This is a tentative syllabus and subject to change.

Class webpage:

Introduction to Computer Science II is the second course in a three course sequence (CMSC 15100-15200-15400) designed for students who intend to take more advanced courses in computer science. This course introduces imperative programming using the C programming language. Topics include program design, control and data abstraction, pointers and memory management, and data structures including lists, trees, and graphs.

NOTE: Non-majors may use this course to meet the general education requirement in the mathematical sciences; students who are majoring in Computer Science are required to complete either CMSC 15200 or CMSC 16200.

Prerequisites: Students must have completed CMSC 12100, CMSC 15100 or CMSC 16100 with a quality grade of higher than an F or with a P.

Course Staff


Teaching Assistants

  • Ajay Chopra

  • Elizabeth Coble

  • Dante Gil-Marin

  • James Liu

  • Antonio Martinez

  • Emma Peterson

  • Jonathan Yuan

Course Structure

This class will meets three times a week for synchronous (remote) lectures, and once a week for a synchronous (remote) discussion sessions. Graded work includes short exercises, programming assignments and timed assessments (in lieu of exams).

Please see the calendar for more details on what happens on a day to day basis.

Lecture sections

All lecture sessions are conducted remotely using Zoom.

Lecture Section #1

MWF 10:20am-11:10am


Lecture Section #2

MWF 11:30am-12:20pm


Lecture Section #3

WF 1:50pm-2:40pm


Lecture Section #4

MWF 8:00am-8:50am


There will also be short supplemental pre-recorded lectures.

Discussion sections

The class will also include weekly one-hour discussion sessions, which will meet on Mondays and, possibily, Tuesdays. These sessions will be led by a Teaching Assistant and will be remote. The times for these sessions are TDB.

Programming assignments

We will be assigning six programming assignments. You will be allowed to work in pairs in some of these assignments. See the calendar for details.

In general, programming assignments are released on Saturday/Sunday, and are due on the following Friday. The Monday discussion sessions are used to provide additional support for these programming assignments.

Please see the Programming Assignment Rubric page for more details on how the programming assignments will be graded.

Short Exercises

On weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 or 7 (we have not decided which yet), and 8, we will post a series of short exercises related to that week’s topic. The goal of these exercises is to provide you with short and focused opportunities to practice the concepts and skills being covered that week.

Exercises are posted on Monday and due on Sunday. You can take as much time as needed on each exercise, and just need to submit your solutions before the deadline.

Timed Assessments

On weeks 5 and 9, we will post a series of more complex cumulative programming problems. The goal of these problems is to assess your computational thinking skills, and your fluency in programming.

Timed assessments will be available at least four days before the due date and you can start working on individual problems at any point before the deadline. However, once you access a problem, you will have a limited amount of time to complete it (typically 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the problem; this will be controlled by Gradescope, the platform we use for all graded work). Please note that you do not have to do all the problems for an assessment in one sitting, but you must complete them before the deadline.


Your final grade will be based on the following:

Programming assignments


Short exercises


Timed assessments - Week 5


Timed assessments - Week 9


The grade boundaries will be set based on class performance.

Students who wish to take the course pass/fail should note that a “pass” requires a 60 in the course and a weighted average score across the timed assessments of at least 50. Students who accrue more than 60 points, but have a weighted average on the timed assessments that is less than 50, will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Instructions on how to request to take the class pass/fail will be sent closer to the end of the quarter. Please do not send your instructor such requests until we have posted instructions on how to do so.

Students who are considering a CS major should review the Computer Science’s Special Pass/Fail Policy for Academic Year 2020-21.

Requests to withdraw must be sent to your College advisor, not to your instructor.

Late submissions

You are allowed to make at most two late submissions on the programming assignments. Late submissions will be accepted up to 48 hours after the deadline.

No credit will be given for late submissions after you have used up your two allowed late submissions.

No credit will be given for any submission made 48 hours after the deadline.

Please note that, while Gradescope does enforce the 48-hour limit on late submissions and will clearly flag late submissions with a red “LATE” label, it does not enforce our specific limit of two late submissions. It is your responsibility to keep track of how many late submissions you have made so far, and to ensure you don’t make more than two late submissions.

If extraordinary circumstances (illness, family emergency, etc.) prevent a student from meeting a deadline, we may grant additional extensions on a case-by-case basis. Whenever possible, the student must inform their instructor of these extraordinary circumstances before the deadline.

Please note that having a heavy workload in a given week does not qualify as an extraordinary circumstance. The purpose of the two extensions is precisely to give you some flexibility in weeks when you are busier than usual.


We sometimes make mistakes, and are happy to review any incorrect grading decision.

However, please note that we will only consider regrade requests where a grader made an actual mistake (e.g., they took points off claiming you didn’t do something, when you actually did do it and the grader maybe missed that when reading over your submission). We will not consider regrade requests that ask for point penalties to be reduced, or try to argue that we should not be taking points off for a given issue in your code.

For example, suppose you receive a penalty that says “-2 points: Function X did not check that parameter Y is greater than zero”. If function X in your code did perform this check, and the grader missed this fact (and erroneously applied that penalty), you can submit a regrade request asking us to review this decision. We ask that you keep these requests brief and to the point: no more than 1-2 paragraphs identifying the exact penalty and the reasons you believe it was applied erroneously, including references to specific parts of your code (e.g., “I did check the value of the parameter in line 107”). Focus on laying out the facts, and nothing else.

On the other hand, let’s say you received the “Function X did not check that parameter Y is greater than zero” penalty, and function X in your code did not perform this check. In this case, you cannot submit a regrade request arguing that this is not something for which we should deduct points, or that the point deduction should be lower. Please note that all penalties are explicitly approved by an instructor (graders have no discretion to come up with penalties on their own and, if they took points off for something, it is because they were directed to do so by the instructors).

Please note that, while you may request a regrade for a specific issue, an instructor may do a full regrade of your submission if they feel there are other issues with the grading of your submission. This can result in you ending up with a lower score on the assignment.

Finally, it is also your responsibility to make these requests in a timely manner. Requests for regrades must be submitted no later than one week after a graded piece of work is returned to you. After that time, we will not consider any requests for regrades, regardless of whether the regrade request is reasonable and justified.


We recommend the following books as useful for learning to program in C.

  • C Programming Language, 2nd edition, Brian Kernighan and Denis Ritchie, 1988, ISBN: 978-0131103627

  • The Practice of Programming, Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike, 1999 ISBN: 978-0201615869

  • 21st Century C: C Tips from the New School, Ben Klemens, 2014, ISBN: 978-1491903896 (This book is a good second book to have on C. It is not a good first book.)


Policy on academic honesty

We take academic honesty very seriously in this class. Please make sure to read our Academic Honesty page.

Zoom guidelines

We will be using Zoom in this class. We expect your interactions via Zoom to be consistent with an in-person class experience. Respect the people you’re working with. Enter the Zoom meetings muted if possible (unfortunately, it will not be possible if you’re calling in), and unmute to speak. Raise your hand if you’d like to speak. [There’s a “Raise Hand” button on the participant page.] If your background is unusually noisy, use the chat channel instead of unmuting. We strongly encourage you to have your camera on during our Zoom sessions, but we’ll understand if some of you prefer to keep your video off.

Note that you can set your name in your Zoom profile, so you don’t have to go with whatever was assigned. We encourage you to include your pronouns in your name (if so, please include them after your last name).

Our Zoom class meetings will be recorded and saved to the cloud to allow students in this class to review the discussion, and especially to allow students who can’t participate the opportunity to benefit from class. We will not make these recordings available to anyone but class participants, we will not make them available after the quarter, and students will not be allowed to save copies. However, we have no way to guarantee that students will follow this policy. If you have FERPA concerns, please mask yourself accordingly, e.g., by turning off video and using an alias.

Diversity statement

The University of Chicago is committed to diversity and rigorous inquiry that arises from multiple perspectives. We concur with that commitment and also believe that we have the highest quality interactions and can creatively solve more problems when we recognize and share our diversity. We thus expect to maintain a productive learning environment based upon open communication, mutual respect, and non-discrimination. We view the diversity that students bring to this class as a resource, strength and benefit. It is our intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, religious background, and immigration status. Any suggestions as to how to further such a positive and open environment in the class will be appreciated and given serious consideration.

If you have a preferred name different from what appears on the class roster, or specific gender pronouns you would like us to use, please let us know.

Accessibility statement

The University of Chicago is committed to ensuring equitable access to our academic programs and services. Students with disabilities who have been approved for the use of academic accommodations by Student Disability Services (SDS) and need a reasonable accommodation(s) to participate fully in this course should follow the procedures established by SDS for using accommodations. Timely notifications are required in order to ensure that your accommodations can be implemented. Please meet with me to discuss your access needs in this class after you have completed the SDS procedures for requesting accommodations.

Phone: (773) 702-6000 Email:

COVID-19 Policies

UChicago Health Pact

All students on campus are required to adhere to the guidelines in the UChicago Health Pact in order to promote a safe environment in the classroom.

  • Secure face coverings must be worn appropriately at all times while in University buildings

  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet from others

  • Do not attend an in-person class if you feel unwell or are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms

The complete text of the UChicago Health Pact along with additional information about COVID-19 protocols can be found here.

Students who have been exposed to or who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact UChicago Student Wellness immediately to be tested, and reach out to their area Dean of Students to request accommodations for classes until:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and;

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery- defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

Reporting COVID-19 Exposure or a Confirmed Case

If you were potentially exposed to COVID-19 or your COVID-19 test results come back positive, reach out immediately to

Recording and Deletion Policies for Academic Year 2020-1

The Recording and Deletion Policies for the current academic year can be found in the Student Manual under Petitions, Audio & Video Recording on Campus.

  • Do not record, share, or disseminate any course sessions, videos, transcripts, audio, or chats.

  • Do not share links for the course to those not currently enrolled.

  • Any Zoom cloud recordings will be automatically deleted 90 days after the completion of the recording.


Absent any extraordinary circumstances, we expect students to attend all lectures and discussions. That said, we do not keep track of attendance in this class and no part of your final grade is computed based on your attendance to lectures or discussions.