COL100: Introduction to Computer Science

This is the course page for COL100: Introduction to Computer Science, for Semester II, 2019-2020, being taught by Subhashis Banerjee (suban AT at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT, New Delhi.

Notice | Honour Code | Miscellaneous | Overview | Prerequisites | References | Class notes and programs discussed in class | Assignments | Tests | Computer usage | Administrative Information and Grading Policy | Roll and Grades |

General Information

Teaching assistants:

To be put up soon.

Class timings (Room LHC 325):
  • Monday, 09:30-11:00
  • Thursday, 09:30-11:00

Practical timings
TA office hours

Primary references:


  1. All mails to the course instructor MUST have COL100 as the subject.
  2. Click here for downloading the latest versions of SML for windows or Linux.
  3. Most of the reading material in this course will be available in PDF formats. To view PDF files you may download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Honour code

  • All students are expected to follow the highest ethical standards.
  • Collaborations and discussions are encouraged. However, all students are required to write up all solutions entirely on their own. Any collaboration, or help taken, must be declared.
  • Students are encouraged to refer to books, papers and internet resources. They may even consult other individuals. However, the source must be clearly cited if any part of the solution (or even an idea) is taken from such a source.
  • Failure to declare any help taken will be interpreted as academic misconduct.



Click here to see what the Courses of Study booklet has to say.

COL100: Introduction to Computer Science is intended for First Year B. Tech. students with some prior elementary background in programming. The course COL100 addresses on the following issues:

  1. Problem formulation in a precise and concise fashion and independent of language considerations.
  2. The design of an algorithm from the problem specification -- its correctness and analysis of its efficiency.
  3. The intermediate steps in the design of a program from an algorithm through a process of step-wise refinement. Language dependent considerations may be used in this process, but not elsewhere.
The emphasis throughout the course is in the analysis required while designing correct and efficient algorithms. The course is intended to teach a student a systematic process of design - beginning with problem formulation from an informal specification, through convincing arguments to algorithms, the analysis of their correctness and efficiency, and finally arriving at programs through a process of step-wise refinement. A programming language bias is avoided and programs are developed in both imperative and functional styles.

The first part of the course introduces the basics of the functional and imperative models of computation, recursive and iterative processes, and the basics of programming using higher-order functions. The programming languages used for functional and imperative programming are Standard ML and Python, respectively.

The second part of the course introduces data-directed programming. It emphasizes on programming with records, lists, trees, arrays and developing abstract data types.

The third part of the course addresses the issues in design and analysis of simple algorithms. Examples are taken from Divide and conquer, Backtracking, Numerical algorithms, Randomized algorithms and Geometric algorithms.




Primary reference:

Other references:

  1. Click here for downloading the latest versions of SML for windows or Linux.
  2. Unix tutorial for beginners
  3. SML Tutorial (pdf)
  4. SML Tutorials
  5. Python resources:
  6. Java Tutorials
  7. Programming Principles in Java by Dave Schmidt , a draft of a forthcoming book with the kind permission of the author.
  8. Java Technology Home Page .
  9. Pascal Programming Manual by Nicholas Wirth.

Class notes and programs discussed in class

Click here to access the class notes and programs developed in the class and other miscelleneous utilities (like random number package in ML).

Computer usage

  • The students of COL100 are required to learn the usage of Linux, a Unix-like operating system. All the desktop machines to be used for this course have Linux installed on them. You can check out a Unix tutorial for beginners.
  • The native editor on any UNIX system is vi. It is imperative to learn how to use this editor. Download Typing in the command ``vi'' at the UNIX prompt will take you through an interactive tutorial lesson on the usage of vi.
  • The UNIX operating system supports online man pages. For example, one can access the `vi' manual by typing in the command `man vi'. You can check for a concept using `man -k'. For example, you can check for Python using the command `man -k python'. Please use `man' liberally, and definitely before asking anything to the teaching assistants and system administrators, or risk a reply like ``read the fine manuals''. The Python/SML/Matlab interpreters can be invoked by typing ``python/sml/matlab'' at the UNIX prompt. Please get in touch with the teaching assistants if these commands do not work.
  • Click here for downloading the latest versions of SML for windows or Linux.

Administrative Information and Grading Policy

Grading Policy:

Minor I - 22.5%; Minor II - 22.5%; Major - 30%; Programming assignments - 25%;

The riot act:

As per the Institute regulations, an ``A'' grade will be awarded only over 80% and no student with less than 30% will be given a passing grade.

An ``I'' grade will be awarded only in the case of an illness during the major exam. A make-up exam will be scheduled at the earliest, and the ``I'' grade will be converted as soon as possible. However, please do your best to ensure that you donot break a leg or otherwise fall ill during examinations. Repeat examinations are harder by tradition.

Other policies:

  • Attendance: The institute requires a mandatory 75% attendance for all students, which includes time lost due to illness.

    However this course will require 100% attendance. Please inform the instructor if for any reason you cannot attend a class. Be warned that it will be difficult to make up if you miss classes.

  • Illness: In sickness or ill-health, a Medical Certificate from the Institute Sick Bay, or a doctor from an Institute-recognised hospital is necessary, especially if you request for a make-up test. Only in the case of serious illnesses will I consider giving an extension on assignments.
  • Make-up Tests: Make-up tests (minor or major exams only) will be given only when the student furnishes a valid documentation of illness for a period including the day of the exam.
  • Late policy: Normally, I will not consider any assignments turned in late. In cases of illness I may consider giving an extension, provided the student informs me as soon as possible.

Subhashis Banerjee / Dept. Computer Science and Engineering / IIT Delhi / Hauz Khas/ New Delhi 110016 /