Welcome to the CSA Zone

(AP Computer Science A, Period F)

Are you nervous when you see NCWEE? concerned when you see CIRC? perturbed when you see PBC? Visit Mr. Hansen’s fabled abbreviations page to make sense of those cryptic markings you see on your papers.


Schedule at a Glance (see archives for older entries)
Written assignments should follow the HW guidelines.


W 2/13/13

HW due: Individual HW as assigned in class Monday.


Th 2/14/13

HW due by 3:00 p.m.: Pairs project. A hard copy submission of your source code (excluding libraries) is required, along with an electronic version of everything (all modules, all libraries, everything). CD is preferred for the electronic portion.


T 2/19/13

HW due:

1. If you have not already submitted a “soft copy” of your project, please do so. One group has contacted me about the late submission, but another group that promised to send e-mail has not done so yet.

2. Write out the answers to the contest-type problems on pp. 43-5 and 43-6.

3. Read Lesson 44.


W 2/20/13

HW due: Submit a new project proposal, complete with requirements and milestones. Document must be submitted in hard copy no later than 12:35:00 p.m. EST.


Th 2/21/13

HW due: Work on your new project.


F 2/22/13

HW due: Write Exercise B #1-11 on p. 44-5.


M 2/25/13

HW due: Work on your project. The assignment originally due last Friday will be collected.


T 2/26/13

HW due: Read Lesson 45; write #1-4 on pp. 45-7 and 45-8.


W 2/27/13

HW due: Read Lesson 46. Reading notes are required, as always.


Th 2/28/13

HW due: Write #1-7 on pp. 46-5 and 46-6.


F 3/1/13

HW due: Projects.


M 3/4/13

HW due: Projects.


T 3/5/13

No class (Diversity Day).


W 3/6/13

No school (snow day).


Th 3/7/13

HW due: Projects.


F 3/8/13

HW due: Projects.


M 3/11/13

HW due: Projects.


T 3/12/13

HW due: Download the GridWorld case study. Read the text, and write answers to all the questions and exercises through p. 15. (There are questions and exercises on pp. 6, 8, 12, and 13-15.)


W 3/13/13

HW due: Continue reading. Finish the GridWorld questions and exercises through the bottom of p. 23. There are questions and exercises on pp. 19, 21, and 23.


Th 3/14/13

HW due: Continue reading. Finish the GridWorld questions and exercises through p. 34. There are questions on pp. 25, 26 (top), 30, 33, and 34 (top). You may omit the group activity on p. 26.


F 3/15/13

HW due: Continue reading and working on the GridWorld activity.


M 3/18/13

HW due: Finish GridWorld (all questions except for group activities), through p. 45.


T 3/19/13

HW due: Finish the last bit of GridWorld. Keep a time log.

In class: More demos.


W 3/20/13

Quiz on the Java programming language and GridWorld. Make sure you know all your syntax (including String syntax and array syntax) and the essential facts of the GridWorld environment. Format will be short answer, with no code-writing modules.


M 4/1/13

Classes resume.


T 4/2/13

HW due:

1. Make some additional progress on AP review. If you do not have a book, order one. If you have ordered it and it has not arrived yet, check progress of the shipment. If you have your book, spend at least 5 minutes with it (30 minutes is ideal, but may not be possible every night). Emotional commitment is important. Keep a written record of your work.

2. Prepare a draft proposal (approximately 4 to 5 sentences) describing a project that you and your pairs partner would like to work on during the most of the month of April. Jared is the singleton this time.


W 4/3/13

HW due: Work on your projects. A more detailed set of requirements, along with some target intermediate milestones, will be collected tomorrow (Thursday).


Th 4/4/13

HW due: A more detailed requirements summary (approx. 1 page), plus 5-8 intermediate goals (milestones) with target dates.


F 4/5/13

HW due: Work on your project.


M 4/8/13

HW due: Work on your project, and read Lesson 47. Reading notes are required, as always.


T 4/9/13

HW due: Work on your project, read Lesson 48 (reading notes required), and write #1-5 on p. 47-6. If time permits, do the “super optimized” code test described at the bottom of p. 48-3.


W 4/10/13

HW due:

1. Work on your project.

2. Read Lesson 51.

3. If you have not already done so, perform the “super optimized” code test described at the bottom of p. 48-3.


Th 4/11/13

HW due:

1. Work on your project.

2. Read Lesson 52.

3. Write #1-7 on pp. 51-9 and 51-10.


F 4/12/13

HW due:

1. Work on your project.

2. Write #1-13 on pp. 52-11 through 52-13. If you have time, you may finish all 18 questions.


M 4/15/13

HW due:

1. Work on your project.

2. Write #14-18 on p. 52-14 if you have not already done so.


T 4/16/13

HW due: Work on your project.


W 4/17/13

HW due: Work on your project.


Th 4/18/13

HW due: Work on your project.


F 4/19/13

HW due: Work on your project.


M 4/22/13

No school (Phi Beta Kappa Day).


T 4/23/13

HW due: Work on your project, and bring written evidence of at least 35 minutes’ worth of AP review from your AP review book. Evidence must be written. No computer files will be accepted for credit.

As you work your multiple-choice and/or free-response problems, record on your HW paper the source problem (page number and problem number) as well as your scratch work, if any. Free-response efforts must be legible and organized in order to qualify for credit; multiple-choice problems need only show the letter of the response that you chose, plus the correct (graded) answer. Do your grading using a different color of pen or pencil.


W 4/24/13

HW due: Project work, plus another 35 minutes’ worth (at least) of AP review work. Follow the instructions in the 4/23 calendar entry.


Th 4/25/13

HW due: Same as 4/24, one more time.


F 4/26/13

HW due: Again, the same as 4/24.


M 4/29/13

HW due: If you have been doing mostly multiple choice, do free response. If you have been doing mostly free response, do multiple choice. Mix it up!

Also, remember that projects are due tomorrow unless you have negotiated an extension. The rule on extensions is that they are limited in scope to the length of time remaining. For example, you cannot make a request for a 3-day extension if there are fewer than 3 days remaining, since (presumably) you should have known sooner than that that you were 3 days behind. Extension requests, if made by e-mail, must have a subject line that begins with a double underscore ( __ ).


T 4/30/13

Projects Due. Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Please continue working (and logging) AP review problems daily.


W 5/1/13

HW due:

1. If you have not already done so, read the course description, especially Appendix A and Appendix B.

2. Work a selection of AP review problems. Keep a handwritten record (on paper) of the problems you work. A time log showing a minimum of 35 minutes of timed work is required. Allow yourself slightly less than 2 minutes for each multiple-choice question, 26 minutes for each free-response question.


Th 5/2/13

HW due: Same as #2 from yesterday (i.e., another 35 minutes or more of review problems, logged in pencil on actual sheets of paper).


F 5/3/13

HW due: Another 35 minutes or more of review problems, logged in pencil on actual sheets of paper.


M 5/6/13

No additional HW due. Please continue working on review problems, however.


T 5/7/13

AP Examination, 7:45 a.m., MH-102. Bring several sharpened pencils. No scratch paper, notes, or books are allowed. Cell phones are not allowed anywhere close to the exam room and are prohibited even during the short break between multiple-choice and free-response sections. Better yet, LEAVE YOUR CELL PHONE IN YOUR CAR.

There will be no class after the exam today.


W 5/8/13

No additional HW due today.

In class: Contest in preparation for final exam review.


Th 5/9/13

No additional HW due today.

Suggested HW: Finish coding/testing your “day of the week” app. The day of the week (0 = Sunday, 1 = Monday, etc.) is determined by taking the modulo-7 result of the following sum involving the 2-digit year, month, and day: (YY \ 12) + (YY % 12) + ((YY % 12) \ 4) + (code for MM) + DD. The code for MM is found from the tune we learned: 0 3 3 6  1 4 6 2  5 0 3 5. Subtract 1 from the sum formula for any date in the 2000s, and subtract an additional 1 for any January or February date that occurs during a leap year. The year 2000 was a leap year, but 1900 was not. Reject any input that is not within the domain of January 1, 1900, through December 31, 2099.

Example: May 9, 2013, is coded as YYYYMMDD = 20130509, with YY=13, MM=5, DD=9. The sum is 1 + 1 + 0 + 1 + 9 = 12, but we subtract 1 for all dates in the 2000s. Answer = 11, which is congruent to 4 (mod 7), and 4 is THURSDAY.

Another example: June 29, 1987, has YY=87, MM=6, DD=29. The sum is 7 + 3 + 0 + 4 + 29 = 43, which is congruent to 1 (mod 7), and 1 is MONDAY.

One more example: February 18, 1992, has YY=92, MM=2, DD=18. The sum is 7 + 8 + 2 + 3 + 18 = 38, but we must subtract 1 for a February date in a leap year, giving 37, which is congruent to 2 (mod 7). Answer: TUESDAY.

With practice, you might even be able to do the calculation in less time in your head than the time needed to type the input into your program. Try it!


F 5/10/13

HW due: Write the requirements for Version 2.0 of your own program. Hard copy is required, printed out before class starts. Remember, another team will be attempting to implement these requirements, so clarity is important.


M 5/13/13

HW due: Revise your Version 2.0 requirements document as discussed in class Friday, and begin working on your final project.


T 5/14/13

HW due: Work on your 2.0 revisions.


W 5/15/13

HW due: Work on your 2.0 revisions.

In class: Progress report.


Th 5/16/13

HW due: Work on your 2.0 revisions.


F 5/17/13

HW due: Work on your 2.0 revisions.


M 5/20/13

15th Annual Field Trip to the National Cryptologic Museum, Fort Meade, MD. Bus departs at 8 a.m. from near the intersection of Garfield St. and the service road near Grant Meadow. We will return at approximately 1 p.m. after a guided tour of the museum and an interactive lecture by a working NSA mathematician. Regular school dress code is required.

If you prefer not to go on the field trip for some reason, be sure to say so. In that case, you are expected to attend all your other classes, A through F periods.


T 5/21/13

7:25 a.m.: It’s JBAM a at McDonald’s Week!

In class: Guest speaker on cybersecurity, Mr. Joe Morris ’62.


W 5/22/13

7:25 a.m.: It’s JBAM b at McDonald’s Week!

In class: JBAM c.


Th 5/23/13

Progress report on 2.0 revisions, discussion of final exam.


F 5/24/13

Last day of classes.


Links Based on Class Discussions:
-- Latest revision of the MODD course outline from 2005, before we had a good textbook to use
-- Homemade “Segway”-like balancing scooter uses a fair amount of calculus!

Serious Links:
STA School Handbook
-- Summer math camps for talented high school students
-- GridWorld case study
-- Click here for other serious links

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Return to Mathematics Department home page

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Last updated: 22 May 2013