CISY 254 - Data Structures - Fall 2014

Syllabus - Version 0.2


Section 01x - CRN 11357 [ Honors Section 01H CRN 13607 ]

Monday 11:00 AM-12:50 PM West Building W311
Wednesday 11:00 AM-01:50 PM West Building W311


  •  Version 0.2 - 9/14/2014 - Added Honors CRN
  •  Version 0.1 - 8/26/2014 - First Release
  •  Version 0.0 - 8/25/2014 - First Draft

Book Information

Data Structures & Other Objects Using Java, Michael Main, 4th Edition

Picture of book: CISY 254 Book Cover Fall 2014


Name: Stephen T. Brower
Office: West Building W324
Work # (908) 526-1200 x8259
preferred email: stbrower@smail.raritanval.edu


Website has information on any changes to office hours ( example: no office hours near Thanksgiving )

Website has a link to the class page for this course where you can get the Syllabus and Class Schedule

Website does not require you to logon to either Lion's Den or WebStudy 

See: http://www.raritanval.edu/faculty/cs/full-time/Brower/brower.html

Another way to access:  From the school's main web page hover over Current Students, click Academic Departments, Click Computer Science,
Scroll to near the bottom and under the Full-Time Faculty heading click Stephen Brower

Office Hours

Monday 1:00 - 3:00
Tuesday 3:00 - 5:00 (Except 11/25)
Thursday 3:00 - 5:00 (Except 11/27)
and by appointment

Course Overview 

Prerequisite: CISY 105 Foundations of Computer Science or CISY 242 Object Oriented Programming:
This course introduces students to the fundamental data structures used in Computer Science. The data structures covered include linked lists, doubly linked lists, stacks, queues, trees, and graphs. Algorithms that manipulate these data structures are discussed and used in laboratory work. Students are introduced to the run-time analysis of algorithms and basic algorithms for searching and sorting.

Honors Option

An Honors Option is available for this course.

"Definition: Students pursuing the Honors Option will be required to demonstrate a higher level of knowledge and skill in each of their course programming projects. They will be required to take the concepts introduced and generalize them for broader application. Students will also do independent work researching application programming interfaces." (Master Course Outline)

For this Honors Option, the demonstration of a higher level of knowledge and skill will be through enhanced Labs and Projects.  The independent work for research will be through additional research components for Homework

Two switch to the honors option, fill out an Add/Drop form that drops Section 01x and adds Section 01H and give it to the instructor for signatures. After the form is returned then take it to the registrar. The last day to switch to honors option section is the same as the last day to drop.

Software / Computer Requirements

Although there is lab time incorporated into the class, there may not be enough time to work on the projects during class time. You may need access to a computer with Java outside of class.

If you do not own a computer, you can use the Open Lab on the second floor of the West Building which is open 6 days a week. See the hours posted outside the Open Lab

If you own a computer you can download the Java JDK and either NetBeans or TextPad which will replicate the setup that we have on campus. There are links from the instructor's Course Web Page with some information.  

Lion's Den, will be used for distribution of files and notes.

Course Routine

Classes will usually consist of 3 possible segments: Lecture, Lab Lecture, and Lab Time

Lecture - A majority of the lectures will be on topics within Data Structures. Some of the lecture will be the theoretical nature of Data Structures, which will include a number of crudely drawn pictures, a discussion of algorithms that act on Data Structures, and in some cases Pseudocode.

Lab Lecture - the Lab Lecture will be an introduction to the week's lab which could be a review of the topic(s) introduced in the Lecture or simply "here".

Lab - Hands on lab time - Lab will be for individual work using the computer to implement Data Structures in Java to solve problems, or working on Homework.  Take as many breaks as needed.

If you finish the lab early, you should look ahead on the Class Schedule to work on the next computer project (if posted) or do the next homework that is due  

Most weeks, on Monday will be the Lecture(breaks as needed), and on Wednesdays the Lab Lecture and then Lab


Grade Determinants

Item percent
Homework 20%
Labs 20%
Projects 20%
Mid-Term Exam 15%
Final Exam 25%

Honors Option will have the same grade determinants, but the individual assignments will have more challenging enhancements/requirements


Grade % Range
A 89.5-100.0+
B+ 86.5-89.4
B 79.5-86.4
C+ 76.5-79.4
C 69.5 - 76.4
D 59.5 - 69.4
F 0 - 59.4


The Homework will be distributed following the lecture and will also be posted in Lion's Den.

Homework can be:

  • Handwritten
  • Typed and printout handed in
  • Typed in an email
  • Typed and saved as a .docx or .rtf file and emailed
  • Handwritten, scanned/photo'd and the image emailed

Submitting Electronically?

If emailing please send to stbrower@smail.raritanval.edu

Note: some of the homework will be to draw pictures of Data Structures before, during, and after modifications are made such as Inserts, Updates, and Deletes.

Honors Option - Students in the Honors Option may have additional research components added to a number of the Homework Assignments

Cheating and Late Policies: Please see below for the Cheating Policy (don't cheat) and the Late Policy (-10 pts per calendar day)


For classes that introduce new Data Structures, the first In-Class Lab on a topic may be a drawing showing a series of operations on a Data Structure. Other In-Class Labs may be programs in Java to implement a Data Structure to solve some problem.

Usually, in-Class Labs are due at the end of Wednesday's class by 1:50. The instructor will review the lab before the beginning of lab time.

Paper portions can be handed in in person.

.java files should be emailed as attachments to stbrower@smail.raritanval.edu

Honors Option - Students in the Honors Option will have additional requirements/enhancements for a number of the In-Class Labs

Cheating and Late Policies: Please see below for the Cheating Policy (don't cheat) and the Late Policy (-10 pts per calendar day)


The idea behind projects is that they are more complex than labs and are used to demonstrate mastery of Data Structures. 

There may not be time to complete the project during lab time.

Java is in the open Lab in the West Building which is open 6 days a week. Java is also available for download from the Oracle WebSite. See the instructor's web site for more information.

.java files for projects should be emailed as attachments to stbrower@smail.raritanval.edu

Honors Option: Students in the Honors Option will have additional requirements/enhancements for a number of the Projects

Cheating and Late Policies: Please see below for the Cheating Policy (don't cheat) and the Late Policy (-10 pts per calendar day)


Note the Class Schedule for the dates of the exams. If you are late for the exam, you will only have the time until the scheduled end of the exam.

Exams must be taken on days assigned. If you know ahead of time that you cannot make an exam, ask the instructor to arrange for the exam to be left in the testing center or to arrange another time.

Failure to notify the instructor that the Mid-Term exam will be missed will result in a makeup that might be harder, not by design, but by consequence of being different.  Missing the Final Exam will result in a 0 on the Final Exam.

The Mid Term Exam will be one hour long; the Final Exam will be two hours long. Both exams will be closed note /closed book / closed computer, and cumulative up to that point.

Honors Option: - Students in the Honors Option will have additional requirements/enhancements for a number of the questions

Late Policy

Late Policy - Assignments received after the due date will be considered late and will be penalized 10 points per calendar day. Assignments 7 calendar days late will receive a 0 and the 0 will be used in the calculation of your average. Assignments will not be accepted after being 7 days late without prior accomodations being made. Late Assignments will not be accepted after 12/10.

Life Happens exception to Late Policy

"Life Happens" - it is understandable that "life happens" so every student gets 1 "Lab Life Happens" 1 "Homework Life Happens" and 1 "Project Life Happens". When submitting a lab/homework/project late, all you have to do is ask for the "Life Happens" and the assignment will be considered on time. Each student can only claim a "Life Happens" once for each category (homework/lab/project) and "Life Happens" are not transferable to other categories or other students.

"Lab Life Happens" will not be accepted after 12/10.

Cheating Policy

Cheating Policy - Cheating is not allowed on Homework, Labs, Projects, and Exams. All parties involved in cheating will receive a 0 and will be reported to the dean. Excessive cheating within the class can result in an F for the course. Excessive cheating at RVCC can result in expulsion. Consult your student manual.  

NOTE: you have permission to use the instructor's demo .java files, in whole or in part, for your projects


Extra Credit

Some exams/homework/labs/projects contain extra credit questions/opportunities. Other than that, no extra credit opportunities will be provided.

For example, if you choose not to submit ANY homework and then in December you ask for "Extra Credit" to make up for the missed homework, the answer is NO.


Additional Policies

Classroom Behavior

Cell Phones:

For the "lectures" please silence cell phones. It is understood that there may be times when emergency calls occur or the "pick me up at the airport" call needs to happen. For those calls please step into the hallway to take the call. During lab time, you can turn the sounds back on the cell phones.


For the "lectures" please don't talk. It is understood that you may need to turn to a neighbor for the occasional question like "what slide is he on?" or "which file is that?" or "what page # did he say?" and that's fine. It is the full conversations that are distracting not only to me but to the class as a whole. For the Lab Time you can talk all you want, but "indoor voices" please.


The instructor will try his darn-doodliest to not swear during class time but an occasional expletive may slip out. Please try your darn-doodliest not to swear but don't fear reprisals if an occasional expletive slips out.

Proper Use of Computers:

Lecture: the instructor is easily distracted by typing and would prefer that computers are not used during the lecture. Pointing and laughing at the monitors is very distracting. If class members repeatedly distract the instructor, then all computers and laptops must be closed down.

Lab: During lab time everyone should be working on the labs/projects in Java. None of the labs/projects require social media sites like Facebook.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes for every course in which they are enrolled.  To accommodate students’ reasonable, personal situations that might prevent them from attending classes, each student is entitled to excused absences amounting to the equivalent of one week’s class time in a semester. Absences in excess of this standard are handled individually by each faculty member. A student with absences amounting to one-fifth or more of the term’s lecture or laboratory classes is subject to administrative withdrawal by the Dean of Instruction upon the recommendation of the faculty member.


Delayed Opening

If the College announces a delayed opening at any location due to inclement weather or other emergency situation, all offices will be closed and all College classes and/or other activities will be suspended at that location until the delayed opening time. Classes scheduled to begin before the delayed opening time that have 60 minutes or more of instruction time remaining at the delayed opening time will begin at the delayed opening time and conclude at the regularly scheduled ending time. Classes scheduled to begin before the delayed opening time that have fewer than 60 minutes of instruction time remaining at the delayed opening time will be canceled.  Classes scheduled to begin at or after the delayed opening time will meet as scheduled.

Reasonable Accommodation

Students with disabilities who require accommodations (academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids or services) for this course MUST provide documentation of accommodations from the RVCC office of Disability Services, C143. No accommodations will be made without this documentation.

Student Handbook

You are responsible for all policies stated in the Student Handbook.
See: http://www.raritanval.edu/studentserv/conduct/Student_Conduct_Landing.html

See school's webpage for Fall 2014 Withdrawal and Refund Schedule and Refund Info

Class Schedule

Please see the Class Schedule for the listing of lecture topics and timing of homework/labs/projects/exams