instructor after each class in PDF format. If you take notes electronically, then turn in to your instructor a copy of your notes, .txt, .odf, .doc, .pdf formats ok.
    • Maximum extra credit: 5 points that will be added to the average class score (scale from one to 100)
    • If you want to get this extra credit, then you'll have to commit to turning in notes for each class.
    • In addition, your instructor will have to confirm upfront that you are eligible for this extra credit since only one student in class can get it.
  • Identify errors in the project definition, e.g. typos, wrong commands, conflicting statements, etc, and submit a suggestion for how it should be corrected. Extra credit depends on how significant your find is.
  • Recommend new projects or homeworks for this class. Your recommendation should be original and non-trivial. If you're not sure what original and non-trivial mean, then talk to your instructor.
    • Extra credit: 5 points per accepted recommendation. All extra credit will be added to your average class score (scale from one to 100).
  • Recommend problems to be included in the midterm or final. You'll get credit for submitting a good problem. Your submission should be original and non-trivial.
    • Extra credit: 4 points per accepted recommendation. All points you earn for your recommendations will be added to your average class score (scale from one to 100).
    • The credit will be doubled for each problem that's included in the exam.
  • Turn in (attach to your final exam) the paper for extra credit on topics assigned in class by your instructor. This assignment can boost your final exam mark by up to 10%.

^ Top ^


Exams are open-book(s), open-notes. You may bring with you any notes you want, however you may not share them with anybody else during the exam.

During the exam the use of communication devices such as phones, laptops, etc. is not allowed. You may bring with you a calculator.

^ Top ^

Programming Language(s)

For any of the assignments in this class, including the project, please feel free to use any of the free and/or open-source (FOSS) object-oriented programming languages in the set {Java, Ruby, JavaScript}.

You may even use Smalltalk if you want to, however this will make testing somewhat more difficult for us. Before you start, please check with your instructor to make sure he's ok with it.

Work done using languages other than specified above, as well as the linking of free and open-source sofware with proprietary 3rd party libraries will not be accepted.

To learn more about free software check out the Free Software Foundation.

You should also know that free software is not the same thing as open-source software, this article from the GNU foundation clarifies the matter for you.

^ Top ^

Test Environment

All programming work you do for this class will be tested on our computer(s) running a fresh instalation of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx).

I'm sorry, but the fact that your code runs on your computer and not on ours is not enough to earn you credit for your work.

If you've been using Linux, then this requirement is very easy to satify. If you're new to Linux, then you'll have some learning to do, which is a very good and valuable thing.

Let me repeat, we're not going to test under any version of Windows, nor are we going to do it under any other Unix variant other than the one described above.

If your application requires things (e.g. libraries, plug-ins, gems, etc.) that don't come with the standard distribution, then you should tell us, in the README file you provide with your other deliverables, how to install required dependencies.

^ Top ^

Unit Testing

We're all tired of bad software, whether because it crashes when we least expect it or because of security holes that allow the bad guys to take over our systems and identities. We all pretty much despise software maintenance, in particular when we're asked to modify code that we never touched, don't really understand, and have no way of making sure our changes don't damage existing functionality.

The good news is that we can do something about it. Creating (automated) unit tests for all your code is a very good start. Doing it in Test-Driven Development fashion is even better.

You cannot possibly get full credit for your work unless each and every method in your classes has good unit testing. By good I mean meaningful and sufficient:

  • A unit-test that just asserts true is not meaningful.
  • Providing only one unit test for a method that requires multiple tests is not sufficient.

You will be required to measure and include with your deliverables the unit test coverage as measured by the tool of choice in your chosen programming language, e.g. jCoverage for Java, Rcov for Ruby, etc.

As a general rule unit testing will account for 50% of your mark in any assignment, of which 3/5 is assigned to unit test coverage, and the other 2/5 will be awarded based on how good your tests are.

If you fail to submit unit testing, then you cannot expect to get more than 50% in the assignment.

Unit test coverage above 80% is required for full credit. Unit test coverage below 50% doesn't earn you any credit. For anything in between, you get one percentage point of credit for each percentage point of unit test coverage. For example, if your test coverage is 73%, then the most credit you can get for unit testing is 30-(80-73)=23. In another example, if the unit test coverage is 51%, then the most credit you can get is 30-(80-51)=1.

Unit tests that are useless will be removed and the coverage will be measured again before a mark is assigned for your work.

The other 20 percentage points for unit test coverage will be equally spread between the methods of your code. If you fail to write any unit test for a method, then you lose the corresponding percentage points; we will have discretion to give you less than full credit if you haven't written enough unit-tests for a method. For example, if your code has 10 methods across three (3) classes, then you get 20/10=2 percentage points of credit for unit tests written per each method. Another way to look at this is to say that you lose two (2) percentage points for each method that doesn't have any unit test.

^ Top ^


Typically the first person you should contact for any questions related to assignments is your TA.

Please be descriptive in the subject line when you email your instructor such that processing doesn't get delayed. At the very minimum you should indicate the class and the term, followed by a brief description of what is it that you want to communicate.

Examples of good subject lines for your email:

  • cs445, Spring 2011 - Hw1, part (i)
  • cs445, Spring 2011 - When will the grades be posted on the Blackboard?
  • cs445, Spring 2011 - Question about project

^ Top ^

Assignment Submission

You are required to submit your work online, using the Blackboard. Late work will be accepted, however it is subject to the late penalties described in this syllabus.

Here are the requirements:

^ Top ^


The purpose of the project is to give you the opportunity to practice the concepts discussed in this class. The requirements are purposely somewhat vague such that you can interact with the client (that's your instructor) to figure out the detailed requirements.

In addition to various deliverables you have to produce throughout the semester and a working product on the due date of the project, you are expected to develop a lot of automated unit tests as you work on this project.

You'll be required to review the project of a peer, comment on it and make critical recommendations for its improvement. 20% of you "Project" mark will be tied to how well you grade your peer's project.

^ Top ^

Class Schedule

Date Lecture Assignment Due
1/10/2011 Introduction  
1/17/2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday - no class  
1/24/2011 UML basics  
1/31/2011 OOD methodology HW-1
2/7/2011 Javascript, a crash course - guest speaker Gabriel Gironda  
2/14/2011 Designing with objects Project: use cases
2/21/2011 Interfaces, Polymorphism and Inheritance HW-2
2/28/2011 Midterm exam  
3/7/2011 Testing Project: class, sequence, interaction, and state transition diagrams
3/14/2011 Spring Vacation: no class  
3/21/2011 OO principles  
3/28/2011 Frameworks - guest speaker: Justin Knowlden  
4/4/2011 Multithreading HW-3
4/11/2011 Objects and portable data (XML)  
4/18/2011 Design patterns Project: final delivery due
4/25/2011 Anti-patterns Project: peer project grading
5/2/2011 Final exam  

Your instructor reserves the right to change this schedule.

^ Top ^

Important Events

Event Sections 1, 2, 3
Last day to change/add/drop a class and receive full tuition refund 1/21/2011
Last day to remove incomplete grades 2/21/2011
Midterm 2/28/2011
Spring break (no classes) 3/14-18/2011
Last day for official withdrawal 3/28/2011
Last day of classes 4/30/2011
Final exam 5/2/2011, 7:30pm - 9:30pm, SB-238

For more important dates and detail go to the IIT site.

^ Top ^


Unless otherwise stated all papers you turn in will be TYPED. No handwritten work is accepted.

Each page will have a header as follows:

  • The left side: your name
  • Middle: page number and the total number of pages (ex. 2/5 indicates this is page 2 out of a total of 5)
  • Right hand side: name of the assignment (ex. Homework #2)

Each page will also have a footer:

  • The left hand side will contain the following text: cs445-section: Spring 2011 where section stands for the section you are in
  • The right hand side will contain the following text: Illinois Institute of Technology - Computer Science

^ Top ^

$Id: syllabus.html,v 1.8 2011/04/06 14:48:23 virgil Exp $