Thinking, Computing, Writing
“The beginning of all things lies still in the beyond in the form of ideas not yet to become real.” The I Ching
CIS 140A-8 Introduction to Programming & Problem Solving
ENG 101A-9 English Composition I
Office – C317K
Mon., Wed., Friday 10-11
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11 (E166)
Office – E166
Tuesday and Thursday 10:30-11
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same
level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Einstein
This fully integrated learning community combines two courses:
CIS 140: A one semester course; 4 credit hours. This course is a general introduction to programming and problem solving with emphasis on strategies to discover solutions. A graphic computer language(LOGO) will be used to implement some solutions. Looping, decision structures, and methods will be introduced. Some solutions will be solved using a spreadsheet. Non-computer problem solving skills will also be developed. Prerequisite – Basic Computer Literacy – 3 class hours/2 lab hours per week.
ENG 101: A one-semester course; three credit hours. Required course to develop clear, effective writing. Students will demonstrate their competence through a variety of writing assignments including essays and a research paper. Prerequisite: Students entering English Composition I will be required to complete a writing sample which will be evaluated by a department committee. Students will be placed into either English Composition I or a preparatory program more appropriate to their needs. Students are also required to have successfully completed Basic Reading or placed above this reading level on the assessment test. NOTE: A grade of C- or better in English Composition I is required for entry into English Composition II.
“We learn most when we have to invent.” Piaget
In this course, students will explore writing, problem solving and computer programming. They will have the opportunity to develop necessary computer, critical thinking, writing, problem solving, and effective living skills – all in a supportive community of learners. Writing will be used to develop and explore students’ problem solving and programming abilities.
Much emphasis in school is placed on answering questions rather than in thinking up solutions. It is important in this day and age for students to be able to analyze a problem and attempt a solution. Once a solution is obtained, it is also important to analyze how it was arrived at. Wrong solutions provide good learning experiences as the student is surprised by the results and must then decide if the solution is “fixable” or needs to be thrown out.
The programming world is getting more and more complex. Programming in Windows and Object Oriented Programming has added richer but more complex components to our CIS 141 Programming 1 course. For students to be successful in Programming 1, those without prior programming experience or those who have been less successful in math, need the skills they will develop in this course to be successful in Programming 1.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, AND ATTITUDE GOALS
The student will be exposed to several solution-structuring methodologies. The student will use writing to acquire skills in developing solutions and analyzing problems. The student will also learn the exciting and easy to learn computer language, LOGO. The student will appreciate different ways of solving problems. The student will develop effective habits that will aid her/him in school and in life. The student will use an electronic spreadsheet to solve problems. The student will understand the rudiments of programming. Finally, the student will be encouraged to make connections between new learning and what she/he already knows.
- Upon completion of this course, the student should:
- develop a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach to solving personal and professional problems
- solve problems using several solution structuring methodologies
- demonstrate new skills in writing solutions and analyzing problems
- articulate the differences and advantages of top-down and bottom-up thinking
- develop skills that will help in future programming courses as well as any problem related situations
- integrate new learning into his/her own knowledge base- i.e. to make it his or her own
- use LOGO to create procedures, loops, and if structures
- apply the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to their lives as students, workers, parents, and friends
- develop and write a personal mission statement
- demonstrate how to be a better problem solver
- articulate his or her own style of problem solving
- articulate a conceptual understanding of Mastery
- face problems with less fear and more enthusiasm
- simplify large problems
- demonstrate an understanding of lateral thinking
- demonstrate the competencies taught in Composition I (see attached sheet)
- articulate an understanding of the keys to long-term success
- articulate the process involved in mastery
- write an algorithm
- relate problem solving strategies to all aspects of life
- demonstrate effective learning strategies
- use truth tables to solve problems
- code a method
- program if-statements and loops
- articulate an understanding of recursion
- articulate a conceptual understanding of variables
- write generic methods
- use recursion to solve problems
- know how to cope with large problems by breaking them down
- demonstrate a familiarity with the world of object oriented programming
METHOD OF INSTRUCTION
Classes will include lectures, demonstrations, discussions (full class and small group), writing exercises and problem solving exercises. Students will be required to solve several problems on the computer using LOGO, primarily on their own time. Students will be required to solve non-computer related problems. Students will write four out-of-class essays, one in-class graded essay, a personal mission statement and a researched essay.
- Covey, Stephen R.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Simon
& Schuster, 1989.
- Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within.
Boston: Shambhala, 1986.
- Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual (Third Edition). Boston: Bedford/St.
- Leonard, George. Mastery. New York: Plume, 1992.
- a writing journal (a notebook you don’t intend to use for your class notes.)
an email account
Spezeski, William. Logo: Models and Methods for Problem Solving.
Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard Associates, Inc., 1996.
Attendance and being-on-time are important and expected. Much of this class is a discussion/workshop. You will be responsible for reading and responding to writing by other students and published writers. You must be present to fulfill that responsibility. You are expected to participate actively, appropriately, knowledgeably, and intelligently in all class and small-group discussions. Since classwork is graded and since we cover much material in class that is not in your books, any absence can adversely affect your overall grade. Homework assignments will be given in class. Class participation counts in your grade.
TESTS – 20%
CLASS PARTICIPATION – 10%
ESSAYS (4) – 20%
MISSION STATEMENT – 5%
JOURNAL – 4%
LOGO LABS (4) – 17%
HOMEWORK (14) – 15%
RESEARCH ESSAY – 5%
IN-CLASS ESSAY – 4%
Webster defines PLAGIARIZE as follows:
- to take and pass off as one’s own (the ideas, writings, etc. of
All plagiarized work (essays, labs, tests, home works, etc.) will be graded as a zero AND the final grade will be lowered by one letter grade for each occurence.
May we be protected together.
May we be nourished together.
May we work together with great vigor.
May our study be enlightened.
May there be no hatred between us.
(A Hindu Chant)
There will be no test make-ups unless excused by a doctor’s note or arranged with one of us beforehand. Late homeworks are not accepted and will be graded as a zero, as we will go over the homework in class. Late labs will be downgraded 10 points for each week (or part of a week) for which they are late. Classworks are done during the class presented and cannot be made up. Essays will downgraded one letter grade for each class for which they are late. Problem-solving homework is due on Tuesday; essay drafts are due on Thursday.
Students who have needs because of a learning disability or other kinds of disabilities should feel free to discuss this with us and/or directly with the Learning Accommodations Center, F113 (Student Center), 978-556-3654.
N.B. Readings noted below with a
C are from Covey;
L are from LOGO;
G are from Goldberg, and
M are from Mastery.
|9-5||9-5 Introduction to problem solving to Logo
|C: 13 – 62
L: ch. 1
|9-10||Intro. to 7 Habits; Being Proactive||C: 65-94
G: 14-18, 23-25
|9-17||Begin with the End in Mind
L: ch. 2
G: 26-29, 38-49,
|9-24||Put First Things First; Spreadsheets
G: 30-33, 41-47,
|10-1||More Problem Solving; Theory
|L: ch. 3
|10-8||Inference, induction, deduction;
lateral thinking, PMI, trial & error; Mission
|L: ch. 4
G: 48-49, 57-58
|10-15||Interdependence; Think Win/Win
|10-22||Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood; Interpersonal Problems
G: 52-54, 74-76
|11-5||Sharpen the Saw; How problems relate
|11-12||Engagement; Special Features;
|L: ch. 5
|11-19||Introduction to Mastery;
|11-26||Keys for Mastery||M: 51-103||Research
|12-3||Tools for Mastery||M: end||LAB #4
|12-10||How it All Relates /
The Mission Statement
|12-17||Final Class meeting at 8:00 a.m.|
Schedule above is tentative only and may change.