Welcome to CMPT 166 Fall 2013!

This is a first course in computer programming, and is meant for people with an interest in interactive graphics and animation. No previous experience or knowledge of computer programming is needed.

Weekly Lectures

Weekly lectures occur 9:30am to 10:30am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in room 5280 (Surrey). You should attend every lecture. If you miss a lecture, then it is your responsibility to find out what you missed.

The lectures follow the schedule below.

Office Hours and Email

The teaching assistants (TAs) are:

They are available during lab time.

The course instructor is John Edgar (johnwill@sfu.ca). Feel free to email him any time to ask questions. His office hours are every Monday and Wednesday, from 12:00 (noon) to 1:00 pm and 2:30pm to 3:30pm in room 4110 (Surrey). If you want to meet at some other time please make an appointment by email

Sometimes we will send you email via the course mailing list. Check the 166 mailing list archive if you miss a message.

Please note that while we try to answer email as quickly as possible, we can’t promise immediate responses.

Weekly Labs

Weekly labs are every Wednesday between 10:30am and 3:30pm in room 4050 (Surrey). There are 6 sections of labs and you should attend the lab that you registered for.

  • D101 - 10:30 to 11:20 (Sonny)
  • D102 - 11:30 to 12:20 (Laura)
  • D103 - 12:30 to 13:20 (Laura)
  • D104 - 13:30 to 14:20 (Laura)
  • D105 - 14:30 to 15:20 (Sonny)
  • D106 - 15:30 to 16:20 (sonny)

You should attend each week’s lab. Some labs may cover specific course topics. If you miss a lab, then it is your responsibility to find out what you missed.

There are no labs in the first week of classes!

Marking Scheme


Students must attain an overall passing grade on the weighted average of exams in the course in order to obtain a clear pass (C- or better). The Grading FAQ explains what this means in more detail.

Your marks will be recorded in the on-line gradebook.

The Grading FAQ has answers to many commonly asked questions about final grades and how they may be calculated.


All students in this course are expected to follow a few basic rules of ethical conduct:

  • As a member of the Simon Fraser University community, you are bound by its Code of Academic Integrity and Good Conduct. Read it!
  • Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all assignments and assessed activities must be your own original work. You must cite any help you get, whether it be from people (friends, TAs, instructors, your uncle who works at Microsoft), or from books, websites, magazines, and so on.
  • You may of course work with others in an effort to understand the material, but you are responsible for mastering and understanding everything yourself.
  • You may not share your assignments with other students in the course or not in the course. For instance, we consider it dishonest if you let another student read a program you have written, e.g. giving a friend a copy of your program so they can learn from it is not acceptable in this course.
  • If you get the help of a tutor or assistant (e.g. someone who answers a question you ask on a web forum), or an academic assistance service of any kind, you must provide the following information:
    • Contact information.
    • A brief description of the nature of the assistance.
    • Copies of all materials given to the assistant.
    • Copies of all materials returned by the assistant.
  • Markers may sometimes use software to check for suspicious assignments. Such programs simply flag suspicious files, and the marker will then manually investigate further to determine if any copying has occurred.
  • Assignment extensions or deferrals are usually only granted for medical or compassionate reasons. For instance, we need a doctor’s note confirming that you are so unwell as to need an extension. A note that merely says you visited a doctor is not usually good enough.

Processing Books

While you don’t need to buy any books for this course, if you do want more information and examples of Processing here are a few Processing books you might be interested in:

The Processing website lists a number of other books. You can also buy Processing t-shirts!

Table Of Contents

Next topic

Assignment 1