Course Description

This course will utilize a balanced approach, focusing both on a broad understanding of computers, as well as introductory programming.

We will survey the basic principles underlying computer hardware and software, data representation, the Internet and the Web, and the implication of the wider use of computers within society. Further, students will develop important problem-solving and project-design skills by creating interactive stories, games and animations with Scratch, and examine in greater detail Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript.



Course Instructor

Antonella Di Lillo (dilant [at] cs dot brandeis dot edu)
Office: 124 Volen Center for Complex Systems
Office hours: Monday and Thursday 3:30pm-4:30pm, or by appointment

Class Meetings

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 1:00pm-1:50pm
Location: Gerstenzang 121


A Balanced Introduction to Computer Science (3rd Edition) by David Reed, Prentice Hall.

Lecture notes will be posted on the class website.


The final grades for the course will be determined using the following weights: Five bonus points will be awarded for perfect or near perfect attendance and participation during class discussions.


Weekly homework assignments, to demonstrate student understanding of the concepts presented that week.

Late Policy

Each student begins the semester with 6 free "late days":
  1. A late day allows you to submit a program up to 24 hours late without penalty. For example, you could use 2 late days and submit a program due Monday 9pm on Wednesday by 9pm with no penalty.
  2. Once a student has used up all the late days, each successive day that an assignment is late will result in a loss of 2 points on that assignment.
  3. Regardless of how many late days you have, you may not submit a program more than 5 days after it is due.

Academic Honesty

As stated in the Rights and Responsibilities handbook, "Every member of the University community is expected to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty. A student shall not receive credit for work that is not the product of the student's own effort."