CSCI/CMPE 4341 Topics: Programming in Python

Spring 2015



Instructor: Xiang Lian

Office: ENGR 3.275



Course: CSCI/CMPE 4341 Topics: Programming in Python

Prerequisites: Students are expected to be enrolled in or have completed CSCI 1380 or Programming Experience in another language and Ability to develop algorithms.

Note that, this course is a second language course, which means that it should be taken instead of Java or C#. It cannot be taken as a CSCI advanced elective in the degree plans, but it can be taken as a CMPE advanced elective.

Time: TR, 9:10am ~ 10:25am

Location: ENGR 1.290

Course Webpage:


Instructor's office hour: Tuesday and Thursday (4:00pm ~ 6:00pm); or by appointment


Teaching Assistant: Santiago Pazmiño

Office: ENGR 3.273A


Phone: TBA

Office Hours: Wednesday and Thursday (11:30 am ~ 1:00 pm); or by appointment




Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Jonathan P. Liperi, and Ben Wiedermann. Python How to Program, 1/e. ISBN-13: 978-0130923615, ISBN-10: 0130923613, 2002.



Catalog Description

The Python programming language will be introduced with an emphasis on syntax of Python, the use of objects, and XML. Topics may include control structures, functions, data structures, object-oriented programming, inheritance and polymorphism, graphical user interface, database connections, XML, exception handling, concurrent programming, files and streams, databases, and Web Services.

Learning Outcomes

1.      Declare and use various data types in the Python environment.


2.      Properly use the different looping structures available in Python.


3.      Write an amortization schedule or the future value of monthly investment program to demonstrate the capabilities of looping.


4.      Develop and use classes, objects, methods and attributes.


5.      Write programs involving single and multidimensional arrays.


6.      Write object based programs showing proper use of inheritance and polymorphism.


7.      Use GUIs available in Python.


8.  Write multi-threaded programs.


9.  Write programs using different types of file structures available to Python.


10.  Link Python to a database or XML.


Python programming requires a great deal of time working with the tools. Students need to spend a minimum of 2 hours a day outside the classroom working in the lab. If you do not have the time, please do not sign up for this course.

Tentative Schedule




Week 1 (Jan. 20)

Introduction to Python Programming


Week 1 (Jan. 22)

Basic Concepts in Python Programming

Assignment 1 (Due on Jan. 29)

Week 2 (Jan. 27)

Control Structures (Part 1)

Jan. 27: Deadline to form study groups (Please send me [] name, student ID, and email of each team member)

Assignment 2 (Due on Feb. 5)

Week 2 (Jan. 29)



Week 3 (Feb. 3)

Control Structures (Part 2)

Assignment 3 (Due on Feb. 12)

Week 3 (Feb. 5)



Week 4 (Feb. 10)


Assignment 4 (Due on Feb. 26)

Week 4 (Feb. 12)



Bonus exercise (3 bonus points for Valentine's Day; please submit to Blackboard; hard deadline: due on Mar. 3)

Week 5 (Feb. 17)


Feb. 18: Last day to change to non-credit


Review for Midterm Exam I

Week 5 (Feb. 19)



Week 6 (Feb. 24)



Week 6 (Feb. 26)

Lists, Tuples, and Dictionaries

Template of Project Report

Week 7 (Mar. 3)


Group Study Meeting (1)



Project Report (1) [Introduction, Problem Description, Background] (Due on March 12)

Week 7 (Mar. 5)



Week 8 (Mar. 10)


Assignment 5 (Due on Mar. 26)

Week 8 (Mar. 12)

Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming


Week 9 (Mar. 17)


March 15 – 20, Spring break; No classes

Week 9 (Mar. 19)

Week 10 (Mar. 24)

Group Study Meeting (2)

Project Report (2) [Design and Implementation, Experiments] (Please also include the revised sections of Project Report (1)) (Due on Apr. 14)

Week 10 (Mar. 26)



Week 11 (Mar. 31)

Graphical User Interface Components


Week 11 (Apr. 2)



Week 12 (Apr. 7)

Python XML Processing

Assignment 6 (Due on Apr. 23)

Week 12 (Apr. 9)



Week 13 (Apr. 14)

Database Application Programming Interface


Week 13 (Apr. 16)


Review for Midterm Exam II

Week 14 (Apr. 21)



Week 14 (Apr. 23)

Group Study Meeting (3)

Project Report (3) (Note: this is complete final project report, including all sections in Project Reports (1) and (2)), Python source code package, PowerPoint Slides for Presentation, and readme file (Hard deadline: Due on May 5)

Week 15 (Apr. 28)

Project Presentation (10 min)

& Demo (5 min) [Session I]

(Please prepare Powerpoint slides for the presentation!)


Study Group 1: Data Structures in Python

Study Group 2: Visualization of Sorting Algorithms

Study Group 3: Micro Python

Study Group 4: Joe’s Curiosities

Study Group 5: Maze Game


Week 15 (Apr. 30)

Project Presentation (10 min)

& Demo (5 min) [Session II]

(Please prepare Powerpoint slides for the presentation!)


Study Group 6: ABC Phonics

Study Group 7: Hangman Game

Study Group 8: Shooter


Week 16 (May 5)



Study Group 9: Time Sheet


Online course evaluation (Wednesday, May 6th at 11:59pm):


Review for Final Exam


Week 16 (May 7)


Study days; No classes

Week 17 (May 09 - 15)

Final Exam (8am - 9:45am, Thursday, May 14)



1 Academic calendar:

Note: exam dates are tentative, exact dates will be announced in class!!!

Drops and drop passes must be handled by you and the admission office; I will sign the necessary documents. But, I will not place a drop or drop pass on the final grade sheet.




1. Python IDE software:


·         IPython:

·         Python tools for Visual Studio:; IronPython:; Visual Studio Express:

2. eBooks:

·         Python How to Program, Deitel et al.

·         Learning to Program Using Python, Cody Jackson

·         Python Documentation



Study Groups

1.      Please form a team with 3-4 team members.

2.      Each team needs to finish one programming project, including:

·         A project report (e.g., problem description, background, solution, implementation, experimental settings, empirical evaluation, and screen captures of graphical interface);

·         A statement of tasks for each team member;

·         Source code;

·         Demonstration (5 minutes); and

·         Presentation (10-15 minutes).

3.      Each team needs to equally distribute their workloads in the project.

4.      Scores of team members consist of two parts: team score (90 points) + individual score (20 points). All team members will receive the same team scores, and individual scores are given by other team members, with the scales from 1 to 20.

5.      You can select one of the specified project categories below, and design your own projects. Different teams should do distinct projects. If you want to design your own projects, you should first obtain the consent from the instructor.

·         Computer games

·         Data structure & algorithms

·         Database-related applications



Scoring and Grading

Exam I & II ………………….    45%

Final Exam  …………………      25%

Assignments………………      20%

Attendance ………………….        5%

Project ………………………      10%


            A = 90 or higher

            B = 80 - 89

            C = 70 - 79

            D = 60 - 69

            F = <60



Guidelines for Programming Assignments


All programs and other assignments must be submitted to Blackboard AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CLASS PERIOD (5 minutes grace period).  All assignments turned in after the class begins will be considered late (even if you come to class late).


Late Penalty:  30% penalty. I will not accept assignments after one week and one day.


Program Identification Section.


All programs should begin with a comment section that would include the following:



PROGRAMMERS NAME:_________________________________________________

STUDENT ID:___________________________________________________________

CLASS:________________________ ASSIGNMENT #:_________________________

DATE DUE:__________________ DATE TURNED IN:_________________________



Please upload the *.zip file you created to the Blackboard. The subject of the assignment must include the following information:

             [CSCI 4341] [Assignment #] [Your Name Here] [Your Student ID Here]



GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM (Program inputs, outputs and summary of what the program does).


Each function should be distinctly identified (block it off using asterisks).  A brief description of its purpose should be given in comments.           


Comments should be inserted as necessary throughout the program to convey the algorithm of the program.  All programs must be tested thoroughly before submission.  You should include program runs to indicate that every option of the program has been tested.  Programs turned in without any program run will receive a grade of zero. 




1. Pseudo code, structure chart, flowchart, etc. as directed.

2. Program listing.

3. Program run.

Turn these in a folder.


Programs that do not run                    0 points

Comments as explained above            5 points

program listing                                    70 points

program run                                         25 points

Program correction and re-submission: up to 70% of missed points.


Lecture Attendance Policy

Attendance in the lecture is mandatory. Students are responsible for all materials covered in class, the textbook, tutorials, and homework assignments. Students are expected to attend lectures, study the text, and contribute to discussions. You need to write your name on attendance sheets throughout the course, so please attend every lecture.

Make-up Exam Policy

No make-up exams will be given except for university sanctioned excused absences. If you miss an exam (for a good reason), it is your responsibility to contact me before the exam, or soon after the exam as possible.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

The University expects a student to maintain a high standard of individual honor in his/her scholastic work. Unless otherwise required, each student is expected to complete his or her assignment individually and independently. Although study together is encouraged, the work handed in for grading by each student is expected to be his or her own. Any form of academic dishonesty will be strictly forbidden and will be punished to the maximum extent. Copying an assignment from another student in this class or obtaining a solution from some other source will lead to an automatic failure for this course and to a disciplinary action. Allowing another student to copy one's work will be treated as an act of academic dishonesty, leading to the same penalty as copying.

Note to Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Services office for a confidential discussion of their individual needs for academic accommodation. It is the policy of the University of Texas-Pan American to provide flexible and individualized accommodation to students with documented disabilities that may affect their ability to fully participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. To receive accommodation services, students must be registered with the Disability Services office (DS), University Center #108, 665-7005 or

Program Outcomes

·         (a) An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline

·         (b) An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution

·         (c) An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs

·         (i) An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice

·         (j) An ability to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices

·         (k) An ability to apply design and development principles in the construction of software systems of varying complexity


The instructor reserves the right to alter this syllabus as necessary.