Summer 2024 - CMPT 120 D100

Introduction to Computing Science and Programming I (3)

Class Number: 3994

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Mon, Wed, Fri, 10:30–11:20 a.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.



  • 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

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. Challenge yourself and take our placement test:
  • IF NO – please go ahead and enroll in CMPT 120. Welcome!

Technology and Tools

Details of technology and tools needed in this course will be presented, discussed and used during classes.



To be discussed in first week of class. Marks will include weekly exercises, assginment, midterm(s), final exam.

A more detailed course marking scheme (grading) will be provided and discussed during the first week of classes.


Important: Students must attain an overall passing grade on the weighted average of exams in the course in order to obtain a clear pass (C- or better).



Technology and Tools

Details of technology and tools needed in this course will be presented, discussed and used during classes.


Think Python - How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

This text is available online for free (free download).

Think Python - How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Interactive Edition

This interactive text is available online for free.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.