Fall 2022 — 4.0 Units
2022-08-29 through 2022-12-16
Class time: Mon & Wed, 13:45 – 15:25
Class location: Pereira 109
Keck Lab Mgr.: Masao Kitimura
Doolan 104
Dept. Admin.: Gina Konrad
Doolan 101

CMSI 2120 Syllabus/Course Description Page

CMSI 1010 [CMSI 185/186]
Professor: B.J. Johnson, PhD
Office Hrs: Mon & Wed, 10:15 - 12:45
Tue & Thur, 10:00 - 12:30
Office Location: Doolan 220 or Personal Z'room on line
[I'm also available by appointment]

[Dedicated to the memory of Professor Phil Dorin, teacher, mentor and friend.]

Course Description from the Latest University Bulletin [2021-2022]

Specification and design of data types, information structures, and their associated algorithms. Collection classes and interfaces for sets, lists, stacks, queues, hierarchies, heaps, and dictionaries. Implementation techniques such as arrays, linked lists, hash tables, and efficient tree structures. Introduction to asymptotic computational complexity. Methods for sorting, indexing, and hashing.

Course Prerequisites

This class uses Java for its concrete examples, homework, and exams. There will be some class time spent reviewing Java fundamentals at the beginning of the semester. You are more than welcome to ask for whatever clarification you need at any time, either in class or out. If you require additional practice with Java, there are any number of online tutorials which you can use to hone your skills. In addition you can use other professors' web sites [either LMU or other schools] and things like Code Academy, Kahn Academy, codingbat.com, and the ubiquitous Stack Overflow to help you when you are stuck.

Course Structure

This course will be in person, and will be recorded. Video recordings will be posted to the course BrightSpace page. Every effort will be made to post the videos in a timely manner so that they are available as close to the ending of each class session as possible.

Instructions to Access Brightspace

You will also need to have access to the BrightSpace course page for section 1 for this class. On those pages you will find links to some video information of course content and how-to demonstrations. Your access to that site should be automatic; if you have problems accessing it contact me or the LMU IT department for assistance.

Note that the official course description above is not very specific.... there is more detail below!

Learning data structures, like anything else, takes practice and perseverance. You must be willing to make mistakes, to learn how to fix them, and to learn not to be afraid of them. Humans [and now even computers!] learn by making mistakes, and this is the place to do so without fear.

Course Goals, Objectives, and Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes of the Course

When you finish the course, you will be able to:

  • understand analytic programming concepts such as asymptotics, time-complexity, and space-complexity – that not all programs are created equal; two programs that perform the same task may not do so with the same efficiency or cleanliness
  • be introduced to a wide range of Abstract Data Types [ADTs] and learn which are best suited for which tasks, including: arrays, linked lists, stacks, queues, heaps, hash tables, sets, trees, graphs, and more
  • gain a deeper understanding of class hierarchies, classes vs. objects, and implementing ADTs in concrete classes
  • learn the Application Programming Interfaces [APIs] for popular Java collections, and how to use them in a variety of non-trivial programming tasks
  • identify beneficial and detrimental interactions between ADTs and algorithms that operate on them

Expected Workload

In accordance with the LMU Credit Hour Policy, the credit standard for this 4-unit standard 15-week course is met by an expected of a total of 180 hours of student engagement with the course learning activities [at least 45 hours per credit], which includes regularly scheduled instructor-student meeting times and/or equivalent direct faculty instruction, such as systematic readings, research activities under the supervision of the instructor, asynchronous presentations, group work, and other learning activities. You should also anticipate needing additional time outside of class to complete assignments. The University's Credit Unit Policy can be found here.

What You'll Need for Success

good to go

In a nutshell, here's what you'll need to do to be successful in this course.
*YOU* promise to:

  • Attend all classes — come prepared, having done the reading and having watched any videos
  • Do all the assigned homework, including watching videos, visiting web sites, reading articles
  • Participate in class discussions, exercises, and activities
  • Ask LOTS of questions, both in class and out of class
  • Do well on the tests, which if you do the previous things will be no problem!

…and *I* promise to:

  • Ensure that learning outcomes for the course are clearly stated in this syllabus and are addressed during the semester
  • Be accessible and available during office hours and by appointment for interactive discussions, which can be one-on-one or in small groups
  • Provide constructive assistance and feedback to help you understand the material; such assistance and feedback can be via e-mail or text chat, or in person during office hours
  • Challenge you to do your best work and improve your interest in the topics presented
  • Always let you know as early as possible in advance, whenever I can, if there are any changes to the course or related materials
  • Always allow you to take photos of the whiteboard and to record lectures if you wish
  • Do whatever I can to ensure you leave this course with more skill than you had when you came into it

Instructional Methods

Course content will be delivered using a combination of lecture, discussion, problem-based learning, group work, projects, presentations, critiques, community-based learning, portfolios, etc. All work will be submitted using a GitHub repository. Use of GitHub and all other tools required for the course will be explained during class sessions. However, it will be up to the students to handle any and all installation on their respective computer. Of course, if you need help, it will be available!

Expected Workload

In accordance with the LMU Credit Hour Policy, this 4-unit course will require 12 hours of work per week, which includes the time spent in class and lab sessions. This is an average — some weeks may be more, some less, depending on how much debugging you must do on your homework assignments and other such tasks.

Textbooks and Resources

There is one required textbook for the course, which is/is not available in the LMU Bookstore:

There are three optional textbooks for this course, which are NOT for sale in the LMU Bookstore:

Although none of these are required, they are quite useful because they contain all the concepts that will be covered in the course. The first book is a golden oldie but in spite of the fact that it is somewhat dated, the concepts in it are fundamental, and they are presented clearly so you can understand them rather easily.

The other two books will be used for ancillary material. They are VERY good for you to have on your own programmer's bookshelf in some form, because they are full of lessons to help you write high-quality and easily maintained code.

WORD OF WARNING: There exist two different Lafore textbooks with the same name. Data Structures and Algorithms in Java is apparently a popular name. We will be using the book by Robert Lafore, NOT the book by Goodrich and Tamassia. The G&T book is very good, and it's in its 6th edition. However, the Lafore book is the one we will be using. Actually, either one will work for the concepts we'll be discovering…

THE BOOKS ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN THE LMU BOOKSTORE. They are available at many other fine retail outlets, both online and brick-and-mortar. We will be using them for homework assignments, general reading and information, as well as for tutorials both in and out of the classroom.

Although we won't be covering the books in their entirety for this class, we will be using them as primary or secondary resources.

There is also a large number of other resources which can be used to "mine the gold" for related information about data structures. The topic is a very broad field, which has been around for a very long time, and touches almost every aspect of compjuter science. Any google search on data structures will turn up at least ten million links. Many of these will be shared during class, and you will be required to find some information about specific topics on your own. You may even be required to use the LMU library, [GASP!!] so be prepared!

Lab Fees

There are no lab fees associated with this course.

General Course Topics Outline

A list of topics that are covered, and the approximate order and time frame in which they will be discussed, is available on the class notes page for this site.

Reading Assignments

Chapter readings from the text books and the dates by which these readings should be completed are listed below. Note that you should have read the chapter material prior to the first day of class of the week listed [except where noted], and you should be ready to discuss the text, ask questions about the concepts, and begin working with some of the implementations of the concepts in class. It is also a good idea to at least read (or preferably try) the exercises contained in [and at the end of] each chapter.

Here is the reading list:

  1. Week 1 [due Wed/Thu] [38 pages]:
    • Lafore book: all of chapter one
    • Bloch book: all of chapters one and two
  2. Week 2 [39 pages]:
    • Lafore book: all of chapter two EXCEPT the workshop applet sections
    • Bloch book: chapter 3, item 9, starts on page 42
    • Bloch book: chapter 3, item 11, starts on page 53
  3. Week 3 [66 pages]:
    • Lafore book: all of chapter four
    • Bloch book: chapter 4, item 12, starts on page 59
    • Bloch book: chapter 4, item 14, starts on page 71
  4. Week 4 [71 pages]:
    • Lafore book: all of chapter five
    • Bloch book: chapter 4, item 16, starts on page 84
    • Bloch book: chapter 4, item 17, starts on page 89
  5. Week 5 [35 pages]:
    • Lafore book: all of chapter three
    • Bloch book: chapter 6, item 23, starts on page 119
    • Bloch book: chapter 6, item 25, starts on page 126
  6. Week 6 [14 pages]:
    • Lafore book: re-read chapter two section on big-O notation
    • Bloch book: chapter 6, item 28, starts on page 136
    • Bloch book: chapter 7, item 29, starts on page 141
    • Bloch book: chapter 7, item 30, starts on page 145
  7. Week 7 [65 pages]:
    • Lafore book: all of chapter eight
    • Bloch book: chapter 7, item 38, starts on page 165
    • Bloch book: chapter 8, item 40, starts on page 172
    • Bloch book: chapter 8, item 42, starts on page 176
  8. Week 8 [31 pages]: Lafore book: all of chapter nine
  9. Week 9 [51 pages]: Lafore book: all of chapter ten
  10. Week 10 [31 pages]: Lafore book: all of chapter twelve
  11. >Week 11 [55 pages]: Lafore book: all of chapter eleven
  12. Week 12 [55 pages]: Lafore book: all of chapter thirteen

Homework Assignments

All written homework assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the date they are due. Deviation from this process requires prior consent of the instructor. Every effort is made to ensure assignments, required deliverables, and due dates are prominently posted on these pages; it is your responsibility to make sure you know what is due and when it is due.

You may certainly turn assignments in late; I will happily accept them, but they will be reduced in grade by one letter for each day they are late. Day means day, not workday or class day; an A+ homework due on Thursday which is not turned in until the following Tuesday will unfortunately only earn a failing grade, unless some prior arrangements are made with the instructor due to illness or some major schedule conflict. However, if you want to turn something in late, I'll still provide feedback even for assignments which have no chance of any credit; I keep this policy to allow you to get the learning benefit of the assignment even if you don't get a grade for it. My philosophy is that it is important for the students to know the material, even if an assignment doesn't get the best marks.

All assignments must use proper American English and/or Programming Language spelling and grammar. Failure to do so will cost you points on every assignment, so get a spell-checker and a grammar checker, or find a friend who is proficient to proofread your work before it is submitted.

Most of your work will be submitted using GitHub; however, any assignments which are to be printed out for submission must be printed on a printer.

Other than these simple rules, there are no requirements for formatting, fonts, colors, diagrams, or anything else with respect to your homework assignments, other than good code craftsperson-ship.

On assignments 1, 2, and 3, WORK BY YOURSELF. On assignments 4 and 5, WORK WITH A PARTNER. I can't stress this enough; part of this policy is don't split up the work – WORK TOGETHER on the assignment. This activity mimics an industry code development model called pair programming which is part of the Extreme Programming software development method. Feel free to collaborate in your pairs as much as you want, doing the entire assignment together.

Homework submissions will be done using GitHub. You will need to create a GitHub repository. Please use the naming convention and the directory structure as it is shown on the Week 01 web page in the Assignment Submission section.

There will be five homework assignments during the semester, due on the dates shown in the list below. Each assignment will contain several exercises to help give you experience with the concepts covered. Each of these assignments is detailed on a separate web page; they are available from the links below. Solutions will be provided after ALL the assignments are handed in. This policy provides a motivation for everyone to turn assignments in on time, since NO ONE gets the solutions until EVERYONE has submitted their work.

Homework submissions will be done using GitHub. You will need to make an account if you don't have one already, then create a repo under that account. Note that for homework 4 and homework 5, BOTH partners will need access to the repo so that you can both access it. Please make sure to include me as a contributor on your repo so that I can put evaluation results there.

Make sure the repo is a PRIVATE repo. I realize that this kind of flies in the face of the idea of "Open Source Culture"; however, the reason is that if the repo is public, I can't post updated evaluations since everyone will be able to see your results, which are Personally Identifiable Information [PII] and thus must be kept private.


  1. Homework #1 — Due date Wednesday of week 02 [2022-09-07]
  2. Homework #2 — Due date Wednesday of week 04 [2022-09-21]
  3. Homework #3 — Due date Wednesday of week 08 [2022-10-19]
  4. Homework #4 — Due date Wednesday of week 11 [2022-11-09]
  5. Homework #5 — Due date Wednesday of week 15 [2022-12-07]

There will also be weekly in-class exercises which serve to reinforce the week's concepts presented in class. They will be submitted in your repo in GitHub, but are only part of your class participation grade. they are an indication of your progress and understanding. They are practice drills, but are good for maintaining and improving your skills. Also, having access to your repo helps ME to help YOU ~ I can take a regular look to see how you are doing, and you can also commit code that is in process with which you need my help.

By the way, GitHub has no limit on storage. PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO COMMIT YOUR CODE! There is no harm in committing code frequently so you have a 'baseline' – this can be VERY handy!

Exams, Quizzes, Tests, and Projects

There will be two quizzes during the semester, scheduled for Wednesday of week 6 [2022-10-05] and Wednesday of week 12 [2022-11-16]. Note that they are interspersed with the homework assignments, such that there will not be any homework assignment due on a test date. Note that due to popular convention, the quizzes will be known as tests henceforth. Tests are cumulative.

There will be a final exam, which will be scheduled per the university's official exam schedule. Check the date and time on the schedule Final Exam schedule, which is easily available here. At this writing, the exam is scheduled for this section as follows:

Class Start TimeClass DaysExam Start TimeExam Day
13:45 PMMonday-Wednesday-Friday OR
Monday-Wednesday [that's YOU, Bill]
14:00 [2:00 PM]Monday

The final is a cumulative final, which covers everything for the entire semester.

Missed quizzes or tests: it is the responsibility of the student to provide adequate advance notice to the professor if a scheduled quiz or test is going to be missed. If you have a conflict in schedule which will cause a missed exam, please notify the professor at least two days in advance, if possible, to avoid a failing grade for that exam. Prior arrangements must be made in order for a make-up exam to be taken, since this situation requires the professor to create a second copy of the exam/quiz/test.

Use of Technology

You will need access to a computer of some variety.

…Well, Duh…

If you don't have a computer available, let me know and I will try to work with Masao to get something set up for you using a VPN to a computer in the Keck Lab on campus. You'll still be remote, but you'll have access to SOMETHING to work on. In the best of all possible worlds, we will all have super-duper computing engines to use, but we're obviously not there yet…

If we are in person, of course, you can simply GO to the Keck lab and use one of those amazing and wonderful computers there.

zoom on, bro

You should download and install the Java Software Development Kit [JDK] from the Oracle Java website. Downloads of the latest version at this writing [Java 17 or Java 18] are available for all platforms here.

You will also need to install and use some sort of text editor into which you can type your code in ASCII/Unicode text-only form. You cannot use a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Mac's TextEdit [unless you configure it properly] or other word-processing software which puts in special characters that the Java compiler won't recognize. Several possible free tools are available, such as the following:

You can certainly use Notepad [on Windows] or TextEdit [on Mac, if properly configured for plain text] to edit your source code, but it can be difficult to collaborate with these tools due to the lack of line numbers at the left margin. Also, there is no syntax coloring in those editors. On Mac, in the terminal window you can use the "vi" editor, but it takes some getting used to and is rather an "acquired taste".

Another helpful tool is a testing framework. While test code, or at least skeletons for test code, will be provided to you for some projects, there is a very nice free test framework called J-Unit that can help you a lot. It is available for free download from this site, which also has complete instructions for setup and use, and some sample code to help you make sure it works. After you have downloaded both files, follow the Getting Started instructions at this location.

Attendance and Participation

Students are expected to attend classes as part of the expected workload, as explained above. You should arrive on time to all course meetings, prepared to engage in the course content. Arriving late or leaving early disrupts the learning experience. You are expected to notify the instructor in advance whenever possible if you will miss a class or if you anticipate arriving late or leaving early. You are expected to participate in all class activities — participation in this course is measured by how much you engage in the content and the activities. Activities are provided to assist your learning and help your progress toward the final assignments. As such, no assignments are optional unless they are labeled as optional.

Obviously, if you skip too many classes, you will likely not do well in the course, since you will miss important parts of the material; this is a simple and self-fulfilling prophecy.

I want to emphasize that I care about your learning. As part of your learning process in this class, I would like to invite you to evaluate yourself and participate in your own assessment for the class. It is important to me to know how you are doing – for example, are you understanding the concepts, are you able to put them into real-life situations and examples, are you connecting and engaging with the material, are the explanations clear to you. That is part of why there are in-class exercises every week, to give you experience with the concepts for that week.

Another thing — part of your class participation is to do the weekly in-class exercises and upload them to your GitHub repository. You will need to create the repository in the form that is given on the week one page, so that I can find them. These submissions will *NOT* be a part of your course grade other than as part of your participation.

The class participation rubric appears with the grading stuff in the tables further down the page.

Extra Credit

There will be no extra credit given in this course.


Please review the Academic Degree Requirements and Policy information found here. Grades for the course are assigned according to the weighting factors shown in the tables below. Though it is uneven in its distribution, which [being OCD] I really dislike, your final letter grades will be assigned based on the following scale:

PercentLetterRating and Achievement
90 - 100% A / A- Professional quality work; outstanding
80 - 89% B+ / B / B- Entry-level quality work; above average, shows extra effort and interest
70 - 79% C+ / C / C- Satisfactory work; expected with reasonable effort
60 - 69% D Substandard work; minimal effort shown
59 or less F Thank you for playing; see you next semester

Evaluation ItemWeight
Homework [total, all 5]25%
Quiz #1 15%
Quiz #2 20%
Final Exam 30%
Class Participation 10%

Class Participation Criteria [Each Class Meeting]Value
Absent *without* prior notification/agreement of professor 0 pts
Absent *with* prior notification/agreement of professor OR 5 pts
Present in class, and hopefully:
Demonstrates excellent preparation from readings and other material.
Offers analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; puts together pieces of the
discussion to develop new approaches that take the class further.
Also, has in-class code checked in to proper classwork folder for the week.

Also of note…

An incomplete will be granted only when the requesting student has done at least 80% of the coursework, and has at least a B average in the course work completed. This policy is standard LMU policy.

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy:

Please read the policy in the University Bulletin.

NOTE: All work is evaluated for both technical merit and quality of written and/or oral presentation. Find yourself a good spelling and grammar checker, or a trusted human editor, if you are having any difficulty with the rules of standard English language usage. Another excellent resource is the Academic Resource Center [ARC], located on the south side of Daum Hall. The center takes appointments, and also allows drop-in consultation sessions, and they have a number of good benefits. Call (310) 338-2847 to schedule an appointment. [For those that don't know, Daum Hall is the building where the LMU Security and Parking office used to be, which is not the home of ITS. ARC is on the second floor.]

The ARC also provides student support in the form of University advising, writing support, tutoring services, and first-to-go support, as well as:

Another thing to remember is, your coding style is just as important a part of your assignment evaluations as correctly running code. I WILL NOT HESITATE to take points off for code that has hard-coded numbers, lack of proper comments, poorly aligned indenting, etc. EVEN IF THE CODE RUNS CORRECTLY! Further, let me re-state that code that does not compile will be not be evaluated and you will have to do it over to get any credit for the assignment. Remember that I compile and run your code from the command line so just because it works in your editor is not a guarantee that it will work for me. Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes.


In this class, documentation which is not of professional quality is no longer acceptable. Spelling, grammar, and internal document consistency all count and will cost you big-time if not correct! I will not hesitate to knock off a full letter grade on an otherwise perfectly correct assignment if there are egregious and/or numerous spelling/grammar errors. In addition, coding style will play a large part in determining the grade on the code for the homework and project. It is the job of each student to properly structure, comment, and indent, to select the proper names for variables, and to not hard-code values. NO MAGIC NUMBERS!



Course Evaluations

Student feedback on this course provides valuable information for continued improvement. All students are expected to fairly and thoughtfully complete a course evaluation for this course. All course evaluations for the Seaver College of Science and Engineering are administered online through the Blue evaluation system. You will receive several e-mail notifications at your Lion e-mail address when the evaluation form is available near the end of the term. You may also access the evaluation form on Brightspace during the evaluation period. A few minutes of class time will be reserved for you to complete a course evaluation near the end of the semester. Please bring a laptop, smart phone, tablet or other mobile device to class on this date so that you can access the online evaluation platform.

Academic Honesty and Integrity


General Statement

Loyola Marymount University is a community dedicated to academic excellence, student-centered education, and the Jesuit and Marymount traditions. As such, the University expects all members of its community to act with honesty and integrity at all times, especially in their academic work. Academic honesty respects the intellectual and creative work of others, flows from dedication and pride in performing one's own best work, and is essential if true learning is to take place. As an LMU Lion, by the Lion's Code, you are pledged to join the discourse of the academy with honesty of voice and integrity of scholarship.

Academic dishonesty will be treated as an extremely serious matter, with severe consequences that can range from receiving no credit for an assignment or test to failing the class, to expulsion.

  • It is never permissible to turn in any work that has been copied from another student or copied from a source [including the Internet] without properly acknowledging/citing the source.
  • It is never permissible to work on an assignment, exam, quiz or any project with another person unless your instructor has indicated so in the written instructions/guidelines.
  • It is your responsibility to make sure that your work meets the standard of academic honesty set forth in the Academic Honesty Policy found at: academics.lmu.edu/honesty/.

For an additional resource, see and the LMU Honor Code and Process found at: this link.

Unauthorized Access to or Alteration of Privileged and Proprietary Information:

Special Accommodations

The DSS Office offers resources to enable students with physical, learning, ADD/ADHD, psychiatric disabilities and those on the autism spectrum to achieve maximum independence while pursuing their educational goals. Staff specialists interact with all areas of the University to eliminate physical and attitudinal barriers. Students must provide documentation for their disability from an appropriate licensed professional. Services are offered to students who have established disabilities under state and federal laws. We also advise students, faculty and staff regarding disability issues. Students who need reasonable modifications, special assistance, academic accommodations or housing accommodations should direct their request to the DSS Office as soon as possible. All discussions will remain confidential.

The DSS Office is located on the 2nd floor of Daum Hall and may be reached by email at dsslmu@lmu.edu or phone at (310) 338-4216. Please visit http://www.lmu.edu/dss for additional information.

Students should also keep in mind that resources are available through the Library [https://library.lmu.edu] and Information Technology Services [https://its.lmu.edu]. The DSS Office can help students connect with the appropriate person at the Library and ITS.

Respect For Self And Others

As an LMU Lion, by the Lion's code, you are pledged to join the discourse of the academy with honesty of voice and integrity of scholarship and to show respect for staff, professors, and other students.

The following LMU documents are available to reference:

  • LMU's Community Standards, which defines prohibited conduct (section III):
    available for download at: Community Standards document]
  • The Lion's Code [see LMU's Community Standards at the link immediately above.]
  • The LMU Student Affairs brochure Disruptive and Threatening Student Behavior (Fall 2010), which states Disruptive behavior which is persistent or significantly interferes with classroom activities may be subject to disciplinary action. A student may be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs if their behavior constitutes a violation of the conduct code.

For more information on this or any other conduct issues, please refer to the Student Codes and Policies section in the Community Standards. The Lion's Code, Student Conduct Code, Honor Code and Process, and information on many other policies are available from that link. You can find any and all other related data from the Office of Student Conduct & Community Responsibility web page. Also check the main Student Affairs Department Website.

Expectations for Classroom Behavior

Electronic Devices: Pretty easy — please turn off your cell phone ringer during class time. That's it for me! However…

The official LMU language for this is:

Please turn off and put out of sight all electronic devices (other than those and when allowed) during class-time. The interruptions and/or distractions they cause disrupt class and interfere with the learning process. Even if you are not on video, it's distracting to you.

Expectations for Classroom Behavior in an Online Learning Environment

It is possible that we may need to transition to a hybrid or even fully online modality. If that happens, the following paragraphs will apply.

  1. Netiquette: In addition to LMU's Community Standards, The Lion's Code and Guidelines on LMU Student Classroom and Course-Related Behavior, students should adhere to Netiquette. Your instructor and fellow students need a safe, online learning environment. All opinions and experiences shared, no matter how controversial they may be perceived to be, must be respected in the spirit of academic discourse. You are encouraged to critique an idea but should not attack an individual. Working as a community of learners, we can build a respectful space for discourse. Below are some tips for good netiquette:
    • Listen actively: listen to understand, to learn, and to receive information.
    • Present ideas appropriately
      1. Avoid the use of offensive language
      2. Be aware of Internet Language. For example, do not capitalize all letters since this suggests shouting.
      3. Popular emoticons such as 😜 or 👍 can be helpful to convey your tone but don't overuse them
      4. Use an appropriate and respectful tone when communicating formally or informally.
    • As in a classroom-based session, engaging in private chat during remote class discussions and presentations is disruptive.
    • Do not work on other things during class attendance
    • It may be tempting to multitask during class, but this will impede your learning. Your full focus on the conversation and class materials is required.
    • Before posting your question to a discussion board, check if anyone has asked it already.
    • Don't post irrelevant links, comments, thoughts or pictures.
    • If you refer to something your classmate said earlier in the discussion, quote just a few key lines from their post so that others won't have to go back and figure out which post you're referring to.
    • Respect the opinion of your classmates. If you feel the need to disagree, do so respectfully and acknowledge the valid points in your classmate's argument.
    • Be willing to express dissent. There should be space for non-majority opinions.
    • Edit before you push the Send button.
    • Students are expected to attend class sessions without interruptions.
  2. Zoom Sessions:
    • Please keep your camera on.
    • Please keep your microphones muted until it is your turn to speak.
    • Please use the raise hand feature or use the chat if you have a question or comment.
    • Be an active participant in the breakout sessions.
    • All Zoom sessions will be recorded and put on Brightspace. Please review these if you are unable to attend or need to leave early.
  3. Safety and Privacy in the Remote Learning Environment:

    Students and faculty have a reasonable expectation for privacy in all learning spaces. Distance learning can involve the use of synchronous video conferencing, asynchronous recorded lectures, live and online discussions, as well as online forums. In these venues, privacy is a priority for a safe learning environment. See Lion's code.

    As a member of our online community, please follow these privacy guidelines:

    • Videos captured during class meetings should be used only to support student learning and to prepare students for effective learning.
    • Do not share screenshots or images from sessions.
    • Do not record any sessions with your own device; asynchronous classes will be posted in a secured page on Brightspace and may not be downloaded, manipulated, or distributed, or uploaded to a public page for any reason [unless with instructor permission].
    • Do not share class access information such as Zoom links etc.

Because of the nature of the class delivery method during remote zoom times we will also take a look at a document which will serve as a guide for everyone in the class. This Netiquette Document is published here and on the Brightspace site for this class. We will take a look at it during the first week of class and will work to make it agreeable to everyone involved.

Emergency Preparedness

Public Safety can be reached 24/7/365 at 310.338.2893 [or x222 from a campus phone]. In a life-threatening emergency, call 911 first and then call Public Safety if possible. To report an incident, call Public Safety, submit an e-report on the Public Safety website or via the Rave Guardian mobile app, or visit Public Safety in Foley Annex. Review evacuation information and other safety tips posted in each learning space. Make sure you're registered to receive emergency alerts – confirm your contact information in PROWL, and also download Rave Guardian in the Apple or Google Play store. For more information and emergency preparedness tips, visit https://publicsafety.lmu.edu.

To report an emergency or suspicious activity, contact the LMU Department of Public Safety by phone (x222 or 310-338-2893) or at the nearest emergency call box. In the event of an evacuation, follow the evacuation signage throughout the building to the designated safe refuge area where you will receive further instruction from Public Safety or a Building Captain.

For purposes of evacuating the Doolan Hall or Pereira buildings, our safe area is the sunken gardens. There will be people to guide you.

For more safety information and preparedness tips, visit http://www.lmu.edu/emergency.

Office Hours / Communication / Contact Information

Office hours are listed at the top of this syllabus page. I will make every effort to be available during those hours, and if I cannot for some emergency reason, I'll make sure you all know about it in advance if possible. Since we are, for the present, back in person on campus, my office hours will be held IN MY OFFICE!!! HUZZAH!!!

I am also always available by e-mail at: my LMU mail address

There is a class slack channel on the LMUCS workspace, named cmsi-284_spring2021. I post to that channel with information at times, and it's a good place to ask/answer questions. It won't hurt you to join! You can also DM me in that workspace with questions or just to chat.

Beginning in Fall 2020, the LMU CS department is trying a new communication method using Discord for our virtual office hours, and as a virtual Keck Lab environment. Feel free to join up there as well, and post there with your colleagues in the department! Although I don't use that tool for office meeting, I do join in often, and there is ALWAYS someone there to hang out with.


YOU MUST CHECK YOUR LION EMAIL ADDRESS OF RECORD. I will start the semester's communications by sending all email blasts to everyone's lion.lmu.edu email address, which is known as your address of record. If you specifically provide me with a preferred alternative email to use I will be happy to oblige. I create a distribution list to which I send all general communications in addition to the slack channel, so it is important for me to have an email address which you will check on a regular basis.

Tentative Nature of the Syllabus

If necessary, this syllabus and its contents are subject to revision. Students are responsible for any changes or modifications announced or distributed in class, emailed to students' LMU Lion accounts or posted on LMU's course management system, Brightspace. If you are absent from an in-person or online class meeting, it is your responsibility to check Brightspace [and/or the course website] and to check with the professor to see if you missed any important class announcements. Students should not rely on word-of-mouth from classmates.