We hope the following list of questions and answers is helpful.
However, if your question isn't answered below,
we want to be sure that you get an answer!
Check our help page for
for times when help
is available and information about other sources of on-line help.
- Do I need any computer science background to succeed in CS101?
- No. The only prerequisite for this course is that you be
comfortable with algebra and geometry at the high school level.
No programming background is required. We start from the beginning. However,
the course is demanding and does move rather quickly. If you're looking
for an easy course, this isn't it.
- I have some programming experience. Will I be bored in
- If past semesters are any indication,
you probably won't be bored. Things may seem a bit slow at the beginning, but
this course can be understood at many different levels.
Also, the material should be sufficiently different from what you have seen
to keep you interested. However, if you have significant experience
in object-oriented programming, particularly in Java or C++, you
should discuss your background with the instructor to determine if the
course is appropriate for you.
- Should I take CS100 along with CS101?
CS100 is a 1-unit course that will acquaint you with
the computing resources at Washington University and teach you how
to several computing tools.
If you are not familiar with these tools,
we recommend that you take CS100 along with CS101.
However, it is not required.
- How much time should I expect to spend on CS101?
- CS101 emphasises learning by doing. Most of your time outside of
class will be spent on lab assignments.
You will spend very little
time reading, since everything you need to know will be covered in
lecture or in the lab assignments. Since CS101 is a 4 unit course,
you should expect to spend about 10 hours per week on average
doing the lab assignments. Some weeks will
require more time, some will require less.
- Is there a textbook for CS101?
- Yes. However, the book is a resource that cannot replace
class attendance. Everything you need to know will be covered in class or on
lab assignments. On-line lecture highlights will be provided to assist your
If you own a computer, consider
class software on it.
- Do I need a CEC account for CS101?
- Yes. CEC (Center for
Engineering Computing) provides educational computing support for
the School of Engineering and Applied Science. You will need a CEC
account in order to participate in your lab sections. If you are an
Engineering student, you should already have an account. Otherwise,
you should read
- Do I need to buy a computer for CS101?
- No. You do not need to own a computer to take this course.
The Center for Engineering Computing (CEC)
has a PC Lab in Sever 201 that is generally open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your use. Should there be a temporary change to CEC lab hours, you will see the updated information in CEC's Message of the Day.
- I own a PC or a Macintosh. How do I set it up to
work on the CS101 assignments?
- Read Setting Up Your Computer for CS101. We suggest that you mount your CEC files remotely. See the next
question for that.
- I want to work on my assignments from my PC in my dorm room. How can
I use my home directory at CEC?
Mounting your CEC directory in the comfort of your dorm room
. We recommend you keep your files at CEC because they
their files very often.
- How can I go back to a previous CS101 web page?
- The CS101 pages use frames, so the back arrow at the top of
your browser may take you out of the CS101 pages completely.
To go to a previous or following frame, hold down the right mouse button
over the frame and select the appropriate option from the
- I'm having trouble with my personal computer.
What should I do?
- CEC's FAQ
page on the three systems may have the answer you need. CEC also has
consultants to answer general questions about computer use. However,
please see the CS101 teaching assistants for any questions that
specifically relate to the course.
Questions About Lab Assignments:
- The student page isn't up for CS101 -- how do I get my picture?
- There is a new university policy that prohibits our publishing the
names of students in our class. Please get your picture from Faces,
via webstac if you wish.
You are not obligated to put up a home page.
- I can't seem to print from Emacs, what should I do?
- Well, it should work, but it's not. So, brace yourself, and follow
this guide to set the printer specifically
to tornado (recommended for CEC labs).
- How do I use the PC's in CEC to do my CS101 assignments?
- Read Using CEC in CS101
- I selected "Emacs for Java" under "Programming" in the Start menu,
but emacs doesn't start. Instead, a strange batch file comes up in Wordpad.
- Some of the CEC machines are misconfigured to open the batch file instead
of run it. Until that is fixed, you'll need to do the following on
- Select "Run..." from the start menu.
- In the box, type P:/emacs, and click "OK"
- Press the right mouse button on the file
called cs101-emacs or cs101-emacs.bat,
and then choose "open."
- Where is the CS101 Mailbox for turning in assignments?
We won't be using the mailbox this semester. Submit your assignment
- How do I change where I print to from Emacs?
- See this guide
Last modified 15:38:55 CDT 22 August 2002
by Ron K. Cytron