Center for Integrated Design / College of Fine Arts
University of Texas at Austin

ITD 105 - Introduction to Computer Science Principles (Fall 2017)
Section: 21200, W 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, GDC 5.302

Instructor: Dr. Shyamal Mitra
Office Hours: MWF 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
Location: GDC 6.320

Student Assistant: Wenyuan Wu
Office Hours: GDC 5.302
Location: 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Text: None Required
Reading: Class Notes and Web Articles

Scope of the Course

Computational Thinking has been an integral part of all natural sciences and engineering disciplines. And now all other disciplines require some familiarity with computers and computational thinking. This course is designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of computational thinking. We will learn how to solve problems by building algorithms. We will evaluate the algorithms in terms of their efficiency. We will examine different paradigms for solving problems. We will look at two specific areas in the computational domain - Graphs and Cryptography - and analyze some of the representative algorithms in those fields. Some familiarity with computers is needed but you do not need to know a programming language nor will we teach you programming in this course.

There is no required text book for this course. We will rely heavily on class notes and readings from the web. This course will be a hands-on introduction to computational thinking. Unlike the traditional lecture format, our classes will be a venue for solving problems and exchanging ideas. Your attendance to the classes is mandatory.


There will be a home work assignment following every lecture. You will start on the assignment in class and complete the exercises at home. Home work is due the next class day. Late homework is not accepted unless you have have been excused by the instructor.

Grade Dispute: You have one week from the date the assignment is returned to you to dispute your grade. The student assistant will be grading the assignments. Send the student assistant an e-mail and see if you can resolve your differences. If you cannot resolve your differences, you may send me an e-mail explaining the situation. We will not entertain any grade disputes after one week.


We will be having a quiz every class day other than the first day. The quiz will be administered at the beginning of class and will be based on the lecture material of the previous class day. There are no make-up quizzes. You have one week to dispute any quiz grade after it is returned.


There will be one test at the end of the course.

A make-up test will be given only for the following reasons. In all cases you must provide some form of documentation.

Having three tests on the same day is not official UT conflict! For each test you may bring a non-programmable calculator.

Questions concerning test grades should be given to me in writing along with your test within three days after the test results are announced. We will not entertain any disputes after that time.


Your performance in this class will be evaluated using your scores for quizzes, homework assignments, and final test. The weights of each of these components are listed below. There are no extra credit projects or assignments to improve your grade. The weighted average is computed solely based on your performance through out the semester on the quizzes, homework assignments, and final test. There is no weight given on the number of hours that you have studied or the number of hours you worked outside of class.

Study Groups

Please organize yourselves into study groups of ~5 students who will meet once a week to discuss the course. Typically, you will review the lectures, do the reading, and attempt the homework independently before your weekly meeting with your study group. Studying for the test together is permitted and encouraged. You may discuss solutions to problems in simple English but cannot exchange the actual solution for any assignment. If you are unsure about how to work together with your friend in a legal, helpful manner, do come and talk with us. Remember, it is always ok to "work together" with your professor or TA!

We will be using Piazza for general discussion of class related questions rather than the discussion board on Canvas. Please do not post solutions to any problems on Piazza.

Academic Misconduct Policy

While you are free to discuss the course material with your classmates and are encouraged to form study groups for the test, direct copying of solutions to homework assignments is not permitted.

Helping a friend understand the intent of a homework assignment specification is permitted. But students who share their solutions should be aware that this is a form of cheating called COLLUSION and is subject to academic penalties. Penalties for academic misconduct include a failing grade in this course.

The homework assignments, quizzes, and test must be the work of students turning them in. University policy (see Dean of Students' policies on academic integrity) will be followed strictly. We will be examining all submitted assignments for plagiarism. If we do detect any cases of academic dishonesty, we will assign a grade of F to all students involved and refer the cases to the Dean of Students.

Acts that exceed the bounds defined by the approved collaboration practices will be considered cheating. Such acts include:

We urge everyone in the class to take appropriate measures for protecting one's work. You should protect your files, homework solution sheets, etc. as deemed reasonable.

Your Responsibilities in This Class

Course Time Table

General Policies

If you are absent from class or test for the observance of a religious holy day you may turn in your assignment or take the test on an alternate date provided you have given me written notice fourteen days prior to the class absence. For religious holy days that fall within the first two weeks of class notice must be given on the first class day.

Students with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office (471-6259 or 471-4641 TTY).