CISC 1115
Introduction to Programming Using Java

The Official Syllabus

An official detailed course syllabus can be found at the department's CISC 1115 web page.


Here is the web page of the text for the course:
Think in Java, 2nd edition, Downer & Mayfield:w

You can download the free PDF or purchase a hardcopy frmo Amazon.

Readings From the Text

At the beginning of each lecture page is a listing of readings from specific chapters/sections. These readings correspond to material covered in that lecture.

Note: The lectures drive the course and do not follow nor use examples from the text — the main purpose of the text is as a second perspective on the material, and something to supplement my lectures. You should be able to read the referenced sections without too much difficulty

Topics List

Here is an overview of the topics we will be covering

Code Presented or Related to the Lecture

The last section on the Lecture page will often have link to code presented or otherwise contained in the lecture. Feel free to study, or use that code in any manner you feel fit. In particular, if you find it useful, you can copy it into any of your assignments. There is also typically a link to the Labs associated with the lecture.


Programming requires practice, and in this course such practice comes in two forms: short exercises, and labs/projects. The short exercises typically consist of a few lines of code and are very narrowly focused on a topic covered in class. The labs/projects are larger, often complete programs, usually incorporates several topics, and gives you a better taste of 'real' programming.

You will be using CodeLab — an online, interactive programming exercise system — for both types of assignments. You can find more about CodeLab here

The exercises — being rather short and not full programs — are completed directly in CodeLab. Your labs, on the other hand should be coded and tested in the IDE of your choice (e.g. IntelliJ) prior to submitting it to CodeLab.

CodeLab Information

To Register:

Grading of Assignments

When you submit an exercise of lab to CodeLab, it checks that your code is correct, by running it against various test cases. If your code fails, CodeLab will often provide feedback or hints to help you correct your mistake. For the short CodeLab exercises, it is sufficient to simply get a correct response from CodeLab. Many of your labs will be that way as well; all you need is a correct response from CodeLab.

For several of the labs however, I will mark the exercise as 'For Approval', which means that I will be performing a final review and check of your code after CodeLab has determined that it passes the test cases. This 'instructor check' looks for style, format, and documentation of your code — all things we will discuss in class. I will then approve or deny your submission; in the latter case that means you must fix your code based on my comments, and resubmit. Once approved, you are done with the assignment.

Your score on this practical portion of the course will be straight percentages of the number of labs completed and the number of CodeLab exercises completed, with the final 'labs & assignments' average being calculated as 30% CodLab exercises, 10% in-class labs, and 60% labs.

The labs, in-class labs, and CodeLab exercises are posted in CodeLab in separate sections. They are all assigned deadlines, the in-class labs are due at the next class meeting, and the other two somewhere between one and two weeks from their initial assignment. As they correspond to the lectures, I will post them on the day the lecture is posted (so you can get a head start on them if you are so inclined) , they are then officially assigned the day the lecture is finished (my lectures do not typically correspond to class meetings, but rather span several), and the deadline is calculated from that day.

The Exams and Assignments

A full 50% of each exam will be taken directly from the CodeLab exercises and labs … not 'somewhat like', not 'inspired by', but the exact exercise/lab. This means several things:

The Exam

The exams will be on paper, closed book. Please make sure to come on time, and place all books, paper, phones, watches in your bag. You should go to the bathroom prior to the exam. If you have an accommodation from Disability Services, please inform me of that in advance of the exam.


One cannot truly be said to have completed the material in this course without having both learned the concepts presented as well as achieving a basic competency in coding Java. To this end, you must perform passing work on both the exams as well as the assignments. It is insufficient to obtain a passing average by scoring a passing grade on the exams or the practicum but not both. As such the grading system is designed to have three gatekeepers: a passing grade on your exams, the final, and the practicum (labs and assignments). In addition, to move forward in the major, you must recive a C or better in the course. As with passing, this means you need to show a level of competence on both the conceptual as well as practical components of the course:
The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism. Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both. The complete text of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and the Brooklyn College procedure for implementing that policy can be found at this site: If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member MUST report the violation.

In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell at 718-951-5538. If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services please provide your professor with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with him/her.