Link Search Menu Expand Document (external link)


Course Description

Fundamentals 1 Introduces the fundamental ideas of computing and the principles of programming. Discusses a systematic approach to word problems, including analytic reading, synthesis, goal setting, planning, plan execution, and testing. Presents several models of computing, starting from nothing more than expression evaluation in the spirit of high school algebra.

Accelerated 1 is a fast-paced version of Fundamentals 1. The goal of the course is to introduce students to the principles of systematic programming and the basic rules of computation. This accelerated version will cover additional topics on the intellectual and philosophical foundations of computer science. Note that taking Accelerated will not help you complete the computer science major any faster; it does not let you skip courses. Instead, Accelerated gives you a taste of some advanced topics from upper-level computer science courses earlier. Accelerated is thus designed for students who love to learn for its own sake, and plan to major in computer science.


See the schedule for the schedule of lectures, labs, and exams. We may adjust the lecture and lab topics, but the exam dates are finalized.


Your grade is based on homeworks, exams, and labs, with the following breakdown:

Homework 50%
Labs 5%
Exam 0 10%
Exam 1 15%
Exam 2 20%

An A- is 90% and a B- is 80%.

Due Dates and Late Policy

Assignments are usually due at 9PM on Wednesdays.

Falling behind on work is never a good idea: the course presents new material every day, making catching up harder and harder. However, we know that your time is not always easily scheduled, and some weeks, “stuff happens.”

You have four late days (a day is 24 hours) to use during the semester. You do not need to tell us you’re late–we have a program that tracks this automatically. After you use your late days, you 10% of your grade on an homework for every 24 hours that it it is late. This has two consequences:

  • You get 0 points after 10 days.

  • There is no point staying up all night to finish an assignment the day before it is due. If you realize you’re going to be late, go to sleep. You’ll find that programming is much easier when you’re well-rested.


Students who need to receive academic services aor accommodations should visit the Disability Resource Center at 20 Dodge Hall or call (617) 373-2675. Send your letter form the DRC to early in the semester.

Working With Your Partner

You will complete most assignments and all lab work with a partner. We will assign you a partner and you will practice pair programming. Pair programming means that you and your partner work jointly. You read them together and you work on the solutions together. One of the lab’s purposes is to teach you how to work in pairs effectively. The rough idea is this: One of you plays pilot, the other co-pilot. The pilot works on the keyboard and explains aloud what is going on; it is the co-pilot’s responsibility to question things that do not make sense. After a problem is solved to the satisfaction of both, you must switch roles.

Academic Integrity

While students are encouraged to discuss course materials, no plagiarism/copying is allowed. In particular:

  • You may not copy anyone else’s code under any circumstances.

  • You may not permit any other student to see any part of your program and you may not permit yourself to see any part of another student’s program.

  • You may not post a public question that contains any part of your code. If you have a question about what is considered a violation of this policy, please ask! The university’s academic integrity policy discusses actions regarded as violations and consequences for students.

  • Any work you do with an assigned partner must be done jointly. It is a academic integrity violation if (1) your partner does all the work, or (2) you submit work that is not the result of a joint effort.

The first time you are found in violation of this policy on an assignment, you will receive a 0 for the associated work. A second violation, or a violation during an exam, will result in failing the course.

Classroom Environment

To create an classroom atmosphere that optimizes teaching and learning, all participants share a responsibility in creating a civil and non-disruptive forum for the discussion of ideas. Students are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that does not disrupt teaching or learning. Your comments to others should be constructive and free from harassing statements. You are encouraged to respectfully disagree with other students and the staff. The professor and TAs will terminate conversations that deviate from these instructions. Repeated unprofessional or disrespectful conduct may result in a lower grade or more severe consequences. Part of the learning process in this course is respectful engagement of ideas with others.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from sex or gender-based discrimination, including discrimination based on gender-identity, in educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Northeastern’s Title IX Policy prohibits Prohibited Offenses, which are defined as sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship or domestic violence, and stalking. The Title IX Policy applies to the entire community, including male, female, transgender students, faculty and staff.

If you or someone you know has been a survivor of a Prohibited Offense, confidential support and guidance can be found through University Health and Counseling Services staff ( and the Center for Spiritual Dialogue and Service clergy members ( By law, those employees are not required to report allegations of sex or gender-based discrimination to the University.

Alleged violations can be reported non-confidentially to the Title IX Coordinator within The Office for Gender Equity and Compliance at: and/or through NUPD (Emergency 617.373.3333; Non-Emergency 617.373.2121). Reporting Prohibited Offenses to NUPD does NOT commit the victim/affected party to future legal action.

Faculty members are considered "responsible employees" at Northeastern University, meaning they are required to report all allegations of sex or gender-based discrimination to the Title IX Coordinator.

In case of an emergency, please call 911.

Please visit for a complete list of reporting options and resources both on- and off-campus.