MSCI 121 Introduction to Computer Programming

Term and Year of offering: Winter 2016

Course Number and Title: MSCI 121 Introduction to Computer Programming

Instructor’s Name: Parmit Chilana

Course Description: See description in the Undergraduate Calendar

An introduction to computer programming using a high level programming language. Concepts and topics
covered include the basic components of algorithms (primitive operations, variables, sequencing operations,
conditionals/branching, repetition/loops, and subroutines/functions), problem decomposition, abstraction, testing
and debugging, pseudo-code, file based input and output, use of a modern development environment, good
coding style, pointers/references, and basic data structures (arrays, records/structs, objects).

Course objectives:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand how to break problems up into manageable sizes and create a Java program which implements the solution.
  2. Express algorithms in pseudo-code and be able to trace the execution of computer code by hand.
  3. Write robust, user friendly, good computer programs using the fundamentals of the Java language.
  4. Write computer programs with good style.
  5. Debug computer programs.
  6. Have a basic understanding of object oriented programming using Java.
  7. Understand at a high level how computers work, e.g. binary representation and overall organization.
  8. Use the command prompt for running programs and collecting program output.
  9. Use an integrated development environment.
  10. Use a mix of software development styles: e.g. top-down, bottom-up, and iterative.
  11. Organize their time to complete assignments on time.
  12. Freely ask questions.
  13. Be prepared to take MSCI 240.

Required Readings, Materials and Texts:


Building Java Programs: A Back to Basics Approach (3rd Edition) by Stuart Reges, Marty Stepp, 2014. This book is available from the University Bookstore and through University library’s course reserves.


You are required to have a clicker and bring it to all lectures and tutorials. You can purchase a clicker from the bookstore.

This is a basic course description made available for public reference only. The Undergraduate Calendar is always the official source for all course descriptions. Course Syllabi will be distributed by the instructor in class. For additional details not found here, please contact the listed instructor.