Questions tagged [undergraduate]

For questions about teaching Computer Science at an undergraduate level. Use this tag to clarify the level of the students being taught, but ensure that you provide as much context about their ability and experience in the question.

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Would these two computer science courses count as equivalent?

Taking course B or C is required for my school's computer science program. Is course A, which I have taken equivalent to course B or C? Course A: Computer Science II (CSII) is the continuation of ...
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44 votes
21 answers
9k views

If a program does not compile, should it get a mark of zero?

Following a discussion on the Academia SE, I would like to seek views here among Computer Science Educators on whether a mark of zero should be awarded if a student submits a program that does not ...
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Do you include coding assignments in an intro to complexity and computation course?

In an introductory course on complexity and computing, I am thinking about including some programming tasks. I wonder what types of tasks I could give the students beyond "construct" a ...
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2 votes
0 answers
75 views

Any recent textbooks for an "Introduction to Databases" course?

Are you aware of any recently published textbooks (2018-2022) suitable for an introductory course in databases? I've been using the classical textbooks so far, i.e. "Database Systems Complete ...
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34 votes
7 answers
8k views

What controversies in computer science education exist today?

I remember 20 years ago (when I was doing my degree in computer science) that there were a lot of instructors who thought that the impending ("real soon now") transition from using C++ as ...
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1 vote
1 answer
32 views

Sources on the Topic Source Code Security/Authenticity

I have been asked so be the second on grading a paper a Student is going to write about "Creating a methodology for ensuring Code Security/Authenticity". Sadly this is not my field of ...
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0 votes
0 answers
34 views

Good resources to teach Natural Language Processing

What could be good resources to teach Natural language Processing to Undergraduate students? I am using python as medium.
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3 votes
4 answers
161 views

Greedy Algorithm Approach

One of the popular algorithm design techniques is the Greedy Algorithm. Do we have real-world examples of Greedy Algorithm which we can teach Undergraduate students? I know the famous Djikstra's ...
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2 votes
2 answers
111 views

Decorators in Python

How to teach decorators to Undergrad students? I mean how make the concept crystal clear? Sometimes it becomes complex as : "functions passing another functions in argument, adding new ...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

How should I handle over-demanding assignment providers?

Due to the coronavirus crisis, internships became hard to come by, due to companies not being able to house any students. So local colleges/companies made an arrangement in which one company would set ...
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  • 336
2 votes
5 answers
160 views

Are there any lists of concepts in a re computer science?

Is there any list of concepts re computer science? I'm a uni student with gaps of time in the study due to illness and I want to revise things, but because of reduced course loads and weird ordering ...
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0 votes
2 answers
170 views

Difference between a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in CS

I have just graduated from university with a B.S. in Economics. I am looking into changing fields into something less abstract and more practical, Computer Science. I have the choice between a couple ...
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  • 241
4 votes
1 answer
109 views

Looking for good Master Theorem examples

I'm teaching an Algorithms class (junior/senior level), and we've just proved the validity of the Master Theorem. I'd like some good questions on it, both for homeworks and for exam questions. Problem ...
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5 votes
3 answers
203 views

Algorithmic Game Theory as an undergrad

I am an undergrad going into my junior year this semester. I really wanted to explore algorithmic game theory, as my university has some excellent professors in that field. However, as my undergrad is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
63 views

Creating a rubric for computer arithmetic

I'd like to move to mastery-based grading and have drafted a set of rubrics for my undergraduate computer architecture class. I am having trouble with the one for computer arithmetic, which includes ...
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5 votes
2 answers
195 views

Advising college students about whether to take classes pass/fail

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many colleges and universities have implemented policies to allow students to take classes pass/fail this semester. Students will now be asking their advisors ...
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1 vote
1 answer
113 views

JavaFX and console-based interfaces, at the CS1 level

I'm running into some annoying technical problems in trying to incorporate JavaFX into my CS1 class, mainly arising from the constraints of avoiding/minimizing material they haven't yet learned. ...
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3 votes
3 answers
105 views

How do you distinguish jargon from normal language in explaining a concept?

For example, words like "method," "puts," and "object" do not have as much linguistic markedness as "comparator," "eff-gets," and even "function" (because context alone at the very least conjures up ...
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1 vote
3 answers
294 views

Coding bootcamp vs. computer science

I was a college student majoring in computer engineering, but dropped out because of several issues (social situation, interest, etc). I always wanted to study computer science, but didn't do it ...
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3 votes
2 answers
130 views

How can we determine which students are a good fit for an educational program?

tl;dr: How should I be thinking about assessing technical experience for admission into an educational program? At my day job, I help run a program that invites undergraduate students to get "real ...
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13 votes
12 answers
11k views

On studying Computer Science vs. Software Engineering to become a proficient coder

I’m mostly interested in the coding aspect of the CS and SE majors curricula. And I’m trying to decide between the two. Each major has its pros and cons, and they prepare you in very different ways ...
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  • 241
1 vote
2 answers
66 views

How can I build up the understanding of a project?

As a student my instructor gave me a scenario and a title and I have to work on that as a project. I searched a lot about these and watch videos , read blogs but didn't get a well defined answer. I ...
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3 votes
3 answers
74 views

Suggestions for teaching selection sort with candy

It's the end of the semester, so my students are pretty burnt out, and a bit of sugar might go a long way (plus, evaluations are around the corner ;-). I'm envisioning a tactile class where students ...
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3 votes
2 answers
196 views

Project based on game 2048

I'm thinking about an assignment based around the game 2048. This would be towards the end of a first programming course at the university level and assumes the students have been introduced to at ...
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  • 1,113
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What belongs in a low-math undergraduate AI elective besides ML?

The primarily undergraduate institution at which I teach does not have an Artificial Intelligence course. We do have classes on Data Analysis and Machine Learning: DATA 150: Introduction to Data ...
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6 votes
4 answers
374 views

Study Advice for a CS Student

It's my second year in my computer science degree, 2nd semester. I feel like I am still not good enough and not satisfied with myself! I still can't program and when I have a task I can't think. I ...
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6 votes
4 answers
1k views

What are the "intangibles" that distinguish one university's CS program from another?

Both Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Yale are top schools. (I attended both; one as an undergraduate, one as a graduate student, neither as a CS major). Their curricula aren't all that different. ...
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  • 475
19 votes
4 answers
679 views

Difficulty of algorithms homework problems

I have a question for educators, from the perspective of a TA. I'm happy to post my question elsewhere if it's not appropriate for this site. Homework problems in algorithms classes often involve ...
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  • 191
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

Why isn't Functional Programming Taught First?

We've recently gone through the process of selecting an intern from a local university to join our team for the summer. We are using F# and almost exclusively using functional programming techniques ...
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23 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is there a better way to validate student learning?

I'm a student in an undergraduate Computer Science program with several years of experience before coming to university. As I began working through the coursework here, a large problem stuck out to me....
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11 votes
6 answers
10k views

What should be included in student portfolios for CS?

Should CS students be keeping a portfolio, and if so, what should it look like? What would you, as a potential employer or college recruiter, like to see in/on a potential employee or student ...
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  • 2,349
4 votes
4 answers
382 views

What are the core concepts of discrete mathematics within CS?

Is there an accepted core set of concepts that is discrete mathematics as it applies to the study of Computer Science? The math department in my school is thinking about creating a course, they asked ...
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  • 31.5k
6 votes
4 answers
493 views

Using Oracle's Java Documentation as a Teaching Tool

I'm in the process of preparing for the second semester of AP CS A (Java). I want to review objects and classes with my students to prepare for our extended focus this semester on inheritance and ...
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  • 9,032
5 votes
3 answers
330 views

Teaching C++ to students that know Java

I am now teaching an OOP course to 2nd year undergrads. This is actually a course in advanced programming in Java. In the next semester, I am going to teach the same students, a C++ course. From what ...
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7 votes
2 answers
357 views

How to prevent dictating the solution when tutoring

My girlfriend is currently in her final year in college, and is following a first-years programming course, learning C++. The class is graded partially from homework exercises. She is struggling with ...
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  • 173
24 votes
17 answers
11k views

What does a person with an undergraduate degree in CS still need to learn to be employable as a developer? [closed]

Some recent CS graduates feel unprepared to enter the job market. Some may actually be unprepared. What is missing from a typical undergraduate program, or not sufficiently emphasized, that a person ...
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  • 34.9k
6 votes
1 answer
369 views

Does teaching an intro course with a functional language really help level the playing field?

On another question, Ben. I claimed: By utilizing a functional language in your first course, you get to have a classroom full of kids who have a much more similar footing. And when you move on,...
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5 votes
2 answers
131 views

Is there any purpose to having students do fiddly cache homework assignments?

I teach undergraduate computer architecture and am reconsidering one of my homework assignments in which I ask students to simulate by hand (on paper) the behavior of different caches on the same ...
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9 votes
1 answer
988 views

Good example of what isn't a system call?

I'm teaching an Operating System course, and was looking for an example of something that isn't a system call. As silly as it may sound, I wasn't able to carve a good example. Everything (accessible ...
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  • 239
0 votes
3 answers
205 views

Teaching pointers (C) to a Java guy [closed]

I have already looked at this and this, but it does not help me at all. I am teaching a guy who is something of a Java expert. Unfortunately, due to the mandatory-ness of the university curriculum, ...
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  • 1,864
35 votes
7 answers
3k views

How to teach Stack Overflow more efficiently?

As evidenced by the numerous poorly asked questions by students on Stack Overflow, it is clear that many students have difficulty understanding how to ask questions there. Even as teachers, we often ...
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  • 359
7 votes
2 answers
252 views

Techniques for encouraging pair programming

Suppose I've assigned a project and asked students to pair into two-person teams. I'd like each team to pair-program: work together in person to complete the assignment. Some students will do this, ...
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  • 3,995
6 votes
2 answers
249 views

What is a good design for a Capstone Course in CS?

Some Computer Science programs in the US have a course that is informally referred to at a Capstone Course that attempts to bring together most of what the student has learned. The course may be ...
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  • 34.9k
12 votes
4 answers
481 views

How to teach students to work with multiple layers of abstraction?

I'm currently preparing to teach a course on data structures and algorithms. In my past experiences helping teach similar courses, I've noticed that many students find it challenging to "hold multiple ...
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  • 3,995
8 votes
4 answers
467 views

How can I help students develop intuition about a programming language?

As an tutor for introductory CS classes, I often come across students that have a very rigid understanding of a programming language up to what they have been taught so far. This most often manifests ...
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  • 331
9 votes
3 answers
193 views

What are good models for a Tutorial System for lagging CS students?

Some students find themselves falling behind in a course but still have the desire to do well. Some colleges provide a definite system of tutors in which such students can get additional help. What ...
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  • 34.9k
5 votes
2 answers
293 views

How should students be encouraged to reflect and improve after summative assessment?

Computer Science lends itself to a variety of different assessment methods - from the more practical assignment based programming problems, to the more formal final exams that cover the theoretical ...
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5 votes
5 answers
676 views

How important is "delivering the content" of a course?

In most fields instructors spend a lot of time on the Content of a course. Often this is phrased as Delivering Content, or Completing the Syllabus. The traditional picture, whether valid or not, is an ...
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  • 34.9k
24 votes
9 answers
6k views

How can I convince my fellow CS teachers that reaching every student is a worthwhile goal?

I tried hard, in the latter part of my career, reach every student in every class period that I taught. That this may be an unreachable goal is of little interest to me. I think that I must do this. ...
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  • 34.9k
13 votes
6 answers
598 views

How should educators ensure their curriculum remains relevant over time?

I'm sure we can agree that there are some parts of theoretical CS that are unlikely to change - topics such as computation theory (Turing machines, automata) will be useful and applicable for many ...
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