Course Outline

Course: EECS 1011 3.0 Introduction to Computer Science II
Course Webpage: and
Term: Fall 2015

The objectives of this course are threefold: providing a first exposure to procedural programming, teaching students a set of soft computing skills (such as reasoning about algorithms, tracing programs, test-driven development), and demonstrating how computers are used in a variety of engineering disciplines. It uses problem based pedagogy to expose the underlying concepts and an experiential laboratory to implement them. An integrated computing environment (such as MATLAB) is used so that students can pick up key programming concepts (such as variables and control flow) without being exposed to complex or abstract constructs. The problems are chosen in consultation with the various engineering disciplines in the Faculty with a view of exposing how computing is used in these disciplines. The lectures (two hours weekly) are supplemented by a three-hour weekly lab.

Prerequisites: None
Course Credit Exclusions: EECS1541 3.0

Course Instructors

Instructor: James Andrew Smith, PEng.
Office: Lassonde Building, office 2006
Office hours: M 11:30 - 12:30 (LAS 2006), F 10:30 - 11:30 (ACW 206)

Instructor: Steven Castellucci
Office: Lassonde Building, office 3048
Office hours: M 13:00 - 14:00

Time and Location

Section E

Lectures: Accolade West 206, Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30
Lab01: William Small Centre 106, Mondays 14:30 - 17:30
Lab02: William Small Centre 106, Thursdays 14:30 - 17:30
Lab03: William Small Centre 106, Fridays 14:30 - 17:30
Lab04: William Small Centre 106, Tuesdays 13:00 - 16:00
Lab05: William Small Centre 106, Wednesdays 16:30 - 19:30
Lab06: William Small Centre 106, Wednesdays 19:30 - 22:30

Section Z

Lectures: Lassonde Building B, Thursdays, 19:00 - 21:00
Lab01: William Small Centre 106, Mondays 17:30 - 20:30
Lab02: William Small Centre 106, Tuesdays 16:00 - 19:00
Lab03: William Small Centre 106, Fridays 17:30 - 20:30
Lab04: William Small Centre 106, Tuesdays 19:00 - 22:00

Main Topics

  1. The Computing Environment: Workspace, built-in commands, the debugger, unit testing, plots, etc.
  2. Variables and Expressions: Types, operators, precedence, round-off errors
  3. Control Structures: Selection and Iteration
  4. Encapsulation: Script files and functions
  5. Computational Thinking: Process-based problem solving, unit tests as specification

Soft Computing Skills

  1. Reasoning about algorithms
  2. Tracing a program
  3. Test-driven development


  1. General science and mathematics
  2. Engineering applications derived for the various engineering programs in the Faculty.

Learning Objectives for the Course

By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  1. Use a set of soft computing skills such as reasoning about algorithms, tracing programs, and test-driven development for programming applications.
  2. Explain and apply the fundamental constructs in procedural programming, including variables and expressions, control structures (conditionals/loops), and documentation.
  3. Write simple programs using functions defined in m-files.
  4. Use the computing environment to implement/simulate selected applications from science, math, and engineering.

Course Text

MATLAB: A Practical Introduction by Stormy Attaway. Available to students as an ebook for free from the York University Library.


The final grade of the course will be based on the items below, with the weights indicated. The weights will not be adjusted, except to accommodate missed tests as outlined below. In addition, no "extra credit" assignments will be provided. A request to re-grade a test submission must be provided to the specified TA within one week of receiving the original grade. The mark for a lab is contingent upon completing the corresponding pre-lab exercises before the lab session. Failure to do so will result in a mark of zero (0) for that lab, regardless of the quality of the work submitted for grading.
Labs 8x3% 24%
Lab Tests 2x13% 26%
Quizzes 5x4%20%
Midterm 10%

Grading: The final grade for the course is obtained by combining the scores of the tests and converting this total to a letter grade according to the following table.
≥ 90≥ 80≥ 75≥ 70≥ 65≥ 60≥ 55≥ 50≥ 40< 40

Missed labs and tests: Students with a documented reason for missing a lab or test, such as illness, compasionate grounds, etc., will have the weight of the missed component shifted. For missed labs, the weight will be transferred to the next lab test. For missed lab tests or in-class tests, the weight will be transferred to the next lab test or in-class test, respectively. If there are no more tests in the term, the weight will be shifted to the final exam.

The only accepted documentation for missing a lab or test due to illness is a completed Attending Physician's Statement. However, once a student begins writing a test, the weight of that test will not be shifted for any reason. Thus, if a student is not feeling well, it is recommended that the student not attend the test, seek the advice of a physician, and submit a completed Attending Physician's Statement to the instructor as soon as possible.

Academic Honesty

During tests, students are expected to do their own work. Looking at someone else's work during the test, talking during the test, using aids not permitted (such as a phone) during the test, and impersonation are all examples of academically dishonest behaviour. Students are expected to read the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty.

Additional Information

Academic Integrity: There is an academic integrity website with comprehensive information about academic honesty and how to find resources at York to help improve students' research and writing skills, and cope with University life. Students are expected to review the materials on the Academic Integrity website.

Access/Disability: York University is committed to principles of respect, inclusion and equality of all persons with disabilities across campus. The University provides services for students with disabilities (including physical, medical, learning and psychiatric disabilities) needing accommodation related to teaching and evaluation methods/materials. These services are made available to students in all Faculties and programs at York University.

Students in need of these services are asked to register with disability services as early as possible to ensure that appropriate academic accommodation can be provided with advance notice. You are encouraged to schedule a time early in the term to meet with each professor to discuss your accommodation needs. Please note that registering with disabilities services and discussing your needs with your professors is necessary to avoid any impediment to receiving the necessary academic accommodations to meet your needs.

Additional information is available at the following websites:

Religious Observance Accommodation: York University is committed to respecting the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the community, and making accommodations for observances of special significance to adherents. Should any of the dates specified in this syllabus for an in-class test or examination pose such a conflict for you, contact the course director within the first three weeks of class. Similarly, should an assignment to be completed in a lab, practicum placement, workshop, etc., scheduled later in the term pose such a conflict, contact the course director immediately. Please note that to arrange an alternative date or time for an examination scheduled in the formal examination periods (December and April/May), students must complete an Examination Accommodation Form, which can be obtained from Student Client Services, Student Services Centre or online.

Student Conduct in Academic Situations: Students and instructors are expected to maintain a professional relationship characterized by courtesy and mutual respect. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the instructor to maintain an appropriate academic atmosphere in the classroom and other academic settings, and the responsibility of the student to cooperate in that endeavour. Further, the instructor is the best person to decide, in the first instance, whether such an atmosphere is present in the class. The policy and procedures governing disruptive and/or harassing behaviour by students in academic situations is available online.