CSE131X: Computer Science I - Accelerated
Fall 2007

Department of Computer Science and Engineering
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Washington University in St. Louis

CSE 131X provides an introduction to computer science for those who already have significant programming background, as evidenced by prior coursework or placement examination. The course is intended for students considering a major or minor in computer science, as well as for students who want to learn more about computing for use in another discipline. The curriculum of CSE131X is individualized, but runs in conjunction with CSE131 as explained below.

Course Credit:
CSE131X is a 2 unit course (unlike CSE131, which is 4 units).

Preparation for Later Courses:
CSE131X provides an efficient way for students to complete those portions of CSE131 that are new to them, while avoiding repetition of concepts that they have already mastered. CSE131X satisfies the CSE131 requirement for all CS and CoE degree programs, and should be considered equivalent to CSE131 for other degree programs. Successful completion of CSE131X will enable students to continue on to CSE132 with a solid foundation.

Individual Plan:
Students in CSE131X will complete approximately half of the programming projects (lab assignments) of CSE131 and a subset of the exams and quizzes. Not every student in CSE131X will complete the same assignments. You will meet with the instructor at the beginning of the semester to determine an individual curriculum plan based on your prior background. The placement exam during orientation is a useful part of this decision.

Note: Students who are missing most of the CSE131 background, or are new to Java, are likely to need to complete most of the CSE131 assignments in order to get a solid foundation. If this is the case, you are probably better served by registering for the regular CSE131 course, since you will be doing nearly all of the work and should therefore receive 4 credit units (instead of the 2 units awarded for the accelerated section).

Class Sessions
CSE131X meets on Wednesdays and Fridays 10-11am. On Wednesdays, only the CSE131X students meet to discuss the portions of CSE131 material for that week that are likely to be unfamiliar to students with an AP background will be discussed, as well as implications of those topics beyond the normal coverage in CSE131. One Fridays, CSE131X and CSE131 students are together in one lecture. Fridays generally begin with a 10 minute quiz on that week's topic, with the remainder of the lecture is devoted to topics of interest to both CSE131 and CSE131X students, including discussions of computer science research topics by various CSE faculty and students.

As a CSE131X student, you are welcome to occasionally attend the CSE131 lecturers on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays 10-11am, particularly in weeks that cover topics that are completely new to you. Therefore, you may want to keep that time open in your schedule, just in case. However, lecture material will also be available online.

Barring any technical problems, on-line class notes from the CSE131X Wednesday sessions will be made available each week.

Registration Requirements:
Registration in CSE131X requires instructor permission. Permission for registration in CSE131X is automatically granted to:
  1. students who have earned a B+ or better in the Spring 2005 or Spring 2006 semester of CSE126,
  2. students who have scored a 4 or 5 on the College Board AB Computer Science Advanced Placement Examination, and
  3. students who were recommended for CSE131X based on their performance on the CS Placement Exam during Orientation Week. This year's placement exam will be 3:00pm on Sunday, August 26 in Cupples II, Room 217.

Lab Sections:
Students in CSE131X do not register for a lab section, but are welcome to attend lab sections with the CSE131 students, provided there is space. Students in both CSE131X and CSE131 have access to instructor office hours and teaching assistant consulting hours. Students must demonstrate each completed lab assignment to a TA before it can be graded. These "demos" can take place during lab sections or TA consulting hours.

Apart from the individualized curriculum and adjusted class attendance, both sections of CSE131 have the same course policies and grading scale.

Details about CSE131:
For detailed information about CSE131, see the CSE131 web pages.