Fall 2022 - CMPT 120 OL01

Introduction to Computing Science and Programming I (3)

Class Number: 8026

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Exam Times + Location:

    Oct 25, 2022
    Tue, 6:00–9:00 p.m.
    Location: TBA

    Dec 13, 2022
    Tue, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

    Dec 13, 2022
    Tue, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

    Dec 13, 2022
    Tue, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

    Dec 13, 2022
    Tue, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    BC Math 12 or equivalent is recommended.



An elementary introduction to computing science and computer programming, suitable for students with little or no programming background. Students will learn fundamental concepts and terminology of computing science, acquire elementary skills for programming in a high-level language, e.g. Python. The students will be exposed to diverse fields within, and applications of computing science. Topics will include: pseudocode; data types and control structures; fundamental algorithms; recursion; reading and writing files; measuring performance of algorithms; debugging tools; basic terminal navigation using shell commands. Treatment is informal and programming is presented as a problem-solving tool. Students with credit for CMPT 102, 128, 130 or 166 may not take this course for further credit. Students who have taken CMPT 125, 129, 130 or 135 first may not then take this course for further credit. Quantitative/Breadth-Science.


Mode of Teaching:
Distance Education with online synchronous lectures, via Zoom. It is expected that students will connect remotely during the lectures.

* CMPT 120 PLACEMENT TEST – do you have enough computing knowledge to pass our placement test? Have you taken Computing Science courses in High School or elsewhere? Have you worked in a business or volunteered as a computer programmer? Have you written programs of 200-300 lines of code or more? IF YES you may NOT have to take CMPT 120 and could enroll directly into the next required courses – CMPT 125 and 127. Challenge yourself and take our placement test. https://courses.cs.sfu.ca/forms/cmpt-cmpt-120-placement-test/ IF NO – please go ahead and enroll in CMPT 120.

This OL01 section of CMPT 120 will be taught SYNCHRONOUSLY ONLINE on M/W/F from 4:30-5:20 pm. Students in this section should be available during class times with access to a computer with internet access and Zoom teleconferencing software. Exams will be required and IN-PERSON. Students will be required to go to the Burnaby campus for both the midterm and final exams. In addition, practice exams in the week prior to both exams will be offered during class time in-person (optional but highly recommended.)

Further details of technology and tools needed in class and for tests will be provided the first class of the semester. All the course information and communication will be centralized in the Canvas course website which will be available by the first day of class, including class materials, readings, assignments, and points. Students should ensure that they receive notifications when announcements are posted on Canvas.

Midterm: The midterm and the final exam will be in person. There will be the opportunity to participate in a practice midterm and a practice final exam in person.
The CMPT 120 midterm exam will be held on Tue. October 25, 2022, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm PST. All students enrolled in this course are expected to be available during this time. If you experience a course conflict when registering for this course on goSFU due to the midterm, see the CS FAQ landing page for procedures to enroll in this course.
There will be the opportunity to participate in a practice midterm and a practice final exam in person.


  • Algorithms and computational thinking
  • Procedural programming in Python
  • Data types and control structures
  • Application areas within computing science
  • Fundamental algorithms, including searching, sorting, basics of recursion
  • Computability and complexity, introduction
  • Basics of binary encoding



There will be assignments and multiple quizzes/exams. A more detailed marking scheme and technology details will be provided in the first class of the semester.



Reference Books

  • Computer Science Illuminated, Nell Dale, John Lewis, Jones & Bartlett, 2012, 9781449672843
  • Starting out with Programming Logic and Design, Tony Gaddis, Pearson, 2015, 9780133985078
  • Starting Out with Python-4th Edition, Tony Gaddis, Pearson, 2017, 9780134543666


  • Think Python - How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Interactive Edition https://runestone.academy/runestone/books/published/thinkcspy/index.html, , This interactive text is available online for free


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html