a moment to tell us a bit about your background with computer science
and/or computer programming. We will use this to help us place you
into an appropriate CS course in the upcoming fall term of 2015.
HMC CS placement options
Most often, one of these sections is appropriate:
- The CS 5
"green" and CS 5
are designed for students without CS or programming experience. Both sections
cover the same foundational material and provide students with the same
preparation for subsequent CS courses. The "gold" section draws its context
and examples from across engineering, the natural sciences, and mathematics.
The "green" section motivates the material through current problems in the life
sciences and asks students to write programs to solve these problems (e.g.,
determining why certain bacteria cause diseases while others do not, analyzing
DNA to determine if someone is lactose intolerant, etc.).
- The CS 5 "black"
is designed for students with some
high-school CS or programming experience (in any language). This section covers
the same material as in "green" or "gold," but spends less time on topics that will
be familiar to students with some programming experience. "Black"
uses this extra time to explore applications of CS such as
cryptography and data compression, among other topics. The instructor of CS 5 black
will decide on final placements in the last week of August.
The "black," "green," and "gold" sections prepare students equally well for CS 60.
- The CS 42
The CS 42 course is appropriate for students with significant CS experience
(e.g., students who did well on the AP CS exam and / or have college CS
experience). If you earned a 5 on any CS AP exam, you would likely place into
here. If you have other significant CS experience, we ask you to let us know via
this form. CS 42 is a fast-paced introduction to many topics in CS including
models of computation, uncomputability, functional programming, analysis of
programs, software engineering, and algorithmic techniques. Because of students'
prior experience, we focus more on Computer Science than programming at first:
we won't write code for the first month of the semester. After that, we'll write
programs in several languages. After CS 42 you will be ready to take CS 70,
HMC's third CS course. Students who request placement into CS 42 may be asked to
complete a short computing exercise when they arrive at HMC in fall 2015. The
instructor of CS 42 will decide on final placements in the last week of August.