Kristina Brown
Office: 258 CS Building
Office Hours: To be determined
Elisa Cundiff
Office: 268 CS Building
Office Hours: By email request for the first week
Lecture Time and Place:
2:00 - 2:50 PM, Monday, Aylesworth Hall C 111
Recitation 1 Time and Place:
9:00 - 9:50 AM, 10:00 - 10:50 AM, 11:00 - 11:50 AM, Wednesday, 215 CS Building
Recitation 2 Time and Place:
9:00 - 9:50 AM, 10:00 - 10:50 AM, 11:00 - 11:50 AM, Thursday, 215 CS Building

This course seeks to welcome you to CSU and the computer science department, to introduce you to the many resources available to you here, to ease your transition into college, and to help you decide whether computer science is the right major for you and if not what is. Also, we will develop skills and knowledge to be successful at CSU and beyond.

We want to help you to as quickly as possible form a community with people with whom you work well and have fun working with. We will introduce you to courses and research areas in the computer science program at CSU and introduce to you a variety of careers that you could pursue. On Mondays there will be lectures, whereas on Wednesday we will work in teams on projects. We will do individual and team projects.

Specific Objectives

  • Determine if computer science is the right major for you, and if not what is.
    1. Learn about computer science (or other specific discipline-relevant) classes and research at CSU.
    2. Learn tools to assist in degree planning. Determine following semester course plan.
      • Students who are not confident about their choice of major are strongly encouraged to work with our Career Center advisor as soon as possible.
    3. Learn about some of the major employers of computer science students in the Fort Collins and Colorado area through attending career fair. Students who decide to change their majors will be offered an opportunity to explore major employers in their fields as well.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to be successful at CSU and beyond
    1. Improve skills related to teamwork, how to learn and ask, following instructions (evaluation and execution), interviewing.
    2. Become familiar with campus resources (i.e. Career Center, Tutoring services, Counseling Center, etc.)
  • Form a community
    1. Get to know fellow students.
    2. Do many kinds of in-class projects with other students.
    3. Learn about clubs that might be of interest to you.


This course is intended for freshman students in the computer science or applied computing technology major.

Textbooks, clickers

There is no textbook for this course. You need an I-clicker for this class. You can get one through the CSU Bookstore. It will be used for short questions and attendance checks.


The typical expectation for a college course at CSU is that students will work at least 2-3 hours outside of class per class credit hour. Therefore, a 2 credit class will require you to work more than 6 hours per week total. This course will require you to invest the time appropriate for a two credit course!

A key objective of this course is that, by the end of the semester, every student has chosen a major that is right for them. Students who come to class, do the assigned work (including getting extra help as needed), and participate can pass whether or not Computer Science is the right major for them. Note that this also means that passing in this class is not an indication that Computer Science is a good major for any particular student. Talk to the instructor, learn, and find the right place for you to be.


Here are the formally graded elements of the course and associated weighting:

Activity Weight
Attendance 30 %
In Class Labs and Programming Projects 28 %
Midterm and Final 20 %
Career & Course Planning Assignments 22 %

The assignment of letter grades will be made as follows:

≥90% A
≥88% A-
≥86% B+
≥80% B
≥78% B-
≥76% C+
≥70% C
≥60% D
<60% F

Quizzes and most projects will be done individually and grades assigned on an individual basis. There will be miminally one team programming project. Further, students not already familiar with the CSU Honor Pledge should review this clear and simple pledge and always adhere to it.


The final is in the last week of class (the week BEFORE finals week).

Late and Makeup Policy

Each assignment must be submitted by the deadline time given in the assignment or on the progress page.

Professional Conduct

All students are expected to conduct themselves professionally. We (instructors, TAs) assume you are familiar with the policies in the student information sheet for the department and the department conduct code. Additionally, you are computing professionals, albeit perhaps just starting. You should be familiar with the code of conduct for the primary professional society, ACM. You can read the ACM Code of Conduct HERE.

This course will adhere to the CSU Academic Integrity Policy as found in the Student Conduct Code. At a minimum, violations will result in a grading penalty in this course and a report to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services.

Students not already familiar with the CSU Honor Pledge should review this clear and simple pledge and always adhere to it. Academic dishonesty will be dealt with severely. The first instance of cheating will result in negative credit. The second instance will result in a failing grade and other penalties dictated by departmental and university policies.

We work to maintain an environment supportive of learning in the classroom and laboratory. Towards that end, we require that you be courteous to and respectful of your fellow participants (i.e., classmates, instructors, GTAs and any tutors). In particular:

  • Please turn off the ring on your cell phone. If you are expecting an emergency call, sit near the door and slide out discretely to take it.
  • In class use of electronic devices in general, and laptops specifically, is permitted as a courtesy so that you may better participate and learn. If at any time the instructor judges that an electronic device is becoming a distraction the student may be asked to to turn it off and put it away.
  • All exams and quizzes are to be done without the aid of notes of any kind. Laptops and all other electronic devices must be shut and put away during exams and quizzes.