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Class information

  • The freshman orientation to CS is a class designed to give you a glimpse of many of the areas of study possible within computer science. The schedule of talks for this year is on the Lectures page. Realize though that in only a handful of one-hour meetings we can only begin to touch on the diversity of the field. To get a broader view, you are invited to look through the faculty web-pages ( and through our list of available courses (
  • See the Lectures page for the schedule of lectures.
  • See quizzes available on Illinois Compass. Typically, a quiz will be released the evening of, or the day after a lecture, and will be due by 11:59pm the following Wednesday. I will usually remind you on the due date, but my possible failure to remind you is not an excuse for missing a quiz deadline.
  • See the Resources page for useful information.
  • Before attempting the first quiz in Compass, become familiar with the CS ugrad programs wiki site which is a one-stop place for information about all things Ugrad CS. You should bookmark that page for future reference.

Grading Policy

Your grade will depend entirely on your performance on weekly quizzes available through Illinois Compass.

Each quiz will ask (what are intended to be simple) questions about the content of the lecture for that week. If you were at the lecture, and awake, you should have no problem with the quizzes. At the end of the semester, quiz scores of 75% and above will be rounded up to 100%, so that full credit is received for the quiz. You will get one attempt for each quiz. We will drop your lowest quiz score. Warning: be sure to save your answers before submitting a compass quiz, otherwise you will receive 0 points! If you miss a quiz because you are forgetful, or if you were traveling, or asleep, please don't ask to have the quiz excused. That is the reason for dropping your lowest quiz grade. If you have exceptional circumstances that warrant an additional excuse, then I will entertain the thought, please send email to, but only if your story has real merit. The requirements for this course are minimal (show up less than a dozen times and be awake), the grading policy liberal (rounding 75% up to 100%, and dropping the lowest score), so there is little sympathy for incomplete work.

Cut points for letter grades will be determined at the end of the semester, but in any case will not be higher than the standard scale: 90% or more: A-/A; 80% B-/B/B+, etc.  

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