Introduction to Computer Science (COMP-250)
Winter 2014


General Information

Location:McConnell Engineering 204
Times:Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:35-10:25am
Instructor:Professor Doina Precup, School of Computer Science.
Office:McConnell Engineering building, room 111N (left from the elevators).
Phone:(514) 398-6443.
Office hours:
Monday and Friday 10:30am-12:00pm.
Meetings at other times by appointment only!
Teaching assistants:
See the main course page
Class web page:
IMPORTANT: This is where class notes, announcements and homeworks are posted!
Bulletin board, homework submissions, gradesMyCourses
Labs and tutorialsTrottier 3rd floor (details to be announced)

Course Description

An introduction to the design of computer algorithms, including basic data structures, analysis of algorithms, establishing correctness of programs and program testing. Overview of topics in Computer Science. A tentative schedule is posted on the course web page.


Familiarity with a high level programming language and CEGEP level mathematics. If you are in doubt about you background please contact the course instructor.

Reference Materials

  1. Lecture notes and other relevant materials will be available from the lectures web page.
  2. For the bulletin board, announcements and discussions log on to MyCourses
  3. Suggested text: Michael T. Goodrich, Roberto Tamassia. Data structures and algorithms in Java.

Class Requirements

The class grade will be based on the following components:

  1. Five assignments - 45%.
    Homeworks will be submitted via MyCourses. Late homeworks will be penalized 20% per day (24 hours), unless you have a documented medical problem
  2. A midterm in-class examination - 15%.
  3. Small multiple-chice quizzes - 5%.
  4. A final examination - 35%.
Minor changes to the evaluation scheme (if any) will be announced in class by Wednesday January 8 (pending in-class discussion and the estimated total enrollment).

Homework Policy

We greatly encourage you to discuss the homework problems among yourselves. You will learn as much from writing the homework's solutions yourselves as you will from discussing your solutions with others. However, discussing ideas is not the same as copying somebody else's homework! We ask that you follow the following procedure when discussing your solutions with others: The discussion of homework solutions should take place in a room from which no written record will come out. Everything you take out of a discussion must IN YOUR HEAD! Also, please acknowledge in your homework the sources of any ideas that you are using. Any collaboration that does not follow these guidelines will be consider cheating and will be treated as such.

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offenses under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see for more information).

In accord with McGill University's Charter of Students' Rights, students in this course have the right to submit in English or in French any written work that is to be graded.

In the event of extraordinary circumstances beyond the University's control, the content and/or evaluation scheme in this course is subject to change.