Syllabus for CSCI 241

The instructor for CSCI 241 is Dean Brock. The course title of CSCI 241 is Applications Programming in COBOL. However, this isn't just a course in COBOL. In this course we'll look into techniques for file processing, common and useful documentation standards, and new programming styles such as those used in Object COBOL.

The textbook for the course is Fundamentals of Structure COBOL, written by Robert Nickerson and published by HarperCollins (ISBN 0-673-52150-8). I hope to cover the entire book this semester.

Students in this classes will be given accounts on the computer science Unix workstations for their assignments. Due to a delay at UNC-Greensboro in the shipment of a CD-ROM containing an updated COBOL compiler, right now COBOL only runs on one CSCI workstation and the main academic machine

If you have access to a COBOL compiler on another computer, for example, your home PC, you are certainly welcome to develop your applications on that platform; however, your completed must be transferred to the CSCI Unix workstations and must execute successfully on tryon so that the instructor can test your code.

If you haven't used Unix workstations, you should invest in a copy of Unix for the Impatient by Paul Abrahams and Bruce A. Larson (Addison-Wesley, ISBN: 0-201-82376-4). By the way, under no circumstances may you allow anyone else to use your workstation account!

Grades will be based on a combination of graded homework, two tests, and one final exam. All homework will have a due date listed in the course Internet documents. Late homework will be subject to a penalty based on a half-life of 10 days, e.g., you only get one-half credit for homework 10 days late and one-quarter for homework 20 days late. The half-life calculation is explain in more detailed on my page The decay of late assignments. I also have some picky rules for turning in programming assignments that can be read in my page Turning in Assignments.

In the calculation of final grades, the following weights will be used:

Homework includes not only programming assignments, but oral and written presentations. The scheduled final exam period for this class is Thursday, 8 May, from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Yes, that is very late in the exam period, and no, there will not be any early finals.

My office hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM. I do frequently read electronic mail and sending a message to my computer account,, is generally the best way to get a prompt response.

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