Welcome to CS 200!

Spring 2019

There are many reasons to learn to program a computer. We are excited to help you learn to read and write computer programs using the Java programming language. Java is widely used to write programs for all kinds of computers to run. To get started with the course, please complete the checklist below by the first week of class.

See you in class!

Jim Williams
Marc Renault

Getting Started Checklist:

  1. Best Course for you?
  2. zyBook Registration
  3. TopHat Registration
  4. Activate Piazza account
  5. Review the Syllabus
  6. (after 1st class day) Activate your CS Account
  7. Find Team Lab
  8. (by week 3) Determine if you have any Exam Conflicts and Request other accommodations
  9. (by week 3) Install Java 8 and Eclipse on your computer

1. Best Course for you?

If you are New to computer programming:

Both CS 200 and CS 301 are intended as introductions to computer programming for those that have little to no programming experience. Both cover structured programming, basic design, and the use of existing classes and objects.

CS 301 is intended for non-CS majors, especially those majoring in quantitative fields (e.g., engineering, the natural sciences, the social sciences, and others).  CS 301 focuses on writing practical code to extract meaning from real datasets, and is taught using Python.

CS 200 is intended for CS majors and other students anticipating doing significant programming. It includes online and in-person weekly lab components, begins with small programming projects and builds to larger, multi-week programs, and is taught using Java.

If you have Experience programming:

Read and implement Peg Solitare (or do the 1st assignment if available, since it will count). If you can do this without help then talk with the CS 300 Programming II instructor about enrolling in CS 300.

2. zyBook Registration ($77)

The zyBook E-Text for this class costs $77 and will remain available for your use through June 1st, 2019. In addition to providing you with readings and interactive demos, the participation portion of your grade in this class relies on your completion of the participation and challenge activities found throughout the assigned readings.  Additionally your weekly programs are turned in using this tool.  To obtain access to this zyBook:

  1. Sign up at learn.zyBooks.com using your netid based @wisc.edu email address (this email must match the one in Learn@UW for grade recording).
  2. Enter the zyBook code: WISCCOMPSCI200Spring2019
  3. Click Subscribe.
  4. Complete How to Use zyBooks.

NOTE: We will be discussing material from the first chapter of this book at our first class.  You’ll see this on the syllabus.

For students who would like to have a traditional bound text covering similar content. We recommend the following optional supplemental text: Daniel Liang, Introduction to Java Programming, Brief Version (10th edition, Pearson, ISBN 9780133592207 or 11th edition, Pearson, ISBN 9780134611037)

3. TopHat Registration ($16 to $54 depending on option)

TopHat is a mobile app that is used to answer questions during lecture and is a part of your participation grade.

About TopHat including Pricing

Sign up for TopHat

Join Codes

4. Activate Piazza Account

Piazza is an online tool for asking and answering questions for all students in CS 200. Piazza is available to you anywhere you have access to the internet. It is delivered and supported by a company called Piazza.


Go to: piazza.com/wisc/spring2019/cs200
Click “Join Classes”
Continue filling out the forms being careful to enter your netid based @wisc.edu email address, first name, and last name.

Note: This same discussion area is used for both Jim’s and Marc’s lectures.

Logging In to Piazza

Once you’re logged in, you can stay logged in on that computer. You will need to re-login if you check Piazza from another computer.

Go to: piazza.com/wisc/spring2019/cs200/home
Click “Login to Piazza”

5. Review the Syllabus

Please review the course information including policies and syllabus.

Course Information and Syllabus

6. (after 1st class day) Activate your CS Account

As a registered CS 200 student, you are provided an account on the CS lab machines, starting on the 1st class day. Note that your CS username (and password) are different from your UW NetID.

If you do not already have a CS account, expect an email at your campus email from lab@cs.wisc.edu with complete account activation instructions, when the account is ready. This email should be sent by the 1st day of classes.

After 1st class day: Activate CS Account

Note: Some accounts may not be available until after the first day of class.  Please wait to contact lab support about any problems you encounter setting up this account until after the first day of class.  For students who register after the first day of class, expect at least a one day delay before your account is ready for activation.

Your CS account is necessary for logging into Lab computers. Additionally, having a CS account adds an alternate address/alias (yourcslogin@cs.wisc.edu) to your campus (@wisc.edu) email address.

7. Prepare for Team Lab

Team Labs start meeting during Week 2. The team labs are located in the Computer Sciences building in the first floor rooms 1350cs, 1370cs. Log in using your CS Account (activated above).

Your L: Drive

Your CS account also provides you with space to save your Java files on your L: drive. When working on the lab computers, make sure to save your files on the L: drive. Do not save them on the C: drive since other people can access files you put there.

(by week 3) Startup Eclipse

Eclipse is the professional Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that we use for Java program development in CS200.

Eclipse Tutorial

8. (by week 3) Determine Exam Conflicts and other Accommodation Requests

This course has exams on the following days:
Exam 1: Thursday, February 28th (5:30-7:00 pm)
Exam 2: Thursday, April 11th (5:30-7:00 pm)
Final Exam: Friday, May 10th (5:05-7:05 pm)

Please carefully check your schedule to determine whether you have any conflicts with these exams. Pay close attention to your exam schedules for other classes!  If you have any need for alternate exam scheduling due to scheduling conflicts or other accommodation requirements (including McBurney VISAs), then you formally submit an alternate exam request using the following form.  To ensure that we can handle these requests, all requests for all three exams should be submitted no later than the third Friday of the course, Friday, February 8th. 

The form will remain open throughout the term and you can submit requests at any point. However, those submitted by the deadline will have the highest priority. If you submit an exam conflict, a week or so before each exam you will receive an email with the alternative arrangements.

If you have not received an email and the exam is less than a week away, please contact your instructor.

Alternate Exam Request Form  (error?)

9. (by week 3) Install Eclipse with Java 8 on your computer

We strongly encourage students to install Eclipse and Java on your computers making it possible for you to practice programming at your convenience. This practice is invaluable for learning the Java language and improving your programming skills.

Instructions to Install Java on your computer

Get started using Eclipse with the Eclipse Tutorial.