Course Description

This course continues the development of programming and problem-solving skills, focusing on the Java programming language, object-oriented programming and design (OOP/OOD), and improved programming practices. Topics include: An introduction to the Java programming language, encapsulation and information hiding, inheritance and polymorphism, generics, and containers.

Programming projects for this course will use the Java programming language. Prerequisites: CMSC 201 and MATH 151.


The objectives of this course are:

CMSC Gateway

For students who enrolled in college for the first time in Summer 1998 or later, you have two choices: pass both of CMSC 201 and CMSC 202 with a grade of B or better or don't graduate as a CMSC major. The registrar has very specific rules about repeating courses in sequence; for example, if you were to have a C in 201 and then take and pass 202 expecting to retake 201, you can't. Since the classes form a sequence, you cannot retake an earlier class in the sequence once you've passed a later one. Also, note that all University deadlines (for adding or dropping courses, changing grading method, etc.) will be strictly enforced, so make sure you are familiar with these.


Absolute Java, Third Edition by Walter Savitch
Addison Wesley Publishing, ISBN: 0-321-48792-3 (Errata sheet)

Recommended Books

Head First Java, 2nd Edition by Sierra & Bates
O'Reilly Publishing, ISBN: 0-596-00920-8
An easy to read introduction to the basics of Java.

Thinking in Java, 4th Edition, Bruce Eckel
Prentice Hall Publishing, ISBN: 0131872486
The complete 3rd edition is available FREE on-line at
The first 7 chapters of the 4th edition are available FREE on-line at
Considered by many to be the best Java reference book.

Also see the list of Java reference books

Lectures and Readings

You are expected to attend all lectures and labs for this course. Although both classes will cover the same general topics, you are responsible for the specifics given during your section. You are expected to attend all laboratory sessions, and you are responsible for all material presented there.

You are responsible for all material covered in class, even if it is not in the textbook. You are responsible for all material in the readings, even if it is not covered during class. If you should happen to miss a lecture or a lab, you are responsible for getting any missed notes or announcements from a classmate.


The schedule includes lectures topics, lecture notes, reading assignments, midterm and final exam dates, project due dates, and lab dates.

Grading Criteria

Your grade in this course is based on projects, lab assignments and exams, which are discussed in more detail below.
      2 Midterms (15% each)        =  30%
      1 Comprehensive Final Exam   =  20%
     10 Lab Assignments (1% each)  =  10%
      5 Projects (6, 7, 8, 9, 10%) =  40%
Letter grades will follow the standard scale:
			100 >= A >= 90
			 90 >  B >= 80
			 80 >  C >= 70
			 70 >  D >= 60
			 60 >  F
Your grade is based on timely work accomplished during the semester; incomplete grades will only be given for medical illness or other such dire circumstances (almost never).

Project grades will be mailed to your UMBC email account. The Midterm exams will be returned to you either in lecture or in lab.

Required Labs

Required lab sessions are designed to provide you with practice writing Java code, learning to use Eclipse, and other course and project related skills.

All required CMSC 202 lab sessions are led by your TA. Check the required lab schedule for the time and location of the lab session for your section. To recieve credit for attending the lab and completing the lab assignment, your work must be verified by the TA.

Required labs begin second week of class.

It is our intent to offer more than 10 lab assignments during the semester, schedule and weather permitting. If more than 10 lab assigments are offered, then the 10 best lab grades will be counted.

All lab assignments must be completed during your assigned lab time. You must attend your assigned lab section.

TAs will be present at your lab to explain the lab assignment, help with assignment as needed, and record your successful completion of the assignment.

Lab assignments are graded on a scale from 0 to 3 at the discretion of the TA

Lab Office Hours

In addition to the required labs described above, CMSC 202 and CMSC 341 TAs will also hold drop-in office hours in ITE 240. During these times TAs will be available for assistance on projects or just to answer your questions. These labs are available to all CMSC 202 students and operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check the open lab schedule for hours of operation. Please do not use the open labs hours for questions about project grades. Please see your TA during regular office hours for project grade questions and regrade requests.

This lab is primarily for use by CMSC 421 students. We are guests in this lab, please act accordingly. Students using the lab must observe all the rules below:

  1. Observe all the University and Departmental policies regarding the use of the University's and the Department's computer and laboratory facilities.
  2. No Food or Drinks Allowed in the Lab. Absolutely! Never!
  3. Do not log in to multiple machines, especially when there are students waiting for access to the lab.
  4. Be respectful of others working in the lab. DO NOT create disturbances (e.g. don't be noisy, don't play audible music, etc).
  5. CMSC 421 related activities have priority. This is because they have special requirements that limit them to this lab, while there are designated OIT Labs across campus that provide general computer access.
  6. Observe the TA hours in the lab. CMSC 202 students are only allowed to work during the TA lab hours. Sign in with the TA when you arrive. You must leave the lab by when the TA goes off duty - no excuses, no exceptions!
  7. Report offenders of lab rules to the instructional staff.
  8. Report any suspicious activity to the instructional staff or the Campus police, as appropriate.
  9. The lab is provided to you by the University for your benefit. Take good care of it! Do not abuse it!
  10. Repeated offenses might result in shutting down the laboratory for everybody.
Failure to observe all the lab rules will result in suspending your lab access, as well as further disciplinary actions as determined by Departmental and University policy.


The critical programming skills cannot be learned simply by attending the lectures. You should budget enough time to work on the projects as well. The due date and time for each assignment will be include with the project description. Please see the late project submission policy.

To be assigned a grade a project much show substantial effort. Projects which do not show a substantial effort (at the discretion of the grader) will recieve a score of 0. . Please see the project grading page for details of project grading.

There will be five graded projects totaling 40% of your final grade. In addition, Project 0 is a mandatory ungraded project. The purpose of Project 0 is NOT to make sure you know how to use the submission system, but rather to make sure that the submission system is prepared to accept projects from your account. If you fail to submit Project 0, no future project submissions will be possible and your grade for those projects (which ARE graded) will suffer.

Network and computer failures at UMBC are a fact of life. They are out of your control and out of our control. However, they are not an excuse for a project to be submitted late, nor are they a reason for project deadlines to be extended, even if the outage occurs on the due date. Plan accordingly. Waiting to submit your project until 5 minutes before your project is due is a recipe for disaster. In the event of network outages or computer failures you are still responsible for submitting your projects on time. There are labs on campus even if your dialup or ResNet connections are down. Also, it is your responsibility to take care of any problems with your account, such as quota overages, which interfere with your ability to complete and submit projects for the course. Project extensions will not be given for such problems.

Project Compilation

All projects must compile and link on UMBC's Linux system using the javac compiler/linker and run under GL's JVM. UMBC is currently running version 1.6.0. To ensure you are accessing Linux, log on to Do not develop your projects on the Irix machines (; different compilers may be installed on the two systems, and what compiles on one may not compile on the other. See the projects page for more details.

Design Assignments

Some projects will include a design/test assignment. The purpose of this assignment is to spend some time thinking about the design of your project before actually implementing it and to consider how your program should be tested. Generally, the design/test assignment for a project will be due a week before the project itself. You will be graded not only on the merits of your design, but on whether or not you actually follow your design in the implementation of the project. Designs will be submitted electronically just like source code files; late design/test assignments are not accepted. More details will be provided with the first project assignment. Often, these design assignments will include a small component of the project that you must develop that will help you refine your design. Questions about your intended design may be asked to help you evaluate the feasiblily of your design.

Getting Help on Projects

You should make every attempt to do as much work on each project as possible. If you get help from anyone, you must document their assistance in the comments section of your code. The TAs and the instructors are the best sources for assistance. See the Project Policy page for a description of OPEN and CLOSED projects.

Project Regrade Requests

There are two kinds of regrade requests, one carries a deduction and one does not.

If you feel the grader has made a mistake on your Project or Exam, you may choose to request a grade correction. Grade corrections must be discussed in person with your instructor within one (1) weekof receiving your grade. Otherwise the grade stands.

If you made a minor mistake that caused our automated project grading script to fail and you can correct it by changing a "few" lines of code, you may discuss the request with your instructor. Regrades are given at the discretion of the instructor. After each grade is returned, there is a grace period of one (1) week during which you may discuss any problems you have with your grade. After that time, your grade will stand. Regrades will incur a 10-point deduction. Regrades will only be considered if you could possibly improve your score by a letter grade (after the deduction).

Students in all sections must discuss grade changes in person with their instructor..

No grade change requests will be granted via email.


There will be three (3) exams -- two midterm exams and a comprehensive final exam. A common, comprehensive final exam will be given to all CMSC 202 students at the same time and place. Time and room TBD. Make-ups for exams are given under only the most dire circumstances (such as hospitalization). Exams must be taken with your lecture session.

A picture ID is required to take/hand-in the exam.

Course BlackBoard

The course blackboard for CMSC 202 is available to all students in all sections. Blackboard will be used to post student grades and to support course discussion boards. Discussion boards wwill be created for general questions about course material, Java, and for general questions about Eclipse. A disscussion board will be created for each project in this course.

If you have difficulty accessing the course blackboard site, you can "self enroll" as a student in the course. To enroll for the course click on the courses tab in the Blackboard web site, and then select the Computer Science hyperlink under the Course Catalog section. Then select the enroll button for the current semester's course. Refer to this link for more information. If you're still having difficulty, email Mr. Frey. Be sure to include your UMBC user name.

Academic Conduct Policies

By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC's scholarly community in which everyone's academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong. Academic misconduct could result in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, suspension or dismissal. To read the full Student Academic Conduct Policy, consult the UMBC Student Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, or the UMBC Policies section of the UMBC Directory. The UMBC Student Academic Conduct Policy is also online.

If you need help with your project, see your instructor, your TA, the Computer Science Help Center (room ITE 201E), or tutors provided by the Learning Resource Center. We also encourage you to consult your textbook and the course web pages.

Having someone else's project (even a small part) in your possession, even briefly, is forbidden.
Safeguard your account password; you are responsible for the actions of anyone else you may allow to log into your account.

Safeguard hard copies of your programs; excuses such as "I must have left a copy of my code in the lab where someone else must have found it" will not be accepted.

Your project will be checked for similarities with all other student projects. If your project is found to be "substantially similar" to that of another student, or if it is determined that someone else wrote your project for you, then at a minimum you and the other student (if applicable) will receive a grade of zero for that project and 10 point deduction (one letter grade) in your semester average. Furthermore, all parties concerned will have their prior projects re-checked for cheating. Any second incident will result in a grade of 'F' for the semester.

Also, checking for cheating may occur at any time during the semester. Therefore, if you cheated on Project 1, you may be confronted about that at any time; receiving a grade for a project does not mean you are "in the clear".

Any act of dishonesty WILL BE reported to the University's Academic Conduct Committee for further action, which may include, but is not limited to, academic suspension or dismissal from the university.

Email Policies

Email is great -- much better than voice mail. If you need to contact your instructor about this class outside of lecture and office hours, email is much better than the telephone. You should, however, observe the following etiquette:

In addition, due to the volume of student email during each semester, please note the following: