First Year / Sophomore 101: Software Everywhere

Fall 2012 Syllabus

Allegheny College

Department of Computer Science

Dr. Gregory M. Kapfhammer

Instructor Office Hours

MondayBy special appointment
Tuesday1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Wednesday10:00 am - 11:00 am and3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thursday10:00 am - 11:00 am and4:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Friday1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

For more details about my schedule, please refer to

Students should always use the Google calendar reservation site to schedule an appointment to meet with me.

Students may contact me by email if they want to schedule a special appointment outside of office hours.

Instructor Contact Information

Office Number+1 814-332-2880
Home Number+1 814-425-2837

Course Meeting Schedule

Lecture and Discussion: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00 am - 11:50 am

Final Examination: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

Course Catalog Description

An examination of the pervasive nature of computer software and the impact that computer technology has on society. Drawing on articles from the popular press and the computer science literature, this course examines the technical and ethical challenges that face a culture that regularly uses computer software applications. Sample topics include the Internet, Google, online music, open source software, electronic commerce, social networking, and data mining. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

Grading Policies

The grade that a student receives in this class will be based on class participation, attendance at instructor and peer leader meetings, the grades on the final exam and final paper, the grades for all of the short writing and presentation assignments, and the grades for the long writing assignments. The grade breakdown will follow the form below. All percentages are approximate and it is possible for the assigned percentages to change if a need to do so presents itself.

Class Participation5%
Instructor and Peer Leader Meetings5%
Short Writing and Presentation Assignments60%
Long Writing Assignments10%
Final Paper10%
Final Exam10%

Instructor Meeting Policy

All students are required to meet individually with the professor in order to discuss their status in the class and work towards improving their writing and speaking skills. During these meetings, which must be scheduled to take place during my office hours, students will participate in brainstorming, writing, and/or editing sessions with the professor. Every student must also meet with the instructor at the end of the semester for an advising session to select your classes for the Spring 2013 semester. By the end of the semester, each student is required to have met with the instructor for a total of, at minimum, one-hundred-and-twenty minutes. Students are also responsible for both maintaining a record of their instructor meetings and submitting this record on the day of the final examination.

Peer Leader Meeting Policy

One or more of the peer leaders will hold weekly office hours in Alden Hall. All students are required to meet with a peer leaders on a minimum of five separate occasions. Students may use these meeting times to discuss the reading assignments, ask questions about the computers in the Computer Science Department's laboratories, or learn more about the software that we will use throughout the semester. Students are also responsible for both maintaining a record of their peer leader meetings and submitting this record on the day of the final examination.

Assignment Submission Policy

All assignments will have a given due date. The printed version of the assignment is to be turned in at the beginning of the class on that due date. Late assignments will be accepted for up to one week past the assigned due date with a 10% penalty. All late assignments must be submitted at the beginning of the class that is scheduled one week after the given due date. Unless special arrangements are made with the instructor, no assignments will be accepted after the late deadline.

Class Attendance Policy

It is mandatory for all students to attend class. If you will not be able to attend a class session, then please see the instructor at least one week in advance to describe your situation. Students who miss more than five unexcused classes will have their final grade in the course reduced by one letter grade. Students who miss more than ten unexcused classes will automatically fail the course.

Preparation for Class Sessions

The study of writing, speaking, software, and the theme software everywhere can be very challenging. During the coming semester even the most diligent student will experience times of frustration when they are attempting to understand a challenging concept, complete a difficult writing assignment, or prepare for an upcoming presentation. In many situations some of the concepts and ideas that we discuss will initially be confusing : do not despair! Press on and persevere!

In order to minimize confusion, students must invest time to get ready for class discussions and lectures. During our class periods, the instructor will often pose challenging questions that could require group consultation, the creation of a presentation, or a vote on an interesting issue. Only students who have prepared for class by reading the assigned material and reviewing the short writing and presentation assignments will be able to effectively participate in these discussions. More importantly, only prepared students will be able to extract the knowledge that is needed to be successful in this course and later writing and speaking courses at Allegheny College.

In order to help students remain organized and effectively prepare for classes, the instructor will maintain a class schedule with reading assignments and additional notes and resources. The writing and presentation assignments will be directly integrated into the class schedule. Throughout the class sessions, students will also be required to download and use software applications, visit and read Web sites, use software tools to conduct experiments and investigate new concepts, and leverage traditional computer programs to prepare written documents and presentations. Students who are not familiar with traditional word-processing and presentation software should see the instructor immediately.

Remember this motto, semper paratus!

Disability Services

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact Disability Services at +1 814-332-2898. Disability Services is part of the Learning Commons and is located in Pelletier Library. Please do this as soon as possible to ensure that approved accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Honor Code

The Academic Honor Program that governs the entire academic program at Allegheny College is described in the Allegheny Course Catalog. The Honor Program applies to all work that is submitted for academic credit or to meet non-credit requirements for graduation at Allegheny College. This includes all work done in class (such as examinations, quizzes, and laboratory work), all papers, and any other material that might be assigned in this class. All students who have enrolled in the College will work under the Honor Program. Each student who has matriculated at Allegheny College has acknowledged the following pledge:

I hereby recognize and pledge to fulfill my responsibilities, as defined in the Honor Code, and to maintain the integrity of both myself and the College community as a whole.

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