This is a long document.
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How have computers impacted the world around you, and how do they do it? In CPSC 100 (Computational Thinking), you will learn how to ask questions in a way that a computational agent can process and answer them.
We will cover many topics, including the way that computers have changed animated movies, what businesses can do with your personal information such as your phone number, and whether artificial intelligence will destroy the earth.
CPSC 100 is NOT a programming course, though there will be a small amount of programming in a visual language so that you can understand a bit of what makes computers tick.
If you want to learn to program, however, we suggest that you take CPSC 103 or 110.
However if you want a course that will change the way you think, give Computational Thinking a try.
While there are no prerequisites for this course, this course is not for credit for those with credit or an exemption for CPSC 110 or APSC 160.
At the highest level, this course has three goals. Students who complete this course will be able to:
A class student-directed project will allow small groups of students to concentrate on one of the three aspects of the course: CT building blocks, CT applications, or CT impact as influenced by the computing in the news. For each, the deliverables will be weighted based on which of the three kinds of project is selected, though each group will be required to submit a proposal, meet with a TA acting as their project facilitator, and present their project in lab. Here are some details about each type:
The course will cover roughly the following topics:
The grading scheme is:
Labs begin the week of January 13th
Each week, students will be expected to attend their registered lab section. For more information on lab policies, see the Policies section.
For each module there will be a quiz to help ensure that you have followed the basic material presented and also to assess your overall understanding of module content. They serve as a pre-assessment of exam content to help you better prepare.
Each quiz is due on Canvas at 11:59pm on specific days. Quizzes will be released on CANVAS about a week before they are due. The quizzes are timed and can only be completed once. Students are allowed to drop the lowest quiz score.
There will be no make-up quizzes.
There will be some lectures that have assigned reading material that students are expected to complete prior to class. There will be some quizzes designed to help ensure that you have followed the basic material in the reading and also to help tailor the course to your interests. Each quiz is due on Canvas at 11:59pm the day before class. There will be 12-18 quizzes due throughout the term. Quizzes will be released at least a week before their due date. There will be no make-up quizzes.
The project will be graded on the following items: proposal, project, project peer evaluations, and project wrapper. For more information about the grading scheme, visit the Project page.
Students are expected to curate and summarize two computing related news articles throughout the term. They are also expected to read their peers' articles and comment on two submissions. Submissions and comments will be marked for completion. There is additional work that will be performed in class and as a group afterward. See the In the News page for more details.
Active class participation consists of preparation before class, attendance and constructive effort to participate in in-class activities. Records will be taken in the form of clicker responses, completed in-class exercises, discussion board postings, and TA and instructor evaluations of individual students' participation. We understand that students will sometimes be absent and thus will count a full participation score as having gotten 90% of the possible available points. Thus there are no excused absences. Students that have not completed the preparation work assigned for a given class are expected to excuse themselves from this class, since they will not be able to participate in in-class exercises and discussion.
To pass this course, you must obtain at least a 50% overall mark, and, in addition:
University policy and departmental guidelines on academic conduct will be followed strictly. For this course, all work on the exams must be strictly your own, with no discussion or aide from anyone else. In labs, you are free to ask questions of and to work with other students, but you should ensure that you are capable of accomplishing each task in the lab on your own (and you may be required to demonstrate your ability to the TA). We will include a collaboration guideline for the project with the project description itself.Visit the link provided for additional information on academic integrity.
If you have an unplanned absence (e.g., due to illness), you may provide either documentation or fill out a self declaration. However, note that for a second or subsequent request for academic concessions resulting from acute illness, we will refer you to your academic advising office or graduate supervisor or graduate advisor.
Note that participation and quiz marks will not generally be awarded in lieu of attendance in class, regardless of the reason for absence.
If you miss a midterm, the default action is that midterm's value will be added to the final. For example, if the midterm is worth 25% and final is worth 50%, missing the midterm would make your final worth 75% of your final grade. The final will generally be harder than the midterm.
If you miss the final, please contact your instructor as soon as possible. You must contact UBC Science within 48 hours of your missed final exam in order to apply for a deferred exam. Further information about deferred exams can be found at UBC Science's Exam FAQ.
As a gentle reminder, regrade requests are not an avenue for you to argue or debate about the grading scheme. Regrade requests are meant as a way for you to let us know about situations where the grading scheme may not have been correctly applied to your work.
Regrading requests will be accepted up to one week after the grades are released.
To regrade a lab, typically this means that regrade requests are due approximately 2 weeks after the lab is held. To ask to regrade a lab, please talk to/e-mail your lab TA.
When a regrade request is submitted for an exam, the whole exam will be remarked- not just a single portion of it. The regraded mark will be final. To submit a regrading request for an exam, email your instructor with your name, student number, and the reason why you feel that a regrade is necessary. Note that the reason for the regrade must be precise, e.g., " please regrade questions 11 to 15 " is not sufficient.
We expect that you will attend your registered lab section on time each week. If you arrive late to lab, the TAs have the right to give you a zero for that lab. Many of the labs are dependent on group work and showing up late will negatively impact other students as the TAs will need to find you a group and/or dissolve groups that have already been created. Students who are absent from lab do not have the option of attending another lab that week. However, if you are unable to attend a lab due to illness or other serious circumstances, you should e-mail your instructor, and provide her with valid medical or other supporting documentation or a self declaration. Please do not share sensitive and personal information relating to your circumstance with teaching assistants. Your instructor will inform you of next steps (if applicable).
If you do not manage to hand in your lab work during the lab session, it will be accepted up to one week afterward. For example, if you have a lab on Wednesday, September 9 and you happen to not finish your work, you can still earn marks for your lab work if you hand it in at the beginning of your lab session the following week (i.e., Wednesday, September 16). At the beginning of each lab session, a TA will take 5 to 10 minutes to mark the work from the previous lab. If work for the previous lab is not marked at this point in time, we will not accept it afterward and you will receive a grade of 0 for whatever is still missing.
Class participation is measured in a variety of ways including clickers. We understand that students will sometimes be absent and thus will count a full participation score as having gotten 90% of the possible available points. Thus there are no excused absences. If you are facing unforseen events, such as a mental or physical health issue or family emergency that will prevent you from attending multiple consecutive class sessions, please contact your instructor via email.
The university also allows students to request an academic concession. For more information on academic concessions, visit this page.
Late projects will not be accepted.
Regarding students who add the course between January 6th and 17th, the following rules apply:
Students in CPSC 100 have diverse backgrounds and learning needs. A variety of resources are available to help you explore topics of interest in depth. Many students find that just attending lectures and labs is not enough, and you are strongly advised to use the resources at your disposal. Note that you should not take needing to seek extra ways to practice what you've learned as a sign that you're "not good at" the material; it's simply that you need more practice. The people in class who you see who seem to be having no trouble at all have almost certainly had more practice than you (or they're having trouble and don't show it - or both!). Don't freak out (for what it's worth, I freaked out the first time I took computer science, too). Use the help resources: that's what they're for.
The Demco Learning Centre is a resource provided by the Computer Science Department for students. You may use this space to hold study and project group meetings. The centre is staffed by TAs with whom you may discuss computer science topics. For more information and a schedule, see the Demco Learning Centre Page.
TAs and your instructor have regularly scheduled office hours. If you require an appointment at a different time, contact us with at least 1 week advance notice. TAs are also available during scheduled lab times. Note that the TAs must prioritize helping students with the scheduled lab assignment.
Your classmates are an excellent resource for discussion and peer support. In addition to opportunities to chat before and after class, the discussion board is also available.
A note about e-mail support: many course-related questions require two-way discussion, so e-mail is sometimes not the most efficient way to get help. Office hours, the discussion board, and the Demco Learning Centre should be your first resort for rapid assistance. Please limit e-mail to requests of a personal nature - you'll get faster responses on the bulletin board!
Health and wellness, both physical and mental, are important for academic success. If you are having difficulty with your studies, or feel overwhelmed, or are experiencing distress, UBC provides a number of resources to help. At this university, faculty and staff members are committed to providing students with a safe environment and support. For more information on inclusion, safety, and accessibility visit the Departmental page.
It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well-served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that each one brings to this class be viewed as a resources, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally, or for other students or student groups.
If you read the whole document and made it to this last point
See you in class.