IS101Y / CMSC 104Y: First Year IT

TH 10-11:15, ENGR 021

F 1-1:50 or 2-2:50, ENGR 104A

Now with color coded updates, new....old.

Instructors: Dr. Penny Rheingans ( rheingan AT

Dr. Susan Martin ( susan AT

Course Staff:

Text: Getting Started with Processing, Casey Reas and Ben Fry, O'Reilly, 2010. Recommended. ISBN 978-1-449-37980-3

Description: Broad survey of computing topics and fields for new majors, along with the academic and professional skills necessary to succeed in those fields. Students will work with a team to complete a semester design and implementation process.


After this course, students should be able to:
  1. Discuss the characteristics and challenges of key areas of the computing disciplines.
  2. Analyze and present data to support informed decision-making.
  3. Write basic programs using variables, conditional logic, and loops.
  4. Demonstrate the skills necessary to succeed as a computing student and professional.
  5. Work effectively in a team to solve a complex technological challenge.

Individual Assignments

Weight Description Due Date
Asst 1 2% Surveys Sept 7, Dec 7
Asst 2 10% Journal EntriesSept 7, Sept 28, Oct 5, Oct 26, Nov 16
Asst 3 5% Processing Sept 25
Asst 5 1% Resume and Cover Letter Oct 11
Asst 6 5% Matlab (code ex) Nov 2
Asst 7 2% Poster Draft (individual section) Nov 9

Team Assignments

Weight Description Due Date
Asst 4 5% Data for Decision-making Nov 1
Project Phase 1 5% Project Design Oct 4
Project Phase 2 10% Prototype Demo Nov 15
Project Phase 3 5% Prototype Evaluation Nov 27
Project Phase 4 5% Poster Nov 29
Project Phase 5 5% PresentationDec 11

Late Policy

Assignments are due in/before class on the day listed. Unless otherwise stated, late assignments can be submitted up to three days late and will be penalized 20 percent of the possible score. Assignments will not be accepted more than three days late. Late project phases will not be accepted.

Academic Honesty

By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC's scholarly community in which everyone's academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong.

All individual assignments and exams in the course are expected to be your INDIVIDUAL work. You may discuss assignments with anyone, but at no time should you copy someone else's work or allow someone to copy yours. Neither should you copy work or text from published or web sources without proper citation. Team assignments are expected to be the work of all team members, where interactions outside the team follow guidelines for individual work. If you are ever in doubt about what constitutes appropriate collaboration, consult with a course staff member.

Grades: Grades will be based on homework assignments (30%), team project deliverables (30%), peer evaluation (10%), quizzes (10%), and final exam (20%).

Tentative Schedule

Required reading for a unit should be completed BEFORE the first day of that unit. There will be a quiz at the beginning of each unit. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date.
Date Topic Due
Aug 30 (Thurs)Overview
Aug 31 (Fri)Good Advice & Getting Started
Sept 4 (Tues)Big Ideas Read:
Sept 6 (Thurs)Computational Thinking
Sept 7 (Fri)You: Before Class Initial Survey; JE 1: Learning Wheel Reflection
Sept 11 (Tues)Algorithmic Problem Solving
Sept 13 (Thurs)Algorithmic Problem Solving
Sept 14 (Fri)You: Teamwork and Group Projects
Sept 18 (Tues) Abstraction
Sept 20 (Thurs) Design and Realization
Sept 21 (Fri) You: During and After Class
Sept 25 (Tues)People Asst 3: Processing (Installation Guide)


Sept 27 (Thurs)Graphics and Games
Sept 28 (Fri)You: Test Taking JE 2: Go to Student Organization Mtg
Oct 2 (Tues) HCI and Accessibility Watch
Oct 4 (Thurs) Social Implications Project Phase 1: Design
Oct 5 (Fri) Smart Students Ask for Help JE 3: Peer Assessment
Oct 9 (Tues) Data Read:
Oct 11 (Thurs) Team Check Up and Tune Up Draft Resume and Cover Letter
Oct 12 (Fri) Matlab intro
Oct 16 (Tues) Data management and analytics--guest lecture Dr. Michael Dillon
Oct 18 (Thurs) You: Resumes and Gaining Experience
Oct 19 (Fri) Matlab reprise Asst 6: Matlab
Oct 23 (Tues) Knowledge discovery Watch
Oct 25 (Thurs) Big data Watch:
Oct 26 (Fri) You Gotta Have a Plan JE 4: Draft data presentation
Oct 30 (Tues)Hardware and Systems Read:
Nov 1 (Thurs) Data Presentations Asst 4: Data Presentation
Nov 2 (Fri) Computer engineering overview
Nov 6 (Tues) Software systems
Nov 8 (Thurs) Cybersecurity
Nov 9 (Fri) Networking 101
Nov 13 (Tues) Devices
Nov 15(Thurs)Prototype Crit Project Phase 2: Prototype
Nov 16 (Fri) Giving and Getting Feedback JE 5: Careers Reflection
Nov 20 (Tues) Intelligence Read: Watch:
Nov 27 (Tues) Search and game play Project Phase 3: Evaluation
Nov 29 (Thurs) Multi-agent systems Project Phase 4: Poster; Watch
Nov 30 (Fri) Managing Stress & Preparing for Finals
Dec 4 (Tues) Recommender systems
Dec 6 (Thurs) Last lecture
Dec 7 (Fri) You: What's Next? Final Survey
Dec 11 (Tues) Presentations Project Phase 5: Presentation
Dec 18 (Tues) Final Exam, 10:30-12:30