Course Information
Section 501/701 Wed. 06:00 to 08:50 Instructor: Prof. David E. Breen Room: Korman 117

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Course Description, Goals, and Objectives

Description from Catalog:
Fundamentals of structured and object-oriented programming in the language of instruction (e.g., C++). Topics include: variables, input and output, expressions, assignment statements, conditionals and branching, subprograms, parameter passing, repetition, arrays, classes, object instantiation, and message passing.

This course is the first in a two-term sequence of computer programming courses in C++ (CS 171-2) and is a required course for students majoring in computer science, mathematics, physics, information systems, and digital media. It is also a required course for students pursuing a minor in computer science. The goal is for students completing this sequence to be competent programmers, able to write working C++ program on their own using appropriate constructs when presented with a problem description.

An alternate two-term sequence (CS 132-3) covers the same material as CS 171 (and more) at a slower pace.

Students completing this course should be able to:

Students who earn a grade of "D" in this course are advised to take CS 132 (Computer Programming B) rather than CS172 (Computer Programming II) for their next programming course.



While there are no formal prerequisites for the course, students are expected to be computer literate. Prior programming experience (such as that gained in CS164/SE 101: Introduction to Computer Science/Software Engineering or CS 130: Programming Concepts with 3D Animation or PHYS 160: Introduction to Scientific Computing) is not required, but is definitely helpful.

Students who earned a "D" or lower in CS164/SE 101 (Introduction to Computer Science/Software Engineering) are advised to enroll in CS 131 (Computer Programming A) instead of CS 171.



Big C++, 2nd Edition
Cay Horstmann, Timothy A. Budd
Wiley Publishing Company, 2009
ISBN 978-0-470-38328-5

List Price: $123.00

Available at the Drexel Bookstore (

Software & Hardware Requirements

All Drexel students are required to have individual access to a dedicated microcomputer which meets minimum specifications, including: processor speed, memory and secondary storage requirements, connectivity via modem, high-speed or direct connection to campus network, and a CD-ROM drive. Please see for further information.

The official compiler used for this course is Microsoft Visual C++ .NET 2008 . This compiler runs under the Windows operating system only. Students using other operating systems are responsible for ensuring that programs they write will compile and run properly with Visual C++.

Drexel students may download a copy of Visual C++/Visual Studio .NET 2008 from IRT by following the links for VS 2008 at . NOTE: This is a large download, approximately 2.9 Gb.

Drexel students with insufficient Internet access to download such a large file may arrange to obtain a CD copy of the compiler through the Computer Science Department's license with Microsoft Academic Alliance. Do this as soon as possible, in order to allow sufficient time to complete assignments.

Microsoft Visual C++ .NET 2008
Microsoft Corporation

This course is operating with the Blackboard Course Management System (also referred to as Bb Vista or WebCT), which allows electronic submission of assignments, quizzes, and lab exercises, along with online chat sessions and threaded discussion groups. Instructions on usage of Blackboard will be given in the first assignment and lab exercise. You can access the Blackboard course website by visiting the and logging in using your Drexel userid and Bannerweb PIN. Further help is available at the login page.

Browser Compatibility:

Usage of Blackboard requires a web browser. The Blackboard system does not work well with out of date or "non-standard" browsers. The site also makes use of JavaScript, Java, and pop-up windows, so you will need to enable JavaScript and Java, and disable pop-up blockers in order to use the site properly. If this presents you with difficulty, we recommend creating a separate user account on your machine with these settings, and using it for Blackboard interaction.