York University

EECS 1520 3.0 — Computer Use: Fundamentals

Winter 2016


Lecture Schedule

Course Outline



York University

Course Outline

Section Website Days Time Room Instructor
N website TR 14:30 - 16:00 LAS B John Hofbauer
P website TR 10:00 - 11:30 SLH A John Hofbauer
R Moodle MF
10:30 - 11:30 SLH F
Ali Hooshyar
S Moodle T 19:00 - 22:00 LAS C Ali Hooshyar
T Moodle MWF 12:30 - 13:30 LAS C Ali Hooshyar
Instructor Office Phone Ext. Office Hours E-mail Address
John Hofbauer LAS 2016 70125 TBA hofbauer@cse.yorku.ca
Ali Hooshyar LAS 1012A 33939 T 17:00 - 18:00 hooshyar@cse.yorku.ca


  • Develop a basic understanding of computer science and computer systems and their applications through direct experience with using a computer system and through the reading of a comprehensive text.
  • Develop skills with using common applications such as a spreadsheet, a database, communications tools such as e-mail, and information retrieval.
  • Develop and strengthen general problem solving skills and logical thinking through the use of computer tools.

Available Help

If you are having problems there are various ways to obtain help:

  • Ask questions in class! Your instructor will frequently signal opportunities for questions. Take advantage of these.
  • Your instructor holds office hours. Please take advantage of the opportunity.
  • Your instructor will also respond to e-mail questions at times other than office hours, although the reply might come after a short delay. While e-mail is a reliable way to contact your instructor, it is NOT a substitute for attendance. Please don’t embarrass yourself by asking questions that were answered in lecture. When corresponding about course matters always use your YORKU mail account.


The following textbook is available at the York Bookstore:

Computer Science Illuminated, Nell Dale and John Lewis (6th ed., Jones and Bartlett Pub., 2015, ISBN: 978-1-2840-5591-7)

Any edition of the textbook from the 2nd onwards can be used, but it is your responsibility to compare it to the 6th edition for any changes. One place to find cheap older editions is Amazon.ca.

A recommended textbook for the course is D is for Digital, written by Brian Kernighan.

The Glade Manual will also be used, and is available on this website for free.

Assessment and Grading

Tests - (maximum 35%)

Graded items of work provide instructors with a measure of how well students are learning the course material and they provide the students themselves with that same feedback. Such measures are relative to the expectations of the instructor and conceivably have little correlation with the amount of time a student spends doing the course work. The measures do correlate with the quality of the learning that the student has achieved - in fact they attempt to measure it. Individual students may take more or less time than other students to reach the same standard of learning. Individual students may feel they do not need feedback on their learning at certain stages of the course.

Ultimately, students themselves bear sole responsibility for the standard of learning they achieve. Assessment has little effect on learning except in as much as the feedback may allow the student to take corrective action.

Course assessment is therefore deliberately flexible. The only absolutely required measure of your learning achievement is the final exam. If you opt out of other assessment measures the final exam will then be worth 100%. The weighting of the final exam will be reduced by the weighting of whatever other assessment measures you choose to participate in. If you participate in all other assessment measures (two tests and all homework assignments) the final exam will be worth 47%.

Even if you participate in other assessment measures you may feel that because the feedback has allowed you to improve you do not want the earlier measures included in the calculation of your final grade (because you have improved, the earlier "bad" marks do not represent the state of your learning). You may choose to ask that either or both of your test marks be ignored and the percentage transferred to the final exam. You must ask for this in writing by filling out a Test Grade Annulment Form. Follow the instructions on the form as to when and where it is to be submitted. We ask you to wait until after the second test is returned as it is intended to cover both tests.

The course is too large for us to provide make-up tests for the purpose of contributing to the final grade.  NO MAKE-UP TESTS will be held. You will be deemed to have opted out of any tests you miss, for whatever reason.

Each test is based on the lecture topics and lab work preceding it in the Lecture Schedule.

Test 1


Test 2


Homework - (maximum 18%)

Homework submissions due dates are not extensible.
Submissions are due before the marker clears the drop boxes located in the main floor of LAS (the Lassonde bldg, formerly known as CSEB, the Computer Science and Engineering bldg) – as listed in the Lecture Schedule.
Any submissions received after the initial pickup will be deemed late and will not be graded.

Each Homework assignment from #1 to #9 is worth 2%

9 @ 2%

Final Exam

The final exam will be weighted between 100% and 47% depending on participation in other assessment. The final exam is held during the University examination period. The date of the final exam is not known until the official University examination schedule is published.

It is your responsibility to find out when and where the exam is held and be present at the exam.

No agreement will be given for deferred standing for reasons of travel plans.

Appeal procedures

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering expects a student's disagreement with the evaluation of an item of course work (assignment, report, class test, non-final examination, etc.) to be settled with the instructor informally, amicably, and expeditiously. With respect to a formal appeal there are different procedures for course work and for final examinations and final grades. Of necessity a formal appeal must involve only written work.

Course Work:

  • An appeal against a grade assigned to an item of course work must be made to your instructor within 7 days of the grade being made available.

Final Exams and Final Grades:

An appeal for reappraisal of a final exam, or recalculation of the final grade, must be made in writing on a standard departmental form to the Office of the Undergraduate Director (LAS 1012M) within 21 days of receiving official notification of the grade. Note that valid reasons pertaining to the marking of the final exam or calculation of the final grade must be presented.

  • The department Petitions Committee will consider the appeal. If the committee supports the appeal a second reader for the examination will be selected and the examination remarked. The mark may increase, decrease, or remain the same.
  • The department Petitions Committee will consider the report of the second examiner and recommend a final grade, which might be higher, lower, or the same as the original.

The student and the Office of Student Programmes will receive the report of the Petitions Committee. The decision can only be appealed to the Executive Committee of the Faculty on procedural grounds.