This document walks you through your first 15-211 assignment. First, you will choose an environment for completing assignments. Then, we will show you how to use FrontDesk, the grading system used by this course.

Getting your enviroment set up

To complete this course, you will need to have a Java environment to do a series of programming assignments.Two choices are offered for setting this up. We encourage you to adopt the first of these, but both are available. Select the best one that fits your circumstances.

Even if you have used Java and Eclipse before please read through the instructions. This semester, there may have been some upgrades in the versions used.

Do It Yourself

Most students choose to set up the Java environment on their own laptop or desktop, so that they may work from the comfort of their own home. The course staff will try to help you troubleshoot any issues that you have, but understand that there might be unforseen problems with your computer that we may not be able to fix.

You'll need to install the following software. Google for each item to find instructions for your operating system. Where a version number is specified, that version is required.

We also strongly recommend the following tools:

In the Clusters

If you don't have a computer, or feel like using those provided by the school, we support using the clusters. Make sure you go to a cluster that has Eclipse installed. Questions about the clusters can be sent to

To configure Eclipse in the cluster, you need to do the following steps:


Please use latex to complete the written assignments which accompany every programming assigment. We will include a latex outline which you can complete for each assigment. We will support the following configurations:

Latex HelloWorld!

Open a new file and enter the contents:
Hello World! $123$ %(this is a comment)surround math verbiage with '$'
Success!(hopefully) You should see a document stating "Hello World! 123". A link to the HW1 theory has been added to the web schedule. Please add your answers to problems

Completing the first assignment

You will complete your assignments though an automated submission system known as FrontDesk. Access FrontDesk though the Assignments tab on the 15-211 website. From there click the View Assignment link on the hw0 item under Assignments. Then click the assignment documentation link. This document will describe how to complete the assignment.