Gatech Cs 1371 Homework Helper

CS1371 - Computing for Engineers

Fall AY2011 Class Syllabus

Sections A and D: David Smith (
Sections B and C: Kristin Marsicano (

Head TA: Stella Kinnaird (
Course Manager: Kevin Aidun

Textbook and Software

Engineering Computation using MATLAB - Second Edition,  David M. Smith

ISBN-10: 0136080634
ISBN-13: 9780136080633

Relevant reading for each lecture is outlined on the course schedule.

We recommend purchasing the Student Edition of MATLAB if a student wishes to work on their own computer.  MATLAB is, however, available all across campus on the public computers.

Students will need to purchase a PRS remote (either the virtual remote or the physical clicker), available at the Georgia Tech bookstore.

Course Components

  1. Lectures - Attend, listen and learn. This is usually where we will introduce new material. We will use the PRS (Personal Response System) in each lecture for in-class exercises.

  2. Recitations - Example questions with discussion. Questions about the homework and interactive solutions, taking advantage of the small group setting.  This time is occasionally used to return graded work and address any questions.

  3. Teaching Assistants (TAs) - each section will be assigned a TA. The TA for your section will be your main point of contact for the course, including any questions regarding grades, policies, etc. The TAs are all former CS1371 students.

  4. "Help Desk" - group-oriented help for specific homework and lab questions, and more general help on other topics. Staffed by CS1371 TAs. Help Desk hours will be announced on the course T-Square site. Help Desk is located in room 272 in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons (CULC). You must sign in/out at the Commons Tutoring Desk on the second floor of the CULC.

  5. T-square - our official course management site ( This is where all assignments will be posted and submitted, all official announcements will be posted, and all grades will be entered.

  6. Homework - learn ins and outs of the topics. Apply the material covered in lecture to programming problems.

  7. Tests - should demonstrate your understanding of the course material. Focus on applying concepts and skills learned in homework to new problems.

  8. Labs - self-paced exercises in assorted computer-related topics.

  9. Final Exam - cumulative assessment of everything in the course.

  10. PRS - Personal Response System - used in lecture to help gauge student undersatnding in real time. AKA clicker, TurningPoint remote

  11. - online question answer forum for the course. Please ask all questions regarding assignments, class logistics, etc. through Piazza.

Course Policies

  • Open Door Policy

    Each of the instructors maintains an open door policy.  You are free to visit us during the posted office hours or, if you prefer a different time, arrange an appointment with us.  It is very important to contact us as soon as you feel that you might need to.  Problems, unlike fine wines, don't improve with age.

  • Email Policy

    You must conduct all official email correspondence for this course using your official GT email account. This is to protect your privacy and to comply with FERPA regulations ( Email from outside sources such as gmail, hotmail, yahoo, and other personal accounts is automatically rejected by most spam killers. Be sure to put CS1371 in the subject of your e-mail.

  • Collaboration Policy

    Homework and labs are designed to be learning experiences; they are graded only to encourage students to complete the assignments correctly.  Collaboration is permitted and encouraged when working on your homework and labs.  However, the material you turn in must be essentially your own work.  Submitting large bodies of material written by others without specifically attributing the authorship is plagiarism, and is not permitted on this course, or anywhere else at Georgia Tech.  

  • The tests and the final are our primary means of assessing your understanding of course material. They will be taken in a supervised environment during lecture periods. Failure to comply with all of the honor statements listed below with regards to tests/exames will be considered a serious Academic Honor violation:

    The use of other programs, applications, software, documents, websites or any other digital items during the electronic exam is *NOT* permitted. Use of any application other than Firefox, and any website other than the e-test, is *NOT* permitted.

    Attempting to access the e-test outside of your lecture period is *NOT* permitted.

    Collaboration is *NOT* allowed on tests/exams. All work should be your own. Attempt to view another student's answers, or use any class notes, text books, articles, or any other documents (on paper or digital) is considered cheating.

    All answers should contain your own work exclusively. You should neither give nor receive inappropriate help during the taking of any examination, in compliance with the letter and spirit of the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code.

  • Late Work Policy / Excused Absences

    No late homework, labs, tests or exams are accepted in this class. Any request for exceptions to this policy due to illness, death in the family, or something similarly serious must be accompanied by supporting documentation. If you miss your test / exam period without prior approval or a valid excuse, you may take the test at a period following yours.  However, you will be penalized 25% of your test score.

    ***CAUTION: the preprinted note from the infirmary stating that you visited the infirmary is not sufficient documentation.***

    Please contact the Dean of Students with your excuse and they can provide you with the proper documentation.

  • Problem Escalation policy

    If you need help and/or have a problem, you should contact the following people in the following order:

    (1) Your TA
    (2) Your Head TA
    (3) Your Instructor (e-mail addresses on the class web site)

    If you are not comfortable talking to your TA about a particular issue, please contact the professor ASAP! As stated before, "Problems, unlike fine wines, don't improve with age."

Grading Policies

Grading Scale

There is no curve in this course. However, we may elect to include extra credit assignments at various times during the semester.  The grading breakdown is as follows:



5% ABCs, 95% Coding Problems, 10% Comments (yes, that adds up to more than 100%...extra credit!)


Three labs overall


Three tests, at 15% each


The final is an important part of your grade! No exemptions.
Mini-Quizzes and PRS


Your mini-quiz average (and PRS average if applicable) contributes to your overall grade as a participation score (which serves as extra-credit)


Letter grade assignments are given according to the following cutoffs with no rounding:

90.0 <= A <= 100
80.0 <= B < 90.0
70.0 <= C < 80.0
60.0 <= D < 70.0
0 <= F < 60.0

Appealing Grades

You have the right to question your grade on any assignment; but you must initiate discussion about the grade in the following ways:

  • Homework grades may be appealed within **one week** of receiving the grade.
  • Regrades for tests must be requested within **one week** of receiving your test results and access to corresponding question bank.
  • All regrade requests should be sent via email to the TA for your section. In the email, include your T-square id and a clear description of which questions you would like reviewed and why.

Grade issues addressed outside of the requirements listed above will not be considered. Pay attention to your grades. If something doesn't look right, address it immediately! Be sure to follow the guidelines outlined in the "Problem Escalation Policy".

It is your responsibility to ensure that all the grades in T-Square are correct before finals week.  After that, the only grade appeal will be about grading your final. Any discussion of your grades after the final exam cannot occur until the 3rd week of the next semester you are in school.


PRS (Personal Response System)

We will ask questions and collect students responses in real time during lecture using the Turning Point Personal Response System. You will receive credit for your participation (see grade breakdown details above). In order to get credit, you must register your clicker through the CS1371 T-square site by the first day of the second week of class. If you do not register your clicker, you will not receive credit. Also, you are responsbile for your own responses. It is considered a violation of the academic honor code to answer using someone else's clicker.


Due Dates/Times

Assignments are due electronically as indicated on the class Web site (T-Square) or the announcements. You are free to turn things in early before the due date, but once the due date/time is over, no more submissions are possible.

Any problems you encounter during the turn-in period will not warrant additional submission time [unless there is a long-lasting wide-spread tsquare failure]. DO NOT WAIT until the last minute to turn in your assignment. Submit early, submit often!

The system will accept multiple submissions.  Be aware that if you are submitting multiple files, if you resubmit, they should all be uploaded again.

Homework Re-Dos

For each homework assignment, you will be given an opportunity to submit a second time, after the due date has passed (time limit for re-submit for each assignment will be available on T-Square). You have the following options, and resulting outcomes:

  • Do no resubmit anything --> Your overall grade for that assignment will be based only on your first submission. You will NOT be penalized for not re-submitting.
  • Resubmit ALL files --> Upon resubmitting, you MUST resubmit ALL files for the entire assignment (even those that you did not change). Your overall grade for that assignment will be based on the average of your two submissions (the last submission from each submittal period for the given assignment).

We do NOT guarantee you will receive feedback on your first submission before the second submission is due.There are no redos allowed on any lab assignments!

Comment Grades

You will only receive credit for comments included in the files you submit during the first submission period. Whatever grade you recieve for comments on files submitted during the first submission period will be carried over to your overall grade for the second submission (aka resubmission) period. Comment early, comment often!

Course Expectations

This course is about programming, and is more closely related to creative writing or learning a musical instrument than to any "science."  As with writing or music, you cannot learn by watching or reading a book, even a great text book like ours!  The only way you learn to program is by programming.  It will be difficult at first, but will get easier as you gain experience.  Get started.  Now.  The following guidelines are supplements to, not replacements for, your practicing programming skills.

  1. Attend lecture on a regular basis and keep up with the reading. Response to the PRS questions during lecture.

  2. Participate in all discussions and ask questions about the material. This is your best opportunity to review the material and see examples to solidify your understanding.

  3. Visit your TA's and / or your Instructor's office hours with questions about grades and the course materials. This is your chance to have one-on-one contact to take care of individual questions and issues.

  4. For questions/discussions with your classmates and the TAs regarding the course material, consult Piazza. This is where you can have general-interest questions answered outside lecture and office hours. Before asking a new question on Piazza, please be sure to first search the existing posts to avoid duplicate questions.

  5. Complete every homework assignment and use it as a learning opportunity; use collaboration in order to gain a better understanding, not to get the work done faster. This is your chance to learn the material in preparation for the test; not having a solid understanding of the homework *will* lead to poor performance later (i.e. tests, other homework and the final exam).

  6. Take responsibility for your coursework submissions; it is your job to make sure that you successfully turned in what you meant to turn in and verify your submission by retrieving and checking your files. This is how you make sure that you get credit for the work you do.

  7. Be prepared when you go to get help from a TA or your instructor with specific questions. Bring your work (on computer media) and any other relevant materials to the meeting.

  8. Take initiative. You will only get out of this class what you put into it. Begin your assignments early and if you think you need help, come prepared. Use the resources that are provided for you, and be determined to succeed from the start.

Miscellaneous Reminders

  1. You are responsible for turning in assignments on time. This includes allowing for unforeseen circumstances.

  2. You are also responsible for ensuring that what you turned in is what you meant to turn in. The course support software includes a retrieve submission feature. USE IT. This allows you to retrieve what you submitted and ensure that the submission process was complete. Every semester, students manage to lose credit for assignments because they unknowingly fail to complete the submission process. Following every submission with a retrieval of that same submission will allow you to be sure this does not happen to you.

  3. Finals and tests must be taken at the scheduled date and time. Any change to your Test or Final time must be approved in writing by your instructor.  Please do not ask for special treatment because you have purchased non-refundable airline tickets. The safe time to travel is after finals week. The finals schedule published at the beginning of the semester is TENTATIVE. The official schedule is published very late in the semester.

  4. If you have any personal issues (family/illness/etc.) please go to the Dean of Student's office located in the Student Services Building (Flag Building) next to the Student Center. They are equipped and authorized to verify the problems and will issue a note to your instructors making them aware of the problem and requesting whatever consideration is necessary.

  5. The class announcements should be read every day. Official announcements about course matters will be posted there. The general course newsgroup is for posting technical questions about assignments, tests etc. Complaints, questions about your personal problems, etc. should be discussed with your instructor in person or via email.

Final Times and Places

CS1371 has a special place on the Registrar's final exam schedule. Please be aware that the final exam time shown on the Registrar's schedule is tentative � do not make travel plans around it!!! The date and/or time are subject to change. GA Tech announces the actual final exam schedule much later in the semester.


  • Course Content
  • Textbook and Software
  • Course Components
  • Course Policies
    • Open Door Policy
    • Email Policy
    • Collaboration Policy
    • Late Work Policy
    • Problem Escalation Policy
  • Grading Policies
    • Grading Scale
    • Appealing Grades
  • PRS
  • Assignments
    • Due Dates / Times
    • Homework Re-Do
  • Course Expectations
  • Miscellaneous Reminders
  • Finals Times and Places

Course Content


The students will be expected to be familiar with the following concepts, either by writing code to solve problems, or by diagramming the behavior of the more complex algorithms.

General Principles:

  • abstraction
  • testing
  • debugging
  • problem solving

Concepts evaluated by coding:

  • data types
  • the use of variables for storing data
  • basic mathematical and logical expressions
  • arrays
  • operations on arrays
  • strings and character arrays
  • structures
  • file input and output
  • conditional statements
  • selection 
  • repetition
  • functions and procedures
  • variable scope
  • plotting 2-D and 3-D data
  • recursion
  • manipulating sound
  • manipulating images
  • queues and stacks

Concepts evaluated graphically


Matlab is an excellent first language for engineers.  It is an interpreted language that provides students immediate feedback from their actions, and postpones many of the gory details of correctness until a program is run.  It is an ideal environment for ordinary engineering computation.  The course is conducted from the Matlab programming environment.  'Matlab' is a registered trademark of The MathWorks, Inc.  Students who wish to work on their Matlab assignments on their own computers are required to purchase a Matlab license. For students not wishing to purchase the license, Georgia Tech provides access to computers equipped with Matlab licenses through a licensing arrangement with The MathWorks, Inc.

Georgia Tech is an awesome place. It has fantastic people, great clubs, challenging classes, and an overall wonderful dynamic. Of course, Georgia Tech is also a difficult school, so its students can sometimes be slightly sleep-deprived and stressed. And when students are sleep-deprived and stressed, they like to take part in the world's best bonding activity: complaining.

Here are 10 things Georgia Tech students love to complain about:

1. The wifi

The wifi at Georgia Tech is pretty great--until it's not. Unfortunately, the wifi always chooses the most inopportune times to go out, prompting us to say things like:

"This is an engineering school! Why can't we make the wifi work?"

2. The line at Starbucks

Homework and studying for Tech's classes often leave students pretty groggy (see opening paragraph), and what better way is there to wake up than with a nice cup of coffee? Caffeine is totally a replacement for sleep, right? Everyone at Tech seems to have this same mindset, causing the 10:00 line at Starbucks to stretch all the way out of the store. This leads us to have conversations like:

"Ugh, I was late to my 10am again because I was in line at Starbucks for 30 minutes."

"Come on man, use Tapingo."

3. CS 1371

CS 1371 is the class that is not so much a class as an experience. First and second year engineering majors love to talk about how much time they spent coding (or avoiding coding) last week's Matlab homework, and survivors of the class love to talk about how hard it was.

"When I took CS 1371, I got a 25 on one of the homeworks--even though I worked on it for 9 hours."

"Didn't you walk out of that class with a B?"

"Yes, but it was hard."

4. When UGA students complain

Nothing sets sleep-deprived Georgia Tech students more on edge than when their friends from other schools try to complain to them about their workloads, especially when they are significantly lower than those of Tech students.

UGA Student: "I only got 6 hours of sleep last night, and I missed the party on Tuesday."

GT Student (choking on the coffee she was chugging from a gallon container): "A party-- on a-- Tuesday? And please don't talk so loud; I haven't slept more than 5 hours in a night since August of 2014."

5. Freshman Hill

Graduating from first year does not exempt Tech students from trekking up the mountain known as Freshman Hill; it is simply the easiest way to access a large portion of campus. Yes, hiking up the hill with a heavy backpack provides a stellar glute workout, but it still prompts a few complaints:

"I have to go from Glenn to the library, and the most direct route is up Freshman Hill. Pray for my legs."

6. Atlanta weather

Some of the greatest mysteries in human history are the Bermuda Triangle, Jack the Ripper, the creation of Stonehenge, and Atlanta's weather. Monday can brag highs of 75 degrees and a cloudless sky and Tuesday can bring snowy lows around 30. As a result, properly stocking a wardrobe in Atlanta is quite a challenge.

"I'm so cold! It was 80 yesterday, so I wore shorts today, but now I'm standing on a literal block of ice. Someone explain."

7. How far away the CRC is

Yes, the CRC is made for working out, and yes, walking to the CRC from east campus is technically a workout, but it is just so far! It becomes rather difficult to motivate east campus Tech students to walk for half an hour just to lift a few weights.

"I haven't worked out in 2 months because I don't want to walk all the way to the CRC. It's sooooo faaaar."

8. Tech Green

The fence around Tech Green has finally been removed, but that doesn't stop Tech students from reminiscing about the good (erm, bad) old days when "tiny grass" was "dreaming."

"Meet at Tech Green?"

"Remember when it was closed off for nearly the entire first semester? That was annoying."

9. The ratio

The female-to-male ratio at Georgia Tech is approximately 35:65, and it's slightly lower in engineering majors. This can be frustrating for girls because they may take classes with no other girls, or for boys because, well, they may take classes with no other girls. (Luckily, the ratio is rising--yay!)

"How am I supposed to marry a rich doctor if there's only 5 girls in my major and they're all taken?"

10. How great Tech is

Okay, so this is not actually a complaint, but people at Tech occasionally stop complaining and start talking about how much they love their school, because it's a pretty fantastic place. Go jackets!

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