Frequently Needed Information

Make sure you're logged into your CMU Google account to access these:

Meeting Times

Lecture 1Kelly Rivers (krivers)MWF 3:20-4:10pm ESTZoom
Lecture 2Kelly Rivers (krivers)MWF 4:30-5:20pm ESTZoom
Recitation A/H-RemoteNeha (npc) and Tara (tarap)R 9:10-10:00am ESTZoom
Recitation B/I-RemoteDiaj (dtoussai) and Enock (emaburi)R 10:30-11:20am ESTZoom
Recitation C-RemoteClaudia (cosorio)R 11:40-12:30pm ESTZoom
Recitation D/J-RemoteLaura (lkoye) and Meghan (mamcgraw)R 12:50-1:40pm ESTZoom
Recitation E/K-RemoteAmit (amitnag)R 2:10-3:00pm ESTZoom
Recitation F-RemoteAmit (amitnag) and Neeraj (neerajsa)R 3:20-4:10pm ESTZoom
Recitation G/L-RemoteAnagha (asrikuma) and Mahima (mshanwar)R 5:50-6:40pm ESTZoom
International RecitationRachel (rachelt1)R 10-10:50pm ESTZoom
Recitation A/H-InPersonLauren (leheller) and Sarah (sstaplet)R 9:10-10:00am ESTGHC 4307
Recitation D/J-InPersonFrank (frankh)R 12:50-1:40pm ESTNSH 3305
Recitation E/K-InPerson-1Abhi (adevarap)R 2:10-3:00pm ESTNSH 3305
Recitation E/K-InPerson-2Nazanin (nazimi)R 2:10-3:00pm ESTWEH 5403
Recitation G/L-InPersonIris (ilu1)R 5:50-6:40pm ESTWEH 5403

Office Hours

All students are encouraged to use office hours to learn and receive help on homework assignments! To attend OH, go to the OH Queue, start a Zoom call, and join the queue with a link to your Zoom call in the message.

TA Hours5-8pm9-10am, 5-8pm, 10-11pm10-11pm9-10am, 5-8pm5-7pm12-5pm, 10-11pm2-7pm, 10-11pm
Instructor Hours10-11am1-2pm3-4pm11:30am-12:30pm
Drop-in Tutoring8:30pm-11pm8:30pm-11pm


The course schedule is available here.

Zoom links for all group course activities are available here. You must be logged into your CMU Google account to access this page.


Give post-lecture and general course feedback here:

Give post-recitation feedback here:


Final Grades are computed as follows:
Midsemester and Final grades will be assigned using a standard scale:

Who To Contact

Contact your Recitation TA(s) for the following: small group session scheduling, additional help

Contact the Head TAs for the following: grading concerns, TA feedback, submission issues

Contact the Professors for the following: extension requests, lecture/homework issues, academic integrity concerns, general course concerns

Course Components

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:


Learning is accomplished through four types of assessments: exercises, check-ins, homeworks, and quizzes.

Exercises: short (1-3 problem) Gradescope online assessments released with each lecture. Assesses whether the student has introductory knowledge of the lecture's content (have you started learning the material, by attending class or reviewing on your own). Can be retaken as many times as necessary until the desired score is reached. Check-ins: short assignments that cover the material learned in the previous week. Usually composed of a written part and a programming part. These assignments can be completed collaboratively, but you must write up the solutions yourself; see more information in the Collaboration section. Written assignments can be completed by printing the assignment, writing answers by hand, and scanning the result; alternatively, you can type answers in the fillable PDF electronically by using Adobe Reader (Windows/Macs), Preview (Macs), or Microsoft Edge (Windows). Programming assignments can be completed by editing the starter file in an IDE. Both parts should be submitted to Gradescope for grading and feedback. Homeworks: like check-ins in format, but longer and covering material both from the previous week and from the preceeding check-in's week (if there is a preceeding check-in). Quizzes: medium (4-6 problem) Gradescope online assessments Canvas quizzes released on specified days, usually a week after a homework deadline. Covers material from the homework and check-in that preceeded it. Must be taken individually, not collaboratively. Must be taken using Gradescope's Canvas's LockDown Browser functionality. Students may use notes (printed or accessed via slides on the course website) during quizzes. Students will also be able to access the course Piazza, where they can ask private clarification questions related to the quiz. There will also be a final exam, which will take place during the university's final exam period. This will cover material from the entire semester.


Course Website: contains the syllabus, schedule, assignments, and links to all materials. Everything you need for the course can be accessed here.

Class Sessions: this is where you learn the course material. Attendance is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged. Gradescope: exercises and assignments are submitted here, and assessments are taken here. Programming assignments are usually autograded; refresh the submission page after submitting to see your score (you may resubmit as many times as you want). Feedback is also visible for both written and programming assignments once manual grading has been done. To view your feedback, open your assignment in Gradescope, then click on the question name on the right sidebar that you want to see feedback for. Note that all rubric items are displayed; the rubric items applied to your submission should be highlighted.

Piazza: announcements will be made via Piazza, and it will be used for discussion and questions as well. Visit it frequently or set your preferences to send you an email whenever an announcement is made. This is also a good place to ask short questions (TAs monitor it daily) and to review general questions asked by other students. Please follow these etiquette guidelines when posting on Piazza: OH Queue: the OH Queue is used to facilitate office hours, where you can ask questions and receive help. You can post a question or request for help on the queue once it is opened, and a TA will contact you when it is your turn. Note that TAs may be limited in the amount of time they can spend with you if the queue is long. There are two different forms of office hours: Canvas: lecture recordings are posted on Pages, and grades are posted in the gradebook. Assessments are also taken here using LockDown Browser.

Drop-in Tutoring: this is a service available through the Student Academic Success Center. This tutoring program is separate from the in-course resources. Tutoring is available on Zoom (register to receive the link here) on Sundays and Tuesdays 8:30-11pm.

Course Materials

Note that this course does not have a required textbook; all course materials will be posted online.

Required Software

Every required software package we use is available for free on the web, and also installed on all cluster computers in GHC. This includes:

Optional Resources

None of these resources are required; however, they may be useful if you want additional practice.

Course Policies

In-person and Remote Interaction

Learning in a pandemic requires different interactions from what we're all used to. To help make sure that everyone feels safe and welcomed in the classroom environment, we require that all people involved in 15-110 (students, TAs, and instructors) follow these guidelines.

In-person Interaction Zoom Interaction

Late Policy

Exercises, check-ins, and homeworks all have two deadlines: the normal deadline and the revision deadline. The normal deadline is when you should complete the activity for maximal pedagogical benefit, and a maximal score. The course staff will generally grade assignments and release feedback once the normal deadline has passed. If you made mistakes on the assignment, you may read the feedback, fix the mistakes, and resubmit up until the revision deadline. Assignments submitted after the regular deadline are capped at a score of 90 points; in other words, if you get a 90 or above on an assignment, there is no reason to resubmit (though we still encourage you to read your feedback and make corrections to your local assignment).

If you fail to complete the assignment by the regular deadline, you may also submit for the first time at any point up until the revision deadline, again with the score capped at 90 points. The course staff will attempt to grade your submission as quickly as possible so that you have the opportunity to revise and resubmit if needed. All assignments will be graded by noon EST on the day after the revision deadline at the very latest.

If you entirely miss both the main assignment deadline and the revision deadline due to extraordinary circumstances, then complete the assignment at a later point, you may still submit your work late by emailing your submission directly to the course instructor with an explanation for why it is late. The instructor will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to accept late submissions (though no submissions will be accepted after the last day of class, 05/07). Accepted late submissions will be graded for a max of 50/100 points. Note that this is still a failing grade - in almost all circumstancecs, you should just submit whatever you have done by the revision deadline at the latest!


If you are unable to take a quiz on the specified day or cannot complete an assignment by the revision deadline for one of the following reasons, please contact the instructors before the deadline so that we can arrange an extension.

Additionally: if a religious day you observe conflicts with a quiz date, or you have previously-scheduled travel that conflicts with a quiz date, let the course instructors know before the add deadline. We may be able to move quiz dates in some cases.

Regrade Requests

We occasionally make mistakes while grading (we're only human!). If you find a mistake which you would like us to correct, please submit a regrade request on Gradescope within one week of the time when the contested grade was released. Note- regrade requests will result in the entire problem being regraded, not just the incorrectly graded part.

Formatting Errors

Make sure that your submitted assignments do not have any formatting errors! Written assignments must be submitted in PDF format (unless otherwise specified), and code assignments must not have any syntax errors. We will assign a penalty for every line of code we must edit to make your code run, and this penalty will grow larger as the semester continues. Please submit your code at least one time before the deadline and check the autograder's feedback to ensure that everything works.

Minimum Grades

Mathematical analysis shows that giving 0s as grades has an extremely detrimental effect on a student's ability to catch up on work and pass a course. This is partially because of the way letter grades are distributed- there are only 10 points allocated for each of A, B, C, and D, then 60 points are allocated for an R, a failing grade. This has a severe impact on students who, for whatever reason, have an outlier score among their grades. For example, a student who receives a 95 on five homework assignments and a 0 on one homework assignment would receive an average of a 79, or a C, despite demonstrating A-level knowledge on most of the assignments.

To combat this problem, we are setting the minimum grade that a student can receive on any assessment in the class to a 50, not a 0. We will still grade assignments and assessments on a 0-100 scale, and you will still see your grade on this scale in Gradescope, but if you receive a score < 50 on an assessment, that score will be changed to 50 in the Canvas gradebook. However, this only applies to assessments where students have demonstrated honest effort. We define honest effort as a legitimate attempt to solve the majority of the problems on both the written and programming portions of the assignments, or a legitimate attempt to solve the majority of the problems on a quiz. Note that missing assignments are not eligible for minimum grading; see the Late Policy for how to handle missing assignments.

Collaboration and Academic Integrity


Students are encouraged to collaborate when learning the material and working on assignments. If you need help finding collaborators, fill out the collaboration form for the next assignment on the assignments page, and we'll match you with other students.

Here are a list of examples on how to collaborate well within this class.

Academic Integrity in Assignments

We encourage students to collaborate on assignments, as collaboration leads to good learning. However, there are certain restrictions on how much collaboration is allowed, to ensure that all students understand the material they submit on homework assignments. In general, all collaborators must contribute intellectually and understand the material they produce, and each student must write up their own assignment submission individually. Our academic integrity policy is written to ensure that this happens.

The following actions are considered academic integrity offenses on the homework assignment:

Academic Integrity in Assessments

Quizzes and the final exam must be taken individually. It will be considered an academic integrity offense if a student:


Academic Integrity Violations result in a penalty on the first offense, and failing the course on the second offense. Penalties depend on the severity of the violation and can include:
Penalties are usually accompanied by a letter to the Dean of Student Affairs, to be officially filed as an academic integrity offense. A first offense usually leads to a discussion with Student Affairs about academic integrity at the university. Two or more offenses usually lead to university-level penalties, such as being suspended or expelled.

Plagiarism Detection

Programs are naturally structured, which makes them much easier to compare than hand-written work, and easier to compare than typed essays. We run an automated plagiarism detection system on all assignments to detect copied code. We will notice if you copy code. Don't do it.

Grace Period

Your first year of college is a time when you do a lot of learning. Sometimes, you might make bad decisions or mistakes. The most important thing for you to do is to learn from your mistakes, to constantly grow and become a better person.

Sometimes, students panic and copy code right before the deadline, then regret what they did afterwards. Therefore, you may rescind any homework submission up to 24 hours after the submission was made with no questions asked. Simply email the course instructors and ask us to delete the submission in question, and we will do so. Deleted submissions will not be considered during plagiarism detection, though of course they will also not be graded.

General Policies

Health and Wellness

Your first priority should always be to take care of yourself, and this is doubly important during tumultuous pandemic times. Take care of yourself this semester by eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, socializing, and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.

All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings of anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Contact the Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) office at 412-268-2922 and visit their website at for more information.

If you or someone you know is in danger of self-harm, please call someone immediately, day or night:
CaPS: 412-268-2922
Re:solve Crisis Network: 888-796-8226
CMU Police: On-Campus 412-268-2323, Off-Campus 911

Diversity and Inclusion

We warmly welcome students with a wide range of backgrounds and identities in this course. We strive to make every student in this class feel safe and welcome, both because we respect you as human beings with a diverse set of experiences and because we want to make learning computer science as accessible as possible. We acknowledge that computer science as a field currently suffers from a lack of racial and gender diversity, and we want to make the field more broadly accessible for all people. If you are interested in joining efforts to broaden diversity in computer science, consider joining SCS4All or talking to the course staff about other ways to get involved.

If something happens that makes you feel unsafe, unwelcome, or discriminated against, please let us know. You are always encouraged to reach out to the course instructors; we will listen and support you. You can email the professors directly, or contact us anonymously via the general course feedback form. You are also encouraged to reach out to the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion here if you wish to report concerns anonymously; they will then be able to take appropriate actions to support you.


We gladly accommodate students with accommodations that have been approved by the Office of Disability Resources (ODR), as explained here). If you are eligible for accommodations, please submit the appropriate form to the instructors in the first two weeks of the semester. If you need to acquire the form, contact ODR using these instructions. Note that students who receive extended time on assessments will receive that extra time within the assessment website automatically. If you are registered to receive extra time in 15-110 and your assessment does not have extra time applied, please contact the course instructors immediately so we can fix it.


If you are on the waitlist, don't panic! Most waitlisted students get into the course eventually. Attend lecture and recitation, submit the assignments, and stay involved. If you are still not enrolled at the beginning of the third week, contact the course instructors and we will try to help you find a section with open seats.


We have found that students who audit 15-110 do not tend to succeed, as they generally cannot dedicate the needed time to the course. Therefore, auditing will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, and must be approved by the course instructors first.

If you wish to take 15-110 but don't want or need a full letter grade for it, you may take the course as Pass/Fail instead. This is a great option for graduate students who want to learn how to program but don't want to risk their GPAs! (Note: you may not take the course Pass/Fail if you plan to use 15-110 as a prereq).

Tips for Success

Most students who take 15-110 have no prior programming experience. If you fall into this group, taking your first computer science class will provide great opportunities, but it also may pose great challenges. Here are some tips for how to succeed in this course as you learn a new and exciting set of skills and concepts.

  1. Participate. You cannot learn how to program passively, by observing someone else; you have to practice. While attending lecture, follow along in your own IDE and try modifying the code the instructor writes to see what happens. In recitation, actively attempt each problem to the best of your ability before the TA goes over the solution. In general, try things out and see what happens!
  2. Start Early. Don't wait until the day before the deadline to start an assignment! After each lecture, identify problems on the assignment that you can now attempt, and try to solve them. Doing the assignments a bit at a time is much easier than trying to do them all at once.
  3. Embrace Mistakes. "Bugs" (mistakes) are a common part of the programming process. Even expert programmers commonly produce bugs in their code that they need to fix (you'll see this happen to the instructors a lot!). Run your code to check your work often, and treat every bug as an opportunity to learn, not as a dead end.
  4. Get Help When You Need It. It's okay (and encouraged!!) to reach out for help when you're struggling with a concept or an assignment. Come to office hours and the course staff will be more than happy to help you learn. Find a collaborator and talk through the problems with them. In general, don't feel like you need to do everything on your own - embrace your learning community!
  5. Debug Smarter, Not Harder. It is very easy to get stuck when debugging an error in a program and spend hours on a single mistake with no progress. If you find yourself spending more than 15 minutes debugging the same error, you need to change your approach. First, try to get someone else to help you (a TA or a collaborator in the class); often a new set of eyes will notice things that you can't see yourself, and explaining your code to someone else may help you notice something new. Second, if no one else is available, take a break and do something else. When you come back to the problem later, you'll be able to see your code in a new light, and it might prove much easier to fix.
  6. Read Your Feedback. Check-ins and Homeworks are partially summative assignments (they show what you know), but they're also partially formative (they're a chance to learn). When an assignment has been graded, go back and check the feedback written by TAs on the problems you got wrong. This is your chance to relearn the material before the quiz occurs.
  7. Study By Practicing. In this class, you'll mainly learn skills - things you do, rather than pieces of knowledge you know. To study a skill, you need to practice it. When preparing for an exam, don't just review old slides and homeworks - actually re-solve old problems, or attempt the practice problems provided with the quiz.
Worried about taking a course online from home? Here are some tips for success.