Syllabus - Computer Science 314 - Data Structures (Computer Programming 2)
The University of Texas at Austin ∑ Spring 2016

Course web page:

Lecture and Discussion Sections Schedule:
Unique ID Lecture Discussion Section Times and Days Discussion Section Location Discussion Section TA and Grader
50950 MWF 10 - 11 am, GDC 2.216 Monday, 2 - 3 pm WEL 2.256 CK and Jose
50955 MWF 11 am - 12 noon, GDC 2.216 Wednesday, 10 - 11 am PAR 1 Jialin and Stas
50960 MWF 11 am - 12 noon, GDC 2.216 Wednesday, 12 noon - 1 pm BUR 134 Sonika
50965 MWF 11 am - 12 noon, GDC 2.216 Monday, 3 - 4 pm CLA 1.106 Kris
50970 MWF 10 - 11 am, GDC 2.216 Monday, 1 - 2 pm BUR 136 Kristine
50975 MWF 10 - 11 am, GDC 2.216 Monday, 3 - 4 pm  CLA 1.104 Rose
50978 MWF 10 - 11 am, GDC 2.216 Monday, 1 - 2 pm WEL 3.266 Katherine

Teaching Staff:

Course Objectives:  This is a second course in computer programming. The purpose of the course is to learn how to use and implement canonical data structures such as lists, iterators, stacks queues, trees, sets, maps, hash tables, heaps, and graphs. The course also covers testing, reasoning about programs (pre/post conditions, assertions), debugging, abstraction of data, basic algorithm analysis, recursion, canonical sorting and searching algorithms, and an introduction to the object oriented concepts of encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. Students will be able to implement medium sized programs using the concepts listed. The course is taught using Java.

This is not an easy course. Based on the historical GPA and drop rate about 30% of the students who attempt this course do not complete it. Succeeding takes a lot of hard work. Here are some tips for success in the course.

Quantitative Reasoning Flag: This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quantitative arguments you will regularly encounter in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your use of quantitative skills to analyze real-world problems.

Estimates of the required effort for the student who meets the course prerequisites:

Formal Course Prerequisite:

  1. CS312 with a grade of C- or higher

Informal Course Prerequisites: Mastery of the following basic programming topics: data types, variables, expressions and operators, control structures (looping and decision making), procedures( a.k.a. functions, methods, or subroutines), parameters, arrays (1d and 2d), simple user defined data types (records, structures, objects), top down design.

You should be able to design and implement a program in Java based on a problem statement. The problem should be complex enough that a well designed solution requires the following:

  1. 200 - 300 lines of code for a well designed solution
  2. uses arrays of records or arrays of objects
  3. requires 8 or more procedures / functions / methods for a well designed solution

For example, create from scratch a program that allows two people to play a game of connect 4 on the computer. The display can be a simple text based interface. Both players share the same keyboard and take turns.


Class Participation, iClicker

Class Discussion Tool: I have set up a discussion group for the class on Piazza.

Canvas will be used:

Email: Some class communication will be sent via email. It is your responsibility to keep the University informed as to changes in your e-mail address. You are expected to check e-mail on a frequent and regular basis in order to stay current with University-related communications, recognizing that certain communications may be time-critical. Instructions for updating your e-mail address are available at

You are responsible for checking your e-mail and the class discussion group on Piazza regularly for class work and announcements.

Software: Required software for programming assignments is described on this web page:

Computing Facilities:

CS Lab Account:

Schedule: A schedule of lecture topics, reading assignments, and assignment due dates is available online, via the class web page,  The schedule page contains links to slides for the lectures, assignments, and online readings. Readings are to be completed before class. The schedule is subject to change.

Grading: The class components used to determine your final average are:

Component Type Number Points Total Points
Programming assignments 11 20 each 220
iClicker participation in lecture 41 1 each day 43
Quizzes in discussion section 9 10 each 90
Exam 1, 2/24, 7 - 9 pm, UTC 2.112A 1 180 180
Exam 2, 4/14, 7 - 9 pm, UTC 2.112A 1 200 200
Final Exam, Date TBD 1 300 300

Grade distributions. Based on the roughly 1300 students who have taken CS314 from me:

Guiding Principle - No whining: Feedback and concerns about the course are always welcome; legitimate grading errors that are identified in a timely fashion will certainly be corrected, but whining is counter-productive and will only irritate those who evaluate your work to determine grades. Realize if you ask for a regrade "because it can't hurt" your score may actually go down if we find more errors and problems.

Important Dates for Changing Academic Status and Dropping the Course: Refer to the Registrar's academic calendar for the deadlines for changes in academic status. Highlights are:

See the College of Natural Science Guidelines and Procedures page for more information. (

Students experiencing significant nonacademic problems (extended health problems or family emergencies) should contact the CNS Deanís Office (WCH 1.106, (512) 471-4536) or the Dean of Studentís Office ( for assistance.

Academic Dishonesty: Taken from the CS department Code of Conduct.

"The University and the Department are committed to preserving the reputation of your degree. It means a lot to you. In order to guarantee that every degree means what it says it means, we must enforce a strict policy that guarantees that the work that you turn in is your own and that the grades you receive measure your personal achievements in your classes:

Every piece of work that you turn in with your name on it must be yours and yours alone unless explicitly allowed by an instructor in a particular class. Specifically, unless otherwise authorized by an instructor:

You are responsible for complying with this policy in two ways:

  1. You must not turn in work that is not yours, except as expressly permitted by the instructor of each course.
  2. You must not enable someone else to turn in work that is not theirs. Do not share your work with anyone else. Make sure that you adequately protect all your files. Even after you have finished a class, do not share your work or published answers with the students who come after you. They need to do their work on their own. This means do not post your solution code to any public web site such as pastebin. Also, do not post your work to the web even after you have completed CS314.

The penalty for academic dishonesty will be a course grade of F and a referral of the case to the Dean of Students. Further penalties, including suspension or expulsion from the university may be imposed by that office.

One final word: This policy is not intended to discourage students from learning from each other, nor is it unmindful of the fact that most significant work in computer science and in the computing industry is done by teams of people working together. But, because of our need to assign individual grades, we are forced to impose an otherwise artificial requirement for individual work. In some classes, it is possible to allow and even encourage collaboration in ways that do not interfere with the instructor's ability to assign grades. In these cases, your instructor will make clear to you exactly what kinds of collaboration are allowed for that class."

For CS314 the policy on collaboration is modified as follows:

If you are repeating the course you may reuse code you completed on your own. You may NOT use code from a program you worked on as part of pair or code that was from a program involved in an academic dishonesty case. You must start from scratch on any and all programs that:

You are encouraged to study for tests together, to discuss methods for solving the assignments, to help each other in using the software, and to discuss methods for debugging code. Essentially if you talk about an assignment with any one else you are okay, but the moment you start looking at someone else's source code or showing someone else your source code you have crossed the line into cheating. You should not ask anyone to give you a copy of their code or, conversely, give your code to another student who asks you for it. Similarly, you should not discuss your algorithmic strategies to such an extent that you and your collaborators end up turning in exactly the same code. Discuss high level approaches together, but do the coding on your own.

Examples of cheating are many and include accessing another student's account, looking at someone else's solution code, copying or downloading someone else's solution code, referring to solutions from previous semesters, having another student walk you through the solution and how to code it, having another student perform significant debugging of your code, having antoher student write your code for you and / or allowing others to copy of access your solution code. This means you shall not look on the internet for code to solve your problems.

Examples of allowable collaboration include discussions and debate of general concepts and solution strategies and help with syntax errors.

The code you can reuse in this course are:

  1. You may use any code you develop with the instructor, TAs, or proctors.
  2. You may use code (with attribution) from the class slides and the class coding examples.
  3. You may share additional test cases and expected results of test cases. You may not share solution code or experiment code.

You shall not make use of code you find from other sources including the world wide web. Materials from the web should only be used for educational purposes. Thus, you can read about linked lists and look at examples of linked list code, but you must not copy any code from the web or be looking at any of this code from the web when writing anything you turn in. If you discuss an assignment with another student or look at examples from the web you should employ the World of Warcraft Rule:

World of Warcraft Rule: After a discussion with another student or looking at example code you should do something that has nothing to do with computer science or programming for al least half an hour. Playing World of Warcraft or other similar activity. (Watching a sitcom, reading a book, working on another class.)

You are also allowed to post short segments of code (2 lines or less) of code that are giving you syntax errors to the class listserv in order to get help on fixing the syntax error.

If you have any doubts about what is allowed, ask the instructor.

Plagiarism detection software will be used on assignments to find students who have copied code from one another. 

For more information on Scholastic Dishonesty see the University Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty

Religious Holidays: By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

Students with Disabilities: students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259,

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