CIS 505/705, (Introduction to) Programming Languages, Fall 2018

Classes: MWF, 8:30-9:20am, in Durland 1107.

Course Communication:

Instructor: Torben Amtoft

Teaching Assistants:


Prerequisites: Students are expected to have the following background:

Expected Outcome: Students should know and understand important concepts involved in the design and implementation of programming languages.

Course Structure and Grading:
While these will mostly be lectures, they will often contain quizzes.

We will be using the Top Hat classroom response system in class. You will be able to submit answers to in-class questions using Apple or Android smartphones, tablets, laptops, or through text messages.
You can visit the Top Hat Overview ( within the Top Hat Success Center which provides a brief overview to get you up and running on the system.

You should have received an invitation by email, but otherwise you can register by visiting our course website: Note: our Course Join Code is 781220
Top Hat may require a paid subscription, and a full breakdown of all subscription options available can be found here:
Should you require assistance with Top Hat at any time, please contact their Support Team directly by email (, the in app support button, or by calling 1-888-663-5491.

Programming Assignments
Over the semester there will be some
which are major exercises; there will be around 5 such
which are minor exercises, given regularly.
Assignments that are late will be graded but, unless in case of documented medical or family emergencies, with 20% of the score subtracted for each day (10% if submitted less than 12 hours after deadline).
There will be a final exam (following the general K-State schedule), and also two midterms (scheduled for September 26 and October 31).
Graduate work
CIS705 students are supposed to do a bit of extra work (perhaps reading and summarizing a research paper) towards the end of the semester so as to merit graduate credit.
Final letter grades are based on the projects (35%), labs (15%), exam scores (40%), and in-class quizzes (10%). Letter grades are not fixed to 90-80-70% or 80-60-40% cutoffs but are "curved" by taking into account the difficulty of the coursework. If you want an indication of your performance you may compare to the class average (available on K-State Online). In general, my approach to grading is expressed well by this piece by S.A. Miller.

Statement Regarding Academic Honesty
Kansas State University has an Honor and Integrity System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance that, in academic matters, one's work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance. Undergraduate and graduate students, by registration, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Honor and Integrity System. The policies and procedures of the Honor and Integrity System apply to all full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses on-campus, off-campus, and via distance learning. The Honor and Integrity System website can be reached via the following URL: A component vital to the Honor and Integrity System is the inclusion of the Honor Pledge which applies to all assignments, examinations, or other course work undertaken by students. The Honor Pledge is implied, whether or not it is stated: "On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work." A grade of XF can result from a breach of academic honesty. The F indicates failure in the course; the X indicates the reason is an Honor Pledge violation.

You are very welcome to discuss the course material, as well as specific questions, with your fellow students. However, all submitted answers must be your own work: you are not allowed to show your answers to anyone else, or look at the answers of any other student; neither are you allowed to consult previous model solutions that may be around, or solicit the Internet for solutions to specific homework problems.
If you have been allowed to work on a team, then of course you are allowed to share your answers with your partner(s). Still, each of you is responsible for, and should be able to explain, all parts of the submission.

If you are in doubt about what is permissible, please ask me. I very much hope that it will not be necessary to file any honor pledge violation reports during the semester!

Statement Regarding Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who need classroom accommodations, access to technology, or information about emergency building/campus evacuation processes should contact the Student Access Center and/or their instructor. Services are available to students with a wide range of disabilities including, but not limited to, physical disabilities, medical conditions, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, depression, and anxiety. If you are a student enrolled in campus/online courses through the Manhattan or Olathe campuses, contact the Student Access Center at, 785-532-6441.

Statement Defining Expectations for Classroom Conduct
All student activities in the University, including this course, are governed by the Student Judicial Conduct Code as outlined in the Student Governing Association By Laws, Student Governing Association By Laws, Article V, Section 3, number 2. Students who engage in behavior that disrupts the learning environment may be asked to leave the class.

Statement for Copyright Notification
Copyright 2018 (Torben Amtoft) as to this syllabus and all lectures. During this course students are prohibited from selling notes to or being paid for taking notes by any person or commercial firm without the express written permission of the professor teaching this course. In addition, students in this class are not authorized to provide class notes or other class-related materials to any other person or entity, other than sharing them directly with another student taking the class for purposes of studying, without prior written permission from the professor teaching this course.

Acknowledgment: Much of this syllabus is adapted from the course taught by David Schmidt.

Torben Amtoft