• AP Computer Science A


    The assumed prerequisites for entering the AP Computer Science A course include knowledge of basic English and algebra. A student in the Computer Science A course should be comfortable with functions and the concepts found in the uses of function notation, such as f(x) = x + 2 and f(x) = g(h(x)). It is important that students and their advisers understand that any significant computer science course builds upon a foundation of mathematical reasoning that should be acquired before attempting such a course.

    Course Description:

    The AP Computer Science A course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems.

    Course Goals:

    The goals of the AP Computer Science A course are comparable to those in the introductory course for computer science majors offered in many college and university computer science departments. It is not expected that all students in the AP Computer Science A course will major in computer science at the university level. The AP Computer Science A course is intended to serve both as an introductory course for computer science majors and as a course for people who will major in other disciplines and want to be informed citizens in today’s technological society. Students should be able to: design, implement, and analyze solutions to problems; use and implement commonly used algorithms; use standard data structures; develop and select appropriate algorithms and data structures to solve new problems; write solutions fluently in an object-oriented paradigm; write, run, test, and debug solutions in the Java programming language, utilizing standard Java library classes and interfaces from the AP Java subset; read and understand programs consisting of several classes and interacting objects; read and understand a description of the design and development process leading to such a program; understand the ethical and social implications of computer use.

    Course Outline:

    First Quarter Java Basics; Methods; Math Calculations; Instance Variables; Strings; If, If-Else; More Strings; If-Else If; For Loops
    Second Quarter While/Do-While Loops; Boolean Algebra; Nested Loops; Arrays; Sorting and Searching Algorithms; Array Lists
    Third Quarter Advanced Parameter Passing; Arrays of References; Interfaces; Inheritance; Abstract Classes; Matrices
    Fourth Quarter More Matrices; Recursion; Advanced Sorting and Searching; AP Exam Review

    Course Resources: (can include texts, materials, supplies)

    Armstrong, Stacey. A+ Computer Science: Computer Science Curriculum Solutions.
    http://apluscompsci.com, 2016
    Dean, John; Dean, Raymond. Introduction to Programming with Java: A Problem Solving Approach. McGraw Hill, 2014.
    Teukolsky, Roselyn. Barron's AP Computer Science A , 7th ed. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron’s Educational Series, 2015. (Recommended for student purchase)

    Grading Scale and Policies:

    Grading for each nine-week period is composed of Daily Grades (40% weight consisting of classwork, homework, and quizzes) and Major Grades (60% weight consisting of unit exams, district checkpoints, summative exams, quizzes, and projects). At a minimum, four major grades and nine daily grades will be used to compute the student’s report card grade. Mr. Pigg will drop at least two daily grades at the end of each grading period in lieu of accepting late work. To be clear, no late work will be accepted.
    If a student misses a homework, quiz, or test due to an absence, the student has one day for each day missed to make up the homework or quiz and no more than five school days to make up the test. Per GPISD policy, if a student scores a failing grade on a MAJOR exam, then he/she is entitled to a reteach/reassessment. This reassessment can come in the form of a retest. Retest deadlines will be posted on the board and announced in class.
    If a student misses school due to a school-related event, it is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements prior to the school-related event for any work that will be missed. Failure to make arrangements will result in a 0.

    Academic Dishonesty Disclaimer:

    Consists of any deliberate attempt to falsify, fabricate or otherwise tamper with data, information, records, or any other material that is relevant to the student's participation in any course, laboratory, or other academic exercise or function. Most, although not all, such attempts fall into one or more of the following three categories: Plagiarism, Cheating or Falsifying.
    **All teachers reserve the right to make adjustments or changes throughout the year.