Principles of Software Construction Objects, Design, and Concurrency


Software engineers today are less likely to design data structures and algorithms from scratch and more likely to build systems from library and framework components. In this course, students engage with concepts related to the construction of software systems at scale, building on their understanding of the basic building blocks of data structures, algorithms, program structures, and computer structures. The course covers technical topics in four areas: (1) concepts of design for complex systems, (2) object oriented programming, (3) static and dynamic analysis for programs, and (4) concurrent and distributed software. Student assignments involve engagement with complex software such as distributed massively multi-player game systems and frameworks for graphical user interaction.

After completing this course, students will:


Tu/Th noon - 1:20 p.m. in Wean 7500

Professor Charlie Garrod
WEH 5101
Professor Michael Hilton
WEH 5122

Both instructors have an open door policy: If either of the instructors' office doors are open and no-one else is meeting with us, we are happy to answer any course-related questions. For appointments, email the instructors.

Course Syllabus and Policies

The syllabus covers course overview and objectives, evaluation, time management, recommended books, late work policy, and collaboration policy.

Learning Goals

The learning goals describe what we want students to know or be able to do by the end of the semester. We evaluate whether learning goals have been achieved through assignments and exams.

Course Calendar


We are expecting several changes to the course this semester. The schedule below is a draft based on previous instances of the course and is likely to change.

Date Topic Reading assignments* Assignments due*
Tue, Aug 29 Course introduction and course infrastructure
Wed, Aug 30 rec 1 Introduction to course infrastructure
Thu, Aug 31 Design for change: Subtype polymorphism, information hiding, contracts Optional: Java Precisely (e.g., Sec. 4, 9, 10, 22)
Tue, Sep 5 Introduction to Java, and unit testing Effective Java, Items 13 and 14
Wed, Sep 6 rec 2 Unit testing, continuous integration
Thu, Sep 7 Behavioral subtyping Optional: Effective Java, Items 8, 9, 56; UML and Patterns, Ch. 16 hw1 Intro to OO and course infrastructure
Tue, Sep 12 Design for reuse: Delegation and inheritance Effective Java, Items 15 and 39
Wed, Sep 13 rec 3 Behavioral subtyping
Thu, Sep 14 Introduction to design patterns, and design patterns for reuse Optional: Effective Java, Items 16, 17, and 18 hw2 Polymorphism, unit testing
Tue, Sep 19 Design patterns for reuse, continued UML and Patterns, Ch. 9 and 10
Wed, Sep 20 rec 4 Inheritance and delegation
Thu, Sep 21 Object-oriented analysis: Modeling a problem domain Optional: UML and Patterns, Ch. 17; Effective Java, Item 38, 43, and 57 hw3 Inheritance and delegation
Tue, Sep 26 Responsibility assignment UML and Patterns, Ch. 14, 15, and 16
Wed, Sep 27 rec 5 Design process
Thu, Sep 28 Midterm exam 1
Tue, Oct 3 Analysis
Wed, Oct 4 rec 6 Design patterns
Thu, Oct 5 Introduction to Concurrency and GUIs hw4a Designing complex software
Tue, Oct 10 Design case study: Java Swing UML and Patterns, Ch. 26.1 and 26.4
Wed, Oct 11 rec 7 Introduction to GUIs
Thu, Oct 12 Design case study: Java Collections & I/O Optional: Effective Java, Item 1
Tue, Oct 17 Performance Effective Java, Items 5, 6, and 51
Wed, Oct 18 rec 8 GUIs++
Thu, Oct 19 Design for large-scale reuse: Libraries & frameworks hw4b Design to implementation
Tue, Oct 24 Designing APIs Effective Java, Items 40, 48, 50, and 52
Wed, Oct 25 rec 9 Frameworks
Thu, Oct 26 Designing APIs, continued Optional: Effective Java, Items 41 and 42 hw4c GUI implementation
Tue, Oct 31 Concurrency: Java Primitives
Wed, Nov 1 rec 10 Git and Github++
Thu, Nov 2 Midterm exam 2
Tue, Nov 7 Concurrency: Safety Java Concurrency in Practice, Ch. 11.3 and 11.4 hw5a Framework design
Wed, Nov 8 rec 11 Framework presentations
Thu, Nov 9 Concurrency: Structuring applications
Tue, Nov 14 Concurrency: Parallelizing algorithms and Actors Java Concurrency in Practice, Ch. 10 hw5b Framework and plugin implementation
Wed, Nov 15 rec 12 Concurrency
Thu, Nov 16 Concurrency: Testing and analysis
Tue, Nov 21 TBD Java Concurrency in Practice, Ch. 12 hw5c Plugins for others' frameworks
Wed, Nov 22 No recitation: Thanskgiving
Thu, Nov 23 No lecture: Thanksgiving
Tue, Nov 28 More design patterns
Wed, Nov 29 rec 13 Executor Services
Thu, Nov 30 Toward software engineering in practice (incl. teams and process)
Tue, Dec 5 Developer tools and devops
Wed, Dec 6 rec 14 Java Streams
Thu, Dec 7 Developer tools and devops 2 hw6 Concurrency/distributed systems
TBD Final exam (date and time TBD)
* = For details, see assignment on Piazza or your Github repository.

Our final exam may be as late as Sunday, December 17th, and we do not schedule make-up exams before the officially-scheduled exam time. If you must schedule travel before the final exam schedule is published, please do not plan to leave campus until at least Monday, December 18th.