Introduction to Data Structures

Course Description

In this course, we will learn about the basic data structures and key algorithmic concepts in computer programming using Java.

Learning Objectives

  • Communicate effectively
    • Plan program solutions using pseudo-codes
    • Write program solutions using Java programming language
    • Document code with appropriate explanatory information
  • Employ quantitative analysis and mathematical methods
    • Analyze problem situations
    • Use mathematical models to develop solutions
  • Think critically and analytically
    • Develop algorithmic solutions
    • Implement and test problem solutions

Important Dates

  • Thu, Mar 21, 2019: Last Day of Add/Drop
  • Sat, Apr 13, 2019: Last Day of Course Withdrawal
  • Sun, May 05, 2019: Last Day of the Session

Course Requirements


  • Computer Programming I (CSC 512)


  • Starting out with Java: From Control Structures through Data Structures by Tony Gaddis, 4th Edition.

Laptop requirements

Having access to a laptop during class time is critical, as we will be:

  • Working with hands-on examples in class, and
  • Working on in-class electronic quizzes on D2L

Make sure that your laptop is fully charged for the duration of the class (or come in early and get a spot with access to power outlets).

Software requirements

We will be using jGRASP for this class.

Course Materials

  • Lecture slides and example codes will be available online via links inside the course’ D2L page

  • Links to papers on subjects we will be discussing in class will also be listed and/or embedded in the slides.

  • West Chester University maintains extensive licensed products to academic publishers such as ACM, IEEE, Elsevier, and Springer, and many of the papers required for this course will be available through the library’s online database.
  • Google Scholar is another excellent source for downloading preprint or open-source versions of papers.


Grades will be based on the following distribution:

Assignments: 75% Project: 25%

Letter grades are assigned according to the following scale:

Number 100-93 92-90 89-87 86-83 82-80 79-77 76-73 72-70 69-67 66-63 62-60 <= 59
Letter A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F

Grading Appeals

Mistakes occasionally happen during the grading process. If you think a mistake has been made regarding your grades, you should send me an email with detailed justification within one week of the date the grades are available. No changes on grades will be made after one week from the date the grades are posted.

Class Policy

Office Hours

Office hours are an opportunity to reinforce course topics either one-on-one or in small groups. If you are unable to attend during the posted time slots, I am happy to make an appointment.


  • Attendance is critical to the success of students in.
  • We will take note of who attends, including occasionally using attendance check in place of a quiz score.
  • If you miss a class, you are responsible for obtaining lecture notes, handouts, and homework assignments from fellow students.
  • If the instructor is late for class, please wait 20 minutes before leaving.

Excused Absences Policy for University-Sanctioned Event

  • Students are advised to carefully read and comply with the excused absences policy for university-sanctioned events contained in the WCU Undergraduate Catalog.
  • In particular, please note that the “responsibility for meeting academic requirements rests with the student,” that this policy does not excuse students from completing required academic work, and that professors can require a “fair alternative” to attendance on those days that students must be absent from class in order to participate in a University-Sanctioned Event.

Late Work

  • Without prior approval from the instructors, late homework assignments will not be accepted but will be assigned a grade of zero.
  • Unless accompanied with a valid medical or University excuse, all late submissions will be penalized. A make-up for the exams will be given only with a valid medical or University excuse.

Electronic Mail Policy

  • It is expected that faculty, staff, and students activate and maintain regular access to University provided e-mail accounts.

  • Official university communications, including those from your instructor, will be sent through your university e-mail account.

  • You are responsible for accessing that mail to be sure to obtain official University communications. Failure to access will not exempt individuals from the responsibilities associated with this course. Instructor Email Policy

  • For individual issue, it is best to contact me via email. I check my email frequently during normal working hours (9-5) on weekdays, and I will try to respond quickly (hopefully the same day). I do also check email on weekends and evenings, but not nearly as frequently (almost never on Sundays). As a result, you should expect longer delays during these times.

  • If you send me an assignment-related email right before a deadline, I may not answer it in time to be helpful.

Academic Integrity

It is the responsibility of each student to adhere to the university’s standards for academic integrity. Violations of academic integrity include any act that violates the rights of another student in academic work, that involves misrepresentation of your own work, or that disrupts the instruction of the course. Other violations include (but are not limited to): cheating on assignments or examinations; plagiarizing, which means copying any part of another’s work and/or using ideas of another and presenting them as one’s own without giving proper credit to the source; selling, purchasing, or exchanging of term papers; falsifying of information; and using your own work from one class to fulfill the assignment for another class without significant modification. Proof of academic misconduct can result in the automatic failure and removal from this course.

For questions regarding Academic Integrity, Sexual Harassment, or the Student Code of Conduct, students are encouraged to refer to the “Other” Menu of the Computer Science web page, the Undergraduate Catalog, the Ram’s Eye View, and the University website at

Disability Accommodations

To know more about West Chester University’s Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD), contact the OSSD which is located at 223 Lawrence Center. The OSSD hours of Operation are Monday Friday 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Their phone number is 610-436-2564, their fax number is 610-436-2600, their email address is, and their website is at If you have a disability that requires accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please present your letter of accommodations to OSSD as soon as possible so that OSSD can support your success in an informed manner. Accommodations cannot be granted retroactively.

Title IX Statement

  • West Chester University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to meet this commitment and to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and guidance from the Office for Civil Rights, the University requires faculty members to report incidents of sexual violence shared by students to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Ms. Lynn Klingensmith.

  • The only exceptions to the faculty member’s reporting obligation are when incidents of sexual violence are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a University-approved research project. Faculty members are obligated to report sexual violence or any other abuse of a student who was, or is, a child (a person under 18 years of age) when the abuse allegedly occurred to the person designated in the University protection of minors policy. Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence and the resources that are available to victims of sexual violence is set forth at the webpage for the Office of Social Equity at

  • Ms. Lynn Klingensmith is the West Chester University Title IX Coordinator and is also the Director of Social Equity. She can be reached at 610-436-2433 or by email at and can connect you to resources both on and on campus, as well as provide information about the processes related to cases of sexual misconduct.

  • West Chester University community members also have a right to report acts of sexual misconduct to the Office of Civil Rights. They can be contacted at: The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323, (215) 656-8541,

Emergency Preparedness

  • All students are encouraged to sign up for the University’s free WCU ALERT service, which delivers official WCU emergency text messages directly to your cell phone.

  • For more information, visit To report an emergency, call the Department of Public Safety at 610-436-3311.


  • The class materials, including source codes, will be disseminated via Git. Being able to use Git is a critical skill for most, if not all software developers and/or IT professionals. There are many tutorials already available online for Git. Some of the more helpful ones include github’s, “the simple guide”, and atlassian’s);

  • It would be a mistke if you just attempt to access the cloass materials via the web browser. “This is a mistake. Just learn Git. The command line interface is faster and more powerful, and you’re going to need to learn it at some point in your life. Why not today?” - Dr. Jacob Sorber, Clemson University.

Tentative Course Outline

  • Text Processing and More about Wrapper Classes
  • Exceptions and Advanced File I/O
  • Inheritance
  • Sorting, Searching, and Algorithm Analysis
  • Generics
  • Linked Lists
  • Stack and Queues
  • Binary Tree, AVL Tress, and Priority Queues