IT 501 Software Systems
Fall 2009

Official Course Description. (Somewhat outdated.) This course is an introduction to software design and implementation. After a review of basic programming concepts, students will be introduced to procedural and data abstraction, object-oriented design, recursion and dynamic data structures. Abstract data types such as lists, stacks, queues, and trees will be studied. Algorithms for searching and sorting will be explored along with methods for comparative analysis. Programming concepts will be demonstrated in a language like C++. The course will also include an introduction to the Unix operating system.

More Accurate Description. This course covers principles and techniques fundamental to the design and development of computer programs. This includes: data abstraction and object-oriented design; elementary data structures such as vectors, linked lists, stacks and queues; algorithms for searching and sorting; analytical methods for evaluating the efficiency of algorithms; and the algorithm design technique of recursion. An object-oriented language such as C++ and its associated Standard Template Library will be used to illustrate the concepts and techniques.

Prerequisites. Programming experience.

Location and Times. Snell 175, TuTh 1:00-2:15.

Instructor. Alexis Maciel. Science Center 379, 268-2385,

Office Hours. MW 2:00-3:30, TuTh 2:30-3:30.

Required Text. None.

Course Objectives.

  1. To learn principles and techniques fundamental to the design and development of computer software. These include data abstraction, object-oriented design, elementary data structures and algorithms, analysis of algorithms, and recursion.

  2. To further develop your coding, documentation, debugging and testing skills.
Demonstrable outcomes. By the end of the semester,
  1. You will have a good understanding of the principles and techniques mentioned in Objective 1 above.

  2. You will be able to use them in the design and implementation of C++ programs of a moderate size.

  3. You will be able to implement elementary data structures including vectors, linked lists, stacks and queues.

  4. You will understand the importance of using standard software components and will be familiar with the basic data structures and algorithms provided in the C++ Standard Template Library.

  5. You will be able to analyze the running time of simple algorithms.

  6. You will be able to implement simple recursive algorithms.

  7. You will be able to implement and analyze basic algorithms for searching, sorting and, if time permits, tree traversal.

Topics to be covered. Data abstraction, classes, object-oriented design, exceptions, linked lists, vectors, stacks, queues, iterators, templates, the STL, analysis of algorithms, recursion, binary search, quicksort, mergesort, sound programming principles. If time permits, inheritance, polymorphism, trees and binary search trees.

Grading. Your evaluation will be based on several homework assignments (A), which will be mostly programming assignments, two tests (T) and a final exam (F). Your course grade will be computed using the following formula:

25% A + 25% T1 + 25% T2 + 25% F

The final exam will not be cumulative. At the final exam, you will have the option of writing make-up exams for Tests 1 and 2. Tentative dates for the tests are Thursday, October 8 and Thursday, November 5. These will be evening exams. All students are required to write the final exam (no exemptions).

Policy for missed work. There will be no make-up assignments. Late assignments may be accepted if a good excuse is provided and if arrangements are made at a reasonable time, in advance, if possible. Make-up tests can be arranged under the same conditions. Other special arrangements can be made for students forced to miss more than a few days of class.

Laptops and other electronic devices. These are permitted in class only for the purpose of taking notes. Nothing else. Please turn off your phone ringers while in class or at the lab.