2013 HMC CS 42 Placement Instructions

HMC CS site    HMC main site
To place into CS 42, you should complete one of these two things.

If your background is unusual and you'd like to place into CS 42 without one of these, drop Zach Dodds a note at dodds@cs.hmc.edu.
Option 1

You can place into CS 42 with a score of 5 on an AP CS exam.
Option 2

You can place into CS 42 with a rigorous college CS1 course or a lower score on the AP exam or a rigorous year of high-school computer science, or having taught yourself lots of CS! Note that, in this context, CS != programming.

If you take this route, we ask you to solve three programming problems using Java from Nick Parlante's wonderful CodingBat website. Details are below.
  1. First, go to the CodingBat website and, if you do not already have one, create an account.

  2. Solve the three java problems:
    • Java > String-3 > maxBlock
    • Java > Recursion-1 > sumDigits
    • Java > Recursion-2 > splitArray

  3. If you haven't used Java before, that site has a nice introduction to the syntax. In addition, there are many problems (several with hints and solutions) that you can use to warm-up or remind yourself or work your way up to the three above. In particular, the "splitArray" problem is challenging: you might want to look at the hint and/or solution to the "groupSum" problem in the same section first.

  4. Once you've completed those, please click the "prefs" option in the upper-right and then "share" your results with dodds@cs.hmc.edu: this will allow us to see your work and results.

  5. If you
    • found these problems challenging, but doable with some work
      (or, perhaps, entirely straightforward)
    • have strong prior background in CS as noted above
    • are excited about a challenging CS experience

    then we look forward to your joining us in CS 42!
Back to the top-level CS Placement page