COMP15 Spring 2018
Data Structures
Last updated February 12, 2018 08:24:43 EST

General Information Syllabus Schedule Homeworks and Projects
 Labs Resources  

General Information

The Textbook Scheduled Lectures Office Hours Contact
Examinations Homeworks Labs Grades
Accessibility Academic Integrity Lateness and Attendance Feedback


We'll be using two textbooks this term, both free PDFs. Most readings assigned will be from the first book, but both have good information on data structures and make decent reference materials for C++.

Scheduled Lectures

(Section 1) (Section 2)
TR 15:00 - 16:15 TR 16:30 - 17:45
Robinson 253 Robinson 253

Office Hours

Computer Science is equal parts art and science. There is rarely a problem to solve for which only one solution exists. Computer scientists develop good software by applying knowledge, educated guesses, trial-and-error, and collaboration. We have office hours for COMP15, but it is often just as helpful to talk over your approach with your classmates as it is to talk it over with a Teaching Assistant or Professor.

Office hours are hosted every week by undergraduate Teaching Assistants, graduate Teaching Assistants, and the professor. Please come by and talk to us, but remember that we are not debugging machines. We're here to help make sure you understand concepts; we are not here to find and resolve every problem in your code, and we are DEFINITELY not here to find and resolve every problem in your code 30 minutes before the deadline.

Instructor's Office Hours

Come to Laney's office hours. Come even if you don't have a particular question or need help. It's a big class, so we don't get enough face-to-face time. I expect to see you at least once during the semester.

Teaching Fellows

Our experienced and wonderful TFs are, in addition to "usual" office hours, your best bet for getting feedback on homework grades (why points were taken off, what a better solution would be, etc.).

Professor Laney Strange Teaching Fellow: Emma Plankey Teaching Fellow: Kathryn Tweel
Office: 228C Halligan HallHalligan collab roomHalligan Collab room
Contact via Contact via emma.plankey AT Contact via kathryn.tweel AT
Office Hours: M 4:30-5:30pm T 6pm-7pm, R 10am-12pm Office Hours: T 7-9pm, W 7-9pm Office Hours: M 7-9pm

Undergraduate TAs

Our other undergraduate TAs cover office hours every day of the week. They will be in Halligan Hall.

Office Hours Guidelines

  1. Expect to figure out and resolve things yourself. TAs will think through design choices with you and guide you toward a few things to try.
  2. Come early. If the homework is due on Thursday, visit office hours on Sunday or Monday.
  3. Come with questions. The more specific, the better.
  4. Write a little, compile a little. It's much easier on everyone if you have a chunk of a program working and add a little more that breaks it. Otherwise, it's hard to nail down a problem.
  5. Do not ask TAs for COMP15 help outside of office hours and labs. If you happen to be friends with a TA, don't take advantage. In addition to being fellow students, they are also doing a job. Respect their time and their privacy.

Remember -- TAs do not do your homework for you! You are 100% responsible for completing every homework assignment. Their job is help you think about your solution, not to give you the "correct" one. You might find this frustrating at times, especially when you're struggling to figure out a bug and the deadline is approaching. Hey, we understand the frustration -- we've all struggled with coding too. But our approach is for a reason: you'll ultimately learn more when you're responsible for your own work.

When you come to office hours in a slight panic and find that the TAs won't just quickly give you easy solutions, but instead they slow the conversation down and ask you a bunch of questions about your design, know that they are doing so with my full support. If it's frustrating, come and talk to me; don't take it out on our TAs.

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
9am-11am Steven, Casey, Maxwell Matt C. Casey Ashley
11am-1pm Elena Matt C. Sammy, Caroline (11:30-1:15) Sammy (12-1)
1-3pm Favour, Ashley, Elena, Josh Emma R., Josh, Andrea Allen MP, Josh, Julie (2-4), Matt C. (2-4) Caroline Kevin
3-5pm Caroline Julia, Aman, Deepanshu Sammy Emma (4:15-5)
5-7pm Julia, Emma R. Julia, Tanya, Clara, Aman MP, Jesse, Kevin, Matt R. Aman (4-7), Julia MP
7-9pm Kathryn, Ramtin Nick, Emma P. Tatiana, Emma P., Kevin (6-8) Tatiana

The best way to get help on course material and homeworks is to drop by office hours, which are posted above.

Sign up for our course piazza site. Piazza is a tool for connecting with your fellow students. Because there are so many different ways to approach a CompSci problem, there is lots of room for lively discussion. You may not post your code on Piazza, but you can ask, answer, and discuss different things you've tried, what worked and didn't work, and resources you've found.

Do not think of Piazza as a canonical source of information from the teaching staff. Ask questions, sure -- but don't expect immediate answers ro every coding bug you've run into. Try it yourself first, and talk with other students!

Contact Guidelines

  1. Grading questions: Visit the office hours of the instructors or the Teaching Fellows. Do not send email.
  2. Lab questions: Email or speak directly to your lab leader.
  3. Lecture questions: Post on piazza or come to Laney's office hours.
  4. Homework questions (apart from grading): Post on piazza
  5. Administrative questions (about the schedule, exam dates, etc.): Email or speak to Laney.

Homework Policy

Lab Policy


The course grade will be based upon the scores on the labs, midterm exams, homeworks, projects, and the final exam as follows:

Homework/Project (7, but each project counts as 2 homeworks) 45%, lowest dropped
Labs (8) 15%, lowest dropped
Midterm Exam (2) 20%
Final Exam (1) 20%


Tufts University values the diversity of our students, staff, and faculty; recognizing the important contribution each student makes to our unique community. Tufts is committed to providing equal access and support to all qualified students through the provision of reasonable accommodations so that each student may fully participate in the Tufts experience. If you have a disability that requires reasonable accommodations, please contact the Student Accessibility Services office at or 617-627-4539 to make an appointment with an SAS representative to determine appropriate accommodations.

Academic integrity
While students are encouraged to discuss course materials, no plagiarism/copying is allowed on homework. In particular,

Lateness and Attendance
You are not required to attend lecture, but you are required to attend every lab. You must be present in your scheduled lab section to receive a grade. Quizzes are also given during lab sections, and you must be present to receive a quiz grade as well.

Your lowest lab grade will be dropped. You are responsible for knowing the lab schedule on the labs page.

Your lowest homework grade will be dropped (homework only; project grades are not dropped).

You may submit ONE project/homework up to 5 days late by cashing in your late token. (Details on the assignments page.)

If you've already cashed in your late token and something serious occurs in your life (such as a family emergency or hospitalziation), then your next step is to speak to your dean. The dean will verify your situation and get in touch with all of your professors to sort out missed work and extensions where appropriate.

You must sit exams in the section you are officially registered for. You may not miss any exams without documented verification of an illness or emergency. Missed exams will count zero.
Your candid comments on any aspect of the course are always welcome. For ideas you want to share with the rest of the COMP15 community, please post in Piazza. For confidential feedback you'd like to share with the instructors, please use the anonymous form below.

Laney Strange
Last updated February 12, 2018 08:24:43 EST