CS 113A Introduction to Perl Programming

Syllabus — Fall 2017 — D. Putnam @ CCSF

1 Course information

Table 1: Course information
Course CS 113A Perl Programming
CRN 74155
Instructor Douglas Putnam
Section 831
Grade Option Letter grade or P/NP grade
Place Online: The CCSF learning management system (Canvas)
Time Available to students 24/7
Contact dputnam@ccsf.edu
Web http://fog.ccsf.edu/~dputnam
Important Dates CCSF Academic Calendar

2 Catalog description

CS 113A Introduction to Perl Programming (3)

Lec-2, conf-1, lab-3

Credit, Degree Applicable

P/NP Available


An introduction to the interpreted language called Perl, the Practical Extraction and Report Language. Recommended for anyone working with files and text. This course covers the semantics and syntax of the Perl language, and includes discussion on the practical kinds of problems that Perl can solve and provides examples. Students write stand-alone programs that perform various tasks, including text and file manipulation. UC/CSU

Requires an additional 3 hours. Satisfies elective requirement for CS Unix/Linux Administration certificate.

3 Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)


Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:

  • Describe the main features of Perl
  • Create and implement programs using Perl’s control structures
  • Create structured Perl programs using subroutines and variables
  • Analyze and solve the following tasks using the Perl language: file manipulation and text manipulation
  • Describe the Perl functions for manipulating lists and hashes
  • Create the Object Oriented Perl programs using packages and modules
  • Analyze and solve common data processing tasks by writing Perl programs
CS 113A Course Outline of Record

4 Textbooks

  • Perl by Example Fifth Edition; Author: Ellie Quigley; Publisher: Prentice Hall. ISBN-10: 0133760812, ISBN-13: 978-0133760811. This is a new edition (Dec, 2014) with enough new material that previous editions are obsolete. Check Amazon and Barnes and Noble for discounted used copies.
  • Modern Perl This books is also available online as a free HTML edition and as a paper book: Modern Perl; Author: Chromatic; Publisher: Onyx Neon Press. ISBN: 0977920178.

You can buy Perl by Example from the usual online booksellers. The CCSF bookstore should have this book in stock. Used copies are often available.

 FAQ: How fast is Perl?

“How fast is Perl?”, “How popular is Perl?”, “Who uses Perl?”, and “Can Perl scale up?”. For answers to all these questions and more, take a look the PERL FAQ: HOW FAST IS PERL?.

5 Prerequisites and advisory

There are no prerequisites for CS 113A. However, CS 160A Introduction to Unix/Linux, or equivalent skills, is strongly recommended.

6 Disabled Student Programs & Services

Any student who, because of a disability, may require special arrangements in order to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary arrangements. Students should present appropriate verification from Student Disability Services. Please note instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodations to a student until appropriate verification from Student Disability Services has been provided. For additional information, you may contact the Student Disability Services office by voice at 415-452-5481, by TDD at 415-452-5481.

For more information about CCSF’s DSPS services, please visit the DSPS Web Site.

7 Your RAM ID

Before you can log in to the CCSF learning management system and some other CCSF online services, you will have to claim your RAM ID. If you have problems with the claiming process, contact the CCSF Helpdesk at 415-239-3711 or call toll-free at 844-693-4357.


The CCSF learning management system (LMS) is where you will find the course weekly readings, assignments, discussions, exams and grades. This system is often referred to as “Canvas”. The CCSF Online Learning Team will send you an orientation email with login instructions before the first day of the semester. To log in to the LMS you need a valid CCSF RAM ID.

9 Methodology

The course is offered 100% online. There are no face-to-face meetings in this course. Most of your time will be spent reading, doing practice exercises, and writing programs to solve problems as part of assignments. The online readings (organized by weeks) provide a structured learning path. Sometimes you will get stuck. At that point you can receive help from me and your classmates by posting your questions to the class discussion forums.

10 Weekly effort

This course requires the same commitment as a face-to-face class. In some ways an online course is more challenging because you will be working on your own. You will doing the reading, exercises, exams, and the coding assignments just as you would for a classroom course. Expect to spend about three hours of study time for each unit. Keeping up with lectures and assignments and turning in your work on time is crucial to your success.

11 Accounts

As a registered student, you will have two CCSF accounts: one on https://ccsf.instructure.com, CCSF’s Learning Management System (LMS), and one on hills.ccsf.edu (Hills), CCSF’s Linux server.

Your CCSF LMS and Hills accounts will be automatically created and activated when you are officially registered for the class. The account creation process may take a day or two from the time you register. These two accounts are not related — you will have different user names and passwords for these accounts. Over time all CCSF accounts will be managed with a single set of credentials.

11.1 Hills

Your Hills account (hills.ccsf.edu) is a standard Linux shell account with access to the web server.

11.2 Your initial Hills password

Your RAM ID name and password do not work with your Hills Linux account. Calculate your initial’s Hills password by following this step-by-step process:


  • The first three letters of your birth month, followed by
  • Two numbers for the day of your birth, followed by
  • Two numbers for the year of your birth, then followed by
  • A period (.) and your first and last name initials.

EXAMPLE: If you were born on 8/2/99 and your name is Sheryl Razkofsky, your initial password would be: aug0299.sr.

12 Attendance policy

There’s no roll call taken in this course. However, CCSF requires that students be academically engaged. If you become inactive at any point in the semester, you will be considered “academically inactive”, which simply means not doing the coursework, not taking quizzes, and not turning in assignments in a timely manner. If you become inactive in the course for an extended period at any time during the semester, I will contact you to discuss that actions you must take to prevent being dropped from the course.

If you must become temporarily inactive, contact me by email before your absence so that I do not drop you.

CCSF Attendance Policy

13 Class participation

Class participation in this course is implemented with discussion forums. Throughout the semester there will be graded participation assignments that require you to contribute to the class discussion. Class participation is worth 5% or your final grade.

14 Grading

Table 2: Final Grade weighting
Letter %
A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 65-69
F < 65
Table 3: How grades are apportioned
Coursework %
Graded assignments 60
Final Exam 15
Ungraded Exercises 10
Quizzes 10
Class participation 5

15 Exams & quizzes

All exams and quizzes will take place on the CCSF LMS, including the midterm and final exams.

16 Assignments

This is a skill-building course with weekly ungraded coding exercises and/or graded assignments. Turning in work on time is a gradable component of the exercises and assignments. Definitive due dates for the coursework are always available on the class calendar.

  • You can develop your programs on any computer.
  • If you are in a Ruby, Python, Perl, or PHP course, your code must run correctly on Hills.
  • If you are in a Rails or WordPress/Drupal course, your code will run on your own computer or on a cloud hosting services specified in the assignment.

16.1 Make-up assignments, do-overs, and extra credit

There are no make-up exams or assignments in this course. To earn extra credit, complete all of the assigned exercises, assignments, and quizzes, and only then propose an interesting project that you want to pursue for limited additional credit.

16.2 Assignment schedule

  • Assignments will be released Monday night by midnight. and will be due midnight Monday of the following week.
  • Solutions to exercises and assignments will be given Wednesdays.
  • If you have questions about the assignments, ask them before the due date.

16.3 Timeliness

  • To receive full credit, turn in your work on time.
  • Assignments turned in late will receive partial credit, with scores reduced by 5 points for each day late.
  • Assignments turned in after the solutions are made public will receive a maximum score of 50%.
  • If you have a verifiable documented reason for turning in an assignment late, contact me by email before the assignment is due.

17 Tutoring for Computer Science courses

CCSF provides tutoring for students enrolled in Computer Science courses. Follow the instructions on the Learning Assistance Center’s Online Tutoring page to create your account. CCSF students get up to 20 hours assistance free per semester.

18 Collaboration policy

Unless instructed otherwise, collaboration is encouraged on specific components of the coursework. When you collaborate on a graded assignment, you must explicitly credit work done by others.

Not all academic coursework can be collaborative: there are activities that you alone are responsible for. The lists below clarify what coursework can be done in collaboration and what cannot.

Work you can do with others

  • Exercises, homework, and labs.
  • Discussions with others about general concepts and materials in each course.
  • Presenting ideas and written work to classmates or others for comment or criticism.
  • All participants in a collaboration must be listed when you turn in your work. You can work with others collaboratively on the following activities:
  • The class forums cannot be used for collaboration.

Work you have to do on your own

  • Exams. Exams must be your own work. You cannot submit the work of any other person.
  • You cannot allow anyone else use your user name and/or password to access course material.
  • You cannot engage in any activity that would dishonestly improve your results, or improve or hurt the results of others.
  • You cannot post answers to discussion forums for problems that are being used to assess student performance. You can post your lab solutions on the class forums after the due date has passed.
  • You cannot discuss any currently open exams. If you have questions or comments about the exams, send me an email at dputnam@ccsf.edu.
  • You can discuss exams on the forums once their due date has passed.
  • Do not post solutions for open assignments.
  • Do not use the forums to ask for help with exercises or graded assignments

19 Class discussion forums

Since there are no face-to-face meetings in this course, all class discussion is through the LMS discussion forums. When you have questions about the reading or about a coding assignment, post your questions to the class discussion forums where your classmates can join in the discussion. I will monitor the forum discussions during the weeks and respond when necessary.

If you have a personal question regarding your grade or other matters, please send it to dputnam (at) ccsf (dot) edu.

19.1 Forum Etiquette

Before you ask a question on the forums,

  1. Do the assigned reading before posting a question. The answers to many of your questions are in the reading assignments.
  2. Read through forums to see if your question has already been asked.
  3. Search Google and Stack Overflow for answers to your questions before posting them to the class forums.
  4. Take the time to re-read your questions/answers for errors before actually posting them.
  5. If you post a question, then figure out the answer yourself, don’t leave your question hanging — post your answer to your own question.
  6. Be patient. Posting a question to the forum doesn’t mean that you will get an instantaneous answer. Don’t re-post your question if it’s not answered immediately.
  7. When answering questions, refrain from giving your solutions to the assignments. Rather, be a mentor. Give guidance, such as page numbers in the reading or links to relevant resources. You can even show clarifying examples.
  8. No code sharing of open assignments is allowed on the forums. Don’t post your lab code on the forums until after the assignment has been closed for two days. The forums are not intended for collaboration — you can collaborate outside of the forums.
  9. Breaches of CCSF Computer Policy are never acceptable.

20 Dropping the course

If you decide to withdraw from the course, it is your responsibility to submit the drop order yourself. I will not drop you from the course unless you become academically inactive. You can log into your CCSF Web4 account to submit the drop order.

21 The Important Dates Calendar

During the semester there are important dates that you should be aware of, including the deadlines for dropping with a full or partial refund, changing grading from letter to P/NP, and the last day to drop with or without receiving a grade. Consult the CCSF Academic Calendar for an authoritative calendar of these important academic dates and deadlines.

Table 4: Summer semester important dates
Start Date End Date Last Day to Add Last Day to Drop for Refund Last Day to Drop without “W” Last Day to Drop with “W” Census One Date
12-JUN-2017 30-JUL-2017 19-JUN-2017 15-JUN-2017 26-JUN-2017 18-JUL-2017 20-JUN-2017

22 CCSF student code of conduct

Student conduct must conform to College rules and regulations as outlined in CCSF Student Code of Conduct.

23 Technical problems

If there are technical problems with the CCSF LMS or Hills that prevent you from taking an exam or submitting your assignment, I will extend the deadlines for effected quizzes and assignments. Deadlines will not be extended for technical problems with your personal hardware or network. Problems such as a your hard drive failing, a flaky wi-fi connection at the coffee shop, your computer catching a virus, etc. do not qualify for extensions.

24 Questions?

Got Questions? If you have any questions about this syllabus, please send them in an email to dputnam@ccsf.edu.

Author: Douglas Putnam Douglas Putnam Douglas Putnam (doug@iMac)

Date: <2016-07-27 Wed> <2016-07-21 Thu> <2016-07-21 Thu>

Emacs (Org mode 9.0)

Modified: 2017-06-21 Wed 14:53