The focus of this course is on data structures, algorithms, algorithm analysis, and problem solving techniques in Computer Science, and not on programming, much less programming in a particular language. Programming is, however, a valuable part of the course as it helps us solidify the abstract concepts we study. We will use Java as the primary programming language. Submissions will be in the form of packaged, well documented, Java source ﬁles. Proper documentation and packaging of source code and other material is a crucial component of assigned work and submissions failing in this regard will receive no credit.
Programming Environment and Tools: You are free to choose details such as operating system, development environment, and editor based on your preferences. However, no matter what you use, the submission should be a source-code package that works on a standard Java SE platform. In particular, submissions should work on any operating system and hardware supported by Java SE. Further details on the packaging, submission, and testing procedure will be provided in class and on the newsgroup.
Other Languages: If you prefer to use a language other than Java, please contact me. I am quite open to the idea, and encourage interested students to explore it further. However, please check with me very early in the semester so that we can determine the speciﬁcs to make sure your submissions can be tested and graded fairly. You should avail of this option only if you are conﬁdent enough of your programming skills to not require any programming help, and are prepared to take on additional work. This option is designed for students who are proﬁcient in Java and wish to use this opportunity to master another language, not for students weak in Java who wish to avoid it. Anyone granted this option will still be responsible for all Java-related material in the course.
Literate Programming: All submitted work must use a literate programming style: Your programs must be designed with a human as the intended reader, although they must also compile and run correctly. Programs that do not meet this requirement are likely to receive a zero score with no further consideration. Details will be discussed in class. The use of any speciﬁc literate-programming or documentation tool is neither necessary nor suﬃcient for this requirement.
Class Accounts: Although the use of oﬃcial class accounts, on department computers, is not strictly required, it is a good idea for everyone to have accounts on both our main Unix host (aturing) and the cluster of PCs. Among other uses, these accounts will permit testing that code submissions work correctly in a reference environment. Class accounts will be generated based on the forms distributed at the ﬁrst class meeting. You should be able to access your aturing account from anywhere on the Internet, including the labs in Neville Hall and elsewhere on campus, by using ssh to connect to aturing.umcs.maine.edu. On most Unix hosts, the command ssh -l username aturing.umcs.maine.edu should suﬃce. For Windows hosts, the freely available Putty program works well: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/. Do not use unencrypted telnet sessions to connect to your account.