CSC 161 Grinnell College Spring, 2009
Imperative Problem Solving and Data Structures

  Lab Index    Supplemental Problems   Schedule ( .dvi format / pdf format / postscript )
  Instructor   Textbooks   Course Work   Deadlines   Collaboration   Grading   Technology-Consultants

This course explores elements of computing that have reasonably close ties to the architecture of computers, compilers, and operating systems. The course takes an imperative view of problem-solving, supported by programming in the C programming language. Some topics include:


Henry M. Walker

Office: Science 3811
Telephone: extension 4208

Office hours are posted weekly on the bulletin board outside Science 3811, with additional hours possible by appointment. You may reserve a half hour meeting by signing up on the weekly schedule, but please sign up at least a day in advance.


Henry Walker, An Introduction to C Through Annotated Examples,

K. N. King, C Programming: A Modern Approach, Second Edition, W. W. Norton, 2008, ISBN 978-0393979503.

Graham Glass and King Ables, Linux for Programmers and Users, Prentice-Hall, 2006, ISBN 978-0131857483.

The GNU make Manual, Free Software Foundation, 2006.

Eric Huss, The C Library Reference Guide, University of Illinois Student Chapter, 1997.


While the schedule for this course is expected to evolve, a Tentative Class Schedule is available in .dvi , pdf, and postscript formats.

Also, if you are logged into the departmental network and want a copy printed, click duerer to have a copy printed on the printer duerer.

Course Work

Course Work will involve a combination of the following activities.


Deadlines are shown on the Tentative Class Schedule , and work is due at the start of each class specified. A penalty of 25% per class meeting will be assessed for any assignment turned in late, even work submitted at the end of a class. However, an extension of at least one class period is automatically granted if the department's Linux network is down for an unscheduled period for a period of three or more hours during the week preceding the assignment. Normally, a program or laboratory write-up is due every third class meeting.

Absolute Deadline: All homework must be turned in by Friday, 8 May at 5:00 pm;
laboratory reports or programs received after that time will not be counted in the grading of the course.


Collaboration often will be allowed on laboratory exercises and problems from the textbook, but collaboration normally will NOT be allowed on supplemental problems and tests. To avoid confusion, the rules for collaboration on homework are included in the specification of each assignment.


This instructor's grading philosophy dictates that the final grade should ultimately be based upon each student's demonstration of her or his understanding of the material, not on the performance of the class as a whole nor on a strict percentile basis. The following scheme is proposed as a base for how the various assignments and tests will be counted in the final grade.

Lab Write-ups: 25%     Supplemental Problems: 25%     Hour Tests: 30%     Exam: 20%    

This document is available on the World Wide Web as

created 25 April 2008
last revised 8 January 2009
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For more information, please contact Henry M. Walker at