Intensive Program Design

Syllabus – Fall 2016

Tech A110, TuTh, 12–3 PM

Course staff & office hours

Instructors: Robby Findler robby@eecs Gladly by appointment
Jesse Tov jesse@eecs TuTh 3–4 PM in Ford 2-215
TAs: Dan Feltey danielfeltey2015@u Tu 5–6 PM & W 2–3 PM in Ford 2-220
Jiaju Ni jiajuni2017@u TuTh 4–5 PM in Tech M338

General information

The goal of Intensive Program Design is to make you a better programmer. We will ask you to forget everything you know about programming and then help build you up again, stronger than before. If you work hard, you will learn to apply a rational design process, to think more clearly about code, and to present your work effectively to others. You should expect to spend a significant amount of time programming outside of class. Topics include data design, structure-oriented programming, testing and coverage, data structures and their analysis, systems programming, and resource management.




We will have one in-class midterm exam on Tuesday, 1 November.




Required textbook:

Suggested books:


In the first half of the course, we will be programming in several teaching languages that are part of the

programming environment.

The second half of the course uses C++ 2014, the current version of the C++ programming language; earlier versions of C++ may not work for all the code we write. The instructor will be using

a cross-platform IDE, and we recommend that you use it as well. CLion ordinarily costs money, but student licenses are available for free.

If you are using windows, you need to install two other programs before CLion:

Installation instructions are here.

If you don’t like CLion, you may use any conforming C++ compiler (GCC, Clang, MSVC) you wish with any programming environment (XCode, Visual Studio, Emacs, Vim, Sublime Text, etc.). Homework assignments will build using the CMake build system, which supports a variety of programming environments and probably isn’t very difficult to get to work with yours. However, CLion is the only supported option—with anything else, you’re on your own.


Lecture notes are on GitHub.

Here is a tentative schedule of topics:

Tu Th
20 welcome; the algebras of images and strings; big bang HtDP/2e, Prologue 22 structures; enumerations; itemizations of every kind HtDP/2e, Part I
27 linked lists; asymptotic analysis HtDP/2e, Intermezzo I–II & Part II 29 abstracting functions; list abstractions; abstracting data definitions HtDP/2e, Intermezzo II–III
4 filesystem trees; invariants; AVL trees HtDP/2e, Part III 6 ADTs (stacks and queues); banker’s queues; random binary search trees HtDP/2e, Intermezzo III–IV & Part IV
11 binomial heap; generative recursion; sorting HtDP/2e, Intermezzo IV–V 13 accumulators; natural numbers; graph representations HtDP/2e, Part V
18 laziness and streams; state and vectors 20 graph search; Bellman–Ford algorithm; Dijkstra’s algorithm HtDP/2e, Part VI
25 union-find; Kruskal’s algorithm; slack HtDP/2e, Epilogue 27 welcome to C++; structs and functions; vectors
1 Exam 3 class abstraction and data hiding; union-find, again; a graph class
8 Dijkstra’s algorithm again; binary heap; making the heap generic 10 hashing; vector hash table; open-addressing hash table
15 Bloom filter; understanding memory and pointers linked list queue; 17 binary search tree; binomial heap; Huffman coding
22 doubly-linked list deque; final project discussion 24 – Thanksgiving —
29 object-oriented graphics library
1 ISL+λ interpreter

Homework schedule

Homework will be assigned every week and due Tuesday evenings. General homework policies are here.

Link Assigned Due
Homework 2 Tuesday, Sept. 27 Tuesday, Oct. 4, 11:59 PM PM
Homework 1 Tuesday, Sept. 20 Tuesday, Sept. 27, 11:59 PM

Course policies

Collaboration and academic integrity

You may not collaborate with anyone on the exam. You may not use any electronic tools, including phones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, desktop computers, etc. If in doubt, ask a member of the course staff.

Most homework assignments will be completed with an assigned partner. You must pair program with your assigned partner, as specified, on homework assignments. You may request help from any staff member on homework. (When you are working with a partner, we strongly recommend that you request help with your partner.) You may use the Piazza bulletin board to ask questions regarding assignments, so long as your questions (and answers) do not reveal information regarding solutions. You may not get any help from anyone else on a homework assignment; all material submitted must be your own. If in doubt, ask a member of the course staff.

Providing illicit help to another student is also cheating, and will be punished the same as receiving illicit help. It is your responsibility to safeguard your own work.

Students who cheat will be reported to the appropriate dean.

If you are unclear on any of these policies, please ask a member of the course staff.


In general, you should submit your homework according to the instructions on the web page for the individual assignments.

Late work

Late work is not accepted.


[This is still subject to change.] Your grade will be based on codewalks of your homework assignments (70%) and the midterm exam (30%). There will be no final exam.

The mapping of raw point totals to letter grades is at the discretion of the instructor.