CS164: Java (CS1) Prior Programming

Computer programming in Java for students with previous programming experience, not necessarily in Java. Topics include variables, assignment, expressions, operators, booleans, conditionals, characters and strings, control loops, arrays, objects and classes, file input/output, interfaces, recursion, lists, and sorting.


CS164 (Section 001)

Lecture: 12:00-12:50 MWF, Clark A206


Instructor: Russ Wakefield

Office Location: COMSC 240

Office Hours: 10-11:30 Thurs.

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Phil Sharp
Office Hours: TBD (CSB120)

Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

Bassem Faour
Office Hours: Wed. 2-4 (CSB120)

John Vanderhoofven
Office Hours: Fri. 2-4 (CSB120)


MATH 124 (Logarithmic and Exponential Functions) with a C or better


Java Programming (Required):
Introduction to Java Programming (Comprehensive Edition), Daniel Liang
(10th or 11th edition)

The course textbook is available through the CSU Bookstore’s Inclusive Access Program in partnership with Unizin Engage. You have immediate access to the online e-text by clicking on the “Unizin Engage” link within the course menu in Canvas. Please note, there is a cost for the e-text. The bookstore will charge your student account for the cost of the e-text after the Add/Drop date (January 31). You must “opt-out” of the Unizin Engage e-text before the Add/Drop date to avoid bookstore charges. However, this text is required for the course and the cost savings of the e-text can be substantial. Please look for emails from the bookstore about ‘opting out’ as well as charges to your student account. Once you choose to “opt-out,” you will no longer be allowed to access the e-text in Canvas.

Zyante (Required):

We are using an online tutorial from Zyante to supplement the Liang textbook. You must purchase the tutorial directly from Zyante (not the bookstore), and the cost is $48. Instructions for registering with Zyante are as follows:
  1. Sign up at
  2. Enter zyBook code: COLOSTATECS164Spring2018
  3. Click Subscribe
  4. When asked to enter your Student ID number, enter your EID. Your EID is the same as your user name you log into Canvas with.
Once you have registered you can sign in to the book by browsing to Please register in time to complete the first assignment, which is due Sep. 1, 2017.

iClickers (Required):

You are required to purchase an iClicker remote for in-class participation. iClicker is a response system that allows you to respond to questions we pose during class, and you will be graded on that feedback and participation. In order to receive this credit, you will need to register your iClicker remote on Canvas by classtime on Friday of Week 1. See the instructions for registering your iClicker on the resources tab.

Piazza (Optional):

This term we will be using Piazza for class discussion. The system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, teaching assistants, and myself. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, I encourage you to post your questions on Piazza. If you have any problems or feedback for the developers, email Piazza will be accessed via the Module tab on Canvas. Piazza does not cost anything to students or the department. It allows students to post questions and get answers about the following topics:
  • Java Programming
  • Linux Operating System
  • Eclipse Development Tools
  • Programming Assignments
  • Online Textbook
We expect to post clarifications about assignments as well as answering questions relating to assignments. Also, we plan on handling regrade requests, look for an announcement on rules for posting these to Piazza. Please use the existing topics we have created, do not create new ones. There are a number of things that we prohibit on Piazza, as follows:
  • Please do not post any of your assignment code on Piazza.
  • No profanity, sexism, racism, or anything in bad taste, of course!

CS164 Schedule

What Days Time Instructor Helper Where
Lecture T/R 12:00pm - 12:50pm Russ Wakefield Clark A206
Lab (L01) TR 11:00am - 11:50am Bassem Faour John Vanderhoofven COMSC 325
Lab (L03) TR 1:00pm - 1:50am John Vanderhoofven David Hallstrom COMSC 325
Lab (L04) TR 3:00pm - 3:50pm John Vanderhoofven Alice Lundberg COMSC 325

Help Desk

The help desk is a breakout room on the north side of the COMSC 120 lab. Throughout the day there are lab operators in COMSC 120 that can provide limited help, but during the hours posted below a teaching assistant from this class is available to help students.
The COMSC 120 lab is open 24/7.

Days Time Where
Sun. 4:00pm- 8:00pm COMSC 120
Mon. 10:00am- 6:00pm COMSC 120
Tue. 10:00am- 6:00pm COMSC 120
Wed. 10:00am- 6:00pm COMSC 120
Thu. 10:00am- 6:00pm COMSC 120
Fri. 10:00am- 4:00pm COMSC 120


The course requires demonstration of a student’s grasp of the concepts on evaluations. Here is the grading scheme:

Activity Weight Description
Assignments 10% Java Assignments
Quizzes 10% IClicker and Zybooks
Labs 10% Lab Attendance and Completion
Programming Quizzes 10% In-Lab Programming
Midterm 1 15% First Midterm
Midterm 2 15% Second Midterm
Midterm 3 15% Third Midterm
Final Exam 15% Comprehensive Exam

Teaching assistants grade assignments, labs, and quizzes. If you believe you have been graded unfairly, talk with the help desk (assignments) or your teaching assistant (labs) first. If you cannot visit help desk, please post to the grade complaints topic on Piazza. Grade complaints will be considered only for two weeks immediately following when the assignment grade appears on Canvas!
  • Assignments will be done individually. As required by the department, we will check for collaboration using a software tool, so do your own work!
  • Lab participation is strongly encouraged. A portion of the class grade comes from successfully finishing the assigned lab work, and our previous students have indicated that labs are the best part of this class.
  • Programming Quizzes will be taken during lab hours with no additional aids. They are used to test your understanding of Java topics.
  • Liang is the online textbook to help you get hands-on practice for the Java Programming topics being discussed in class and Lab.
  • Peer Instruction sessions are held during lectures and require you to bring an iClicker. These sessions can occur at anytime during a lecture, be sure to have your iClicker with you.
    There will not be any paper quizzes during lectures.
The assignment of letter grades will be made as follows:

Letter Grade Points
A ≥90%
B ≥80%
C ≥70%
D ≥60%
F <60%

In general, we will not assign lower grades than shown; however, your average score on exams must be ≥60% to receive a passing grade (C) in this course.

Important Dates

Date Description
First day of classes Jan 16
Deadline to add without override Jan 21
Deadline to add with override Jan 31
Last day to drop Jan 31
First midterm (CS110 lab) Fri, Week 5
Last day to withdraw Mon, Week 9
Second midterm (CS110 lab) Fri, Week 10
Third midterm (CS110 lab) Fri, Week 14
Early Access - Final Exam Fri, Week 15, 8a-3p
Final Exam Wed, May 9 - 7:30a-9:30a

Midterms and final exams will be held in the CS110 lab.
The final exam is comprehensive.

In-Class Participation

All students taking this course are expected to participate actively. This includes asking and responding to questions. Students are also expected to scan the announcements on the home page and the progress page every day for updates. If an assignment changes significantly, we are responsible for sending out an email.