CSCE 181 Introduction to Computing:
Spring 2012

NEWS: 5/8/12, 08:23AM (Tue)
  • [05/08] Important announcements: final grade criteria and last chance to submit extra short reports and long report (5/9 11:59pm due)
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  • [05/03] Final report due today 11:59pm.
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  • [04/21] Short report and Long report draft due by 4/26 Thu. Note: SR6 topic includes Dr. Chai's slides (presented by Choe).
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  • [04/11] Exxon/Mobile info session flyer (4/12 Thu 5:30pm HRBB 124 [dinner: Freebirds])
  • [04/11] Exxon/Mobile guest bio (zip file)
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  • [04/10] 4/10 lecture slides
  • [04/10] Short report 6 deadline moved to 4/26 Thu 11:59pm.
  • [04/10] This week we will have lectures on both Tuesday and Thursday!
  • [04/10] Long report abstract due by this Thursday (4/12) 11:59pm.
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  • [04/04] Dr. Järvi's lectures slides uploaded.
  • [04/04] Long report topic is due by 4/5 Thursday 11:59pm.
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  • [04/02] Short report 5 is due tonight (4/2 Monday 11:59pm). Orrell/Shell/Prasad, or Choe's computer history lecture.
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  • [03/29] Long report (final report) details posted: Board
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  • [03/19] Short report 4 is due tonight (3/19 Monday 11:59pm).
  • [03/19] slide06 uploaded.
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  • [02/28] IMPORTANT: Grading criteria amendment.
  • [02/28] Dr. Shell's lecture slides
  • [02/28] Midterm statistics: 13 with more than 2 absences; 28 who got 0 on either SR1 or SR2 or both (upcoming revisions not accounted for); 21 who did not take quiz 1 or quiz 2. # of students affected by one of more of the above: 39. # of students who failed all: 6.
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  • [02/22] As mentioned before you may enter questions on elearning even if you have not asked it during the lecture.
  • [02/14] Short report 3 (due 2/27 Monday 11:59pm): It can be based on Abney/Choe/Nikolova or Choe's 2/14 lecture on critical and creative thinking.
  • [02/14] Quiz 2 is online (elearning) and it is due by 2/23 Thu 11:59pm.
  • [02/14] You may enter questions for today's lecture to claim your question credit.
  • [02/14] If you failed Quiz 1, please see the TA or myself. If you got < 7 on your Short Report #1, please see the TA or myself. You may revise it and resubmit, or submit an additional report, both in the immetiate next round. A nominal late penalty will apply so you better write well.
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  • [02/13] Slides for 2/14 Tuesday lecture have been uploaded. See the weekly schedule (week 5) below and follow the links (there are three slide sets).
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  • [02/09] Short report 2 (due 2/13) can be based on Abney, Choe, or Nikolova's talk.
  • [02/09] Dr. Nikolova's slides. Also check out her Algorithmic Game Theory course
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  • [02/07] Mike Abney (Improving) lecture slides
  • [02/07] Quiz 2 (Zobel chapters 4 and 8) is now available on elearning (due is 2/23 Thu 11:59pm)
  • [02/07] No lecture 2/7 Tuesday. This week's lecture will be on Thursday.
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  • [02/01] Correction: Short report 3 due is 2/27, not 2/20.
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  • [01/31] Stats: photo (82/102), quiz 1 (44/102), question 1 (24/102), SR1 (86/102)
  • [01/30] Ken Stanley's Neuroevolution Demos
  • [01/30] slide03: print and bring to class.
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  • [01/24] Weekly schedule updated with all assignment due dates indicated.
  • [01/24] Quiz 1 is now available on elearning. Take and pass before 2/2 11:59pm.
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  • [01/19] Correction: TA's email is sprobus(a) .
  • [01/19] Question #1 to #3 instructions and template created on elearning.tamu. After logging in, go to 181, Assignments.
  • [01/19] Short report #1 instructions and template created on elearning.tamu. After logging in, go to 181, Assignments.
  • [01/19] slide02: print and bring to class.
  • [01/19] Food for thought:'s annual "big question" event (click on "View All Responses" to see the full text). There are many topics relevant to CSE.
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  • [01/16] syllabus: print and bring to class.
  • [01/16] slide01: print and bring to class.
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  • [LINKS] •News archiveGradesCodesLecture notes
Read-Only Bulletin Board.: 1/9/12, 03:18PM (Mon)

Page last modified: 2/9/12, 05:19PM Thursday.

General Information Resources Weekly Schedule Credits Lecture Notes Example Code Read-Only Board

I. General Information


Dr. Yoonsuck Choe
Email: choe(a)
Office: HRBB 322B
Phone: 979-845-5466
Office hours: MF 2pm-3pm.


Stephen Probus
Email: sprobus(a)
Office: HRBB 339
Office hours: TR 3:45pm-4:40pm. W 11:00am-11:45am.

Catalog Description:

Introduce entering students to the broad field of computing; presentations from industry and academia about how computer science concepts are used in research and end products; includes a major writing component.




Time: Tuesday and/or Thursday, 2:20pm to 3:35pm
Room: HRBB 124

The class will meet about 15 times, most likely once per week but some weeks can have no meeting while some others can have two. Specific schedule can change so please closely monitor the announcements on the course web page. It is your responsibility to keep track of the schedule.

Lectures will be given either by the instructor or a guest lecturer from CSE or from external organizations.


The goals of this course are:


The expected accomplishments of the students are as follows:
  1. Become familiar with a broad range of topics in computer science.
  2. Become skilled in forming independent thoughts about research topics in computer science.
  3. Become skilled in organizing thoughts in a coherent manner and expressing them in written form.


The students who take this course should be able to demonstrate the following upon the completion of this course.
  1. Knowledge of contemporary issues in computer science.
  2. Knowledge of how computer science can impact society.
  3. Ability to form independent, constructive criticism.
  4. Ability to argue in a coherent manner.
  5. Ability to write in an organized manner.


We will be using the following textbook (required): Recommended texts include:

Topics to be covered:

The topics to be covered in lecture periods are as follows (tentative: some topics may not be covered due to the time constraint and availability of guest lecturers):

See the Weekly Schedule section for more details.


Grading will be based on the following:

You must pass all components of this course in order to earn a passing grade.

Academic Integrity:

AGGIE HONOR CODE: An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.

Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning, and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the TAMU community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System.

For additional information please visit:

For this class, certain aspects of the honor code need to be clarified.

  1. All writing should be in your own words.
  2. Properly cite when you take ideas or verbatim quotes from other sources.
Failure to do so will result in an automatic 'F'.

Course Policy:

Students with Disabilities:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities, in Cain Hall or call 845-1637.

II. Resources

  1. TBA

III. Weekly Schedule and Class Notes

Reading and Notes
Notices and Dues
1 1/17 Tue Introduction (Choe) Zobel chapters 1 (introduction) and 13 (ethics): read it this week     slide01.pdf
1 1/19 Thu --- "---" means no lecture    
2 1/24 Tue Technical writing (Choe) Zobel chapter 2 (good style): read before coming to class (same applies to the rest of the chapters)     slide02.pdf
2 1/26 Thu Guest lecture: Mike Abney, Technical Director, Improving Second lecture this week!     slides [link]
3 1/31 Tue Research talk (Choe):Intelligent systems (Neuroevolution) Zobel chapter 3 (style) SR1 Short report #1 due Monday 1/30 11:59pm slide03.pdf
3 2/2 Thu ---   Quiz1 Quiz #1 deadline Thursday 2/2 11:59pm (Zobel 1, 2, 13)
4 2/7 Tue ---      
4 2/9 Thu Research talk (Dr. Evdokia Nikolova): Algorithmic game theory Zobel chapter 4 (punctuation) Thursday Lecture!     AGT-overview.pdf
5 2/14 Tue Finding and citing sources; Critical thinking; Creative Thinking (Choe)   SR2 Short report #2 (Abney/Choe/Nikolova) due Monday 2/13 11:59pm slides [link]
5 2/16 Thu ---      
6 2/21 Tue Guest lecture: Brian Orrell, CTO, Pariveda Solutions Zobel chapter 8 (editing)    
6 2/23 Thu ---   Quiz2 Quiz #2 deadline Thursday 2/23 11:59pm (Zobel 3, 4, 8)
7 2/28 Tue Research talk (Dr. Dylan Shell): Flocks and robots Zobel chapter 9 (writing up) SR3 Short report #3 (Abney/Choe/Nikolova) due Monday 2/20 2/27 11:59pm slides [link]
7 3/1 Thu ---      
8 3/6 Tue Research talk (Manoj Prasad): Sketch recognition Zobel chapter 10 (doing research)    
8 3/8 Thu ---      
9 3/13 Tue Spring break      
9 3/15 Thu Spring break      
10 3/20 Tue History of computer science (Choe)   SR4 Short report #4 (Nikolova/Orrell/Shell/Prasad) due Monday 3/19 11:59pm slide06.pdf
10 3/22 Thu ---      
11 3/27 Tue Research talk (Dr. Steve Liu) Security Quiz3(last quiz) Quiz #3 deadline 3/27 Tuesday 11:59pm (Zobel 9, 10)
11 3/29 Thu ---      
12 4/3 Tue Research talk (Dr. Jaakko Järvi) software SR5 Short report #5 (Orrell/Shell/Prasad, or Choe's computer history lecture) due Monday 4/2 11:59pm. slides [link]
12 4/5 Thu ---   LR(topic) Long report topic due Thursday 4/5 11:59pm.
13 4/10 Tue Research talk (Dr. Jinxiang Chai) Computer vision     slides [link]
13 4/12 Thu Research talk (Jerry Snyder and Ben Ketcherside, Exxon Mobile) Company Overview and a Technical Talk (3D Visualization of 300 Gigs) Thursday Lecture! LR(abstract) Long report abstract due Thursday 4/12 11:59pm.
14 4/17 Tue ---      
14 4/19 Thu Research talk (Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup) programming languages. Thursday Lecture!    
15 4/24 Tue Research talk (Dr. E. J. Kim) computer architecture    
15 4/26 Thu ---   LR(draft) AND SR6 Long report draft AND Short report #6 (Chai(Computer Vision, presented by Choe)/Prasad/Liu/Järvi/ Snyder&Ketcherside/ Stroustrup/Kim) due 4/26 Thursday 11:59pm
16 5/1 Tue No lecture   SR(extras), LR(final) All extra Short Reports (Snyder&Ketcherside/Liu/Stroustrup/Kim) and Final Report due. 5/3 Thursday 11:59pm

IV. Credits

Course design adapted from Profs. Jinxiang Chai, John Keyser, Jennifer Welch, and Valerie Taylor.

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