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CS185cFall 2009Sec3Home Page/Syllabus

Cell Phone Progamming

Instructor: Chris Pollett
Office: MH 214
Phone Number: (408) 924 5145
Office Hours: MW 3pm-5:15pm
Class Meets:
Sec3 MW 12:00pm-1:15pm in MH222


To take this class you must have taken: CS47 with a grade of C- or better.

Texts and Links

Required Texts: iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK. Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche. Apress. 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1430216261.
Unlocking Android. Frank Ableson Charlie Collins, Robi Sen. Manning Publications. 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1933988672.
Online References and Other Links: iPhone Dev Center.
Android Developers Site.
Droid Draw (An Interface Builder for Android).
Blackberry Developer Zone.

Topics and Outcomes

Modern smart phones provide offer the opportunity to learn about many advanced issues in computing. Besides having interesting system architectures, they also typically come with a variety of networking interfaces which are integral to their use and they also support sophisticated forms of user input such as multi-touch screens, accelerometer-based inputs, forced-feedback controls, cameras, microphones, etc. This course will cover how to write programs for the iPhone and for Android based phones. Topics we will cover include larger scale project development with testing in both a simulator and on a device, working with small screen UI components, handling touch events, storing and retrieving data from device storage mechanisms, using device Graphics APIs, and using networking and telephony APIs of the devices. Student projects will be done using Objective-C and XCode for the iPhone and using Java and Eclipse for Android. Google has graciously donated several phones to our department which we will make use of for testing Android programs. By the end of this course you should be able to do the following student learning outcomes: (1) Create a working mobile phone application and test it both in a simulator and on a mobile device. (2) Write a mobile application that involves GUI components and makes use of touch events to manipulate these components. (3) Write a mobile application that uses the mobile devices Networking or Telephony APIs. (4) Write a mobile application that makes use of the device graphics APIs such as OpenGL. (5) Write a mobile application that stores program data persistently using an API like sqlite.

Below is a tentative time table for when we'll do things this quarter:

Week 1: Aug 24, Aug 26 M&L Ch 1 and 2; CLS Ch1 and 2
Week 2: Aug 31 , Sep 2 M&L Ch 3; Project Proposals Due Sep 2
Week 3: Sep 7 (Holiday), Sep 9 CLS 3 and 4
Week 4: Sep 14, Sep 16(Furloughed - Chris DiBona (Google) will speak) M&L Ch 4
Week 5: Sep 21, Sep 23 M&L Ch 5, 11; CLS 5
Week 6: Sep 28, Sep 30 M&L Ch 6; First Project Update Sep 30
Week 7: Oct 5, Oct 7 CLS Ch 6
Week 8: Oct 12, Oct 14 iPhone Networking; M&L Ch 8
Week 9: Oct 19 (Furloughed), Oct 21 Midterm Review
Week 10: Oct 26, Oct 28 Android TableView. CLS Ch 9. Second Project Update with Demo Oct 28
Week 11: Nov 2, Nov 4 M&L Ch 12 and 13
Week 12: Nov 9, Nov 11 (Holiday) CLS Ch 10
Week 13: Nov 16, Nov 18 M&L Ch 14 and 15
Week 14: Nov 23, Nov 25 (Furloughed - Leo Lee (NamCo) will speak) (HW4 due) CLS 11
Week 15: Nov 30, Dec 2 M&L Ch 16; Review
Week 16: Dec 7 Demo Day
The final will be Tuesday, December 15, 9:45-12:00


Homeworks and Quizzes 40%
Project 20%
Midterm 15%
Final 25%

Grades will be calculated in the following manner: The person or persons with the highest aggregate score will receive an A+. A score of 55 will be the cut-off for a C-. The region between this high and low score will be divided into eight equal-sized regions. From the top region to the low region, a score falling within a region receives the grade: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-. If the boundary between an A and an A- is 85, then the score 85 counts as an A-. Scores below 55 but above 50 receive the grade D. Those below 50 receive the grade F.

If you do better than an A- in this class and want me to write you a letter of recommendation, I will generally be willing provided you ask me within two years of taking my course. Be advised that I write better letters if I know you to some degree.

Homework and Project Info

This semester we will have four homeworks, weekly quizzes, and a larger scale project. Every Monday this semester, except the first day of class, the Midterm Review Day, and Spring Break; there will be a quiz on the previous week's material. The answer to the quiz will either be multiple choice or true-false, and will basically make sure you reviewed the previous weeks notes. Each quiz is worth a maximum of 1pt. Out of the total of thirteen quizzes this semester, I will keep your ten best scores.

I will try to keep the homeworks relatively short this semester. Their intent is to get people up to speed in iPhone and Android programming. In addition to the homeworks, there will a larger scale project that people are expected to complete by the end of the semester. For this project, students will have to turn in progress reports and demo their code throughout the semester. On the last day of class, there will be a demo day where people show off their work to their peers. For the project, development will be for the platform the student prefers from amongst: iPhone, Android, or Blackberry.

If you are interested the Cinequest Film Festival has a project to update their iPhone and Blackberry apps for this year's film festival. If you want to work on this project, please let me know. We will meet with the Cinequest people once a week in addition to class times to discuss progress on the update.

Links to the current list of homeworks, quizzes, and projects can be found on the left hand frame of the class homepage. After an homework has been returned a link to its solution (based on the best student solutions) will be placed off the homework page. Material from assignments may appear on midterms and finals. For homeworks and projects you are encouraged to work in groups of up to three people. Only one person out of this group needs to submit the homework assignment; however, the members of the group need to be clearly identified in all submitted files. Homeworks for this class will be submitted and returned completely electronically. To submit an assignment click on the submit homework link for your section on the left hand side of the homepage and filling out the on-line form. Hardcopies or e-mail versions of your assignments will be rejected and not receive credit. Homeworks will always be due by the start of class on the day their due. Late homeworks will not be accepted and missed quizzes cannot be made up; however, your lowest score amongst the four homeworks and your quiz total will be dropped.

When doing the programming part of an assignment please make sure to adhere to the specification given as closely as possible. Names of files should be as given, etc. Failure to follow the specification may result in your homework not being graded and you receiving a zero for your work.


The midterms will be during class time on: Oct 26.

The final will be: Tuesday, December 15, 9:45-12:00.

All exams are closed book, closed notes and in this classroom. You will be allowed only the test and your pen or pencil on your desk during these exams. Beeper or cell-phone interruptions will result in immediate excusal from the test. The final will cover material from the whole quarter although there will be an emphasis on material after the last midterm. No make ups will be given. The final exam may be scaled to replace a midterm grade if it was missed under provably legitimate circumstances. These exams will test whether or not you have mastered the material both presented in class or assigned as homework during the quarter. My exams usually consist of a series of essay style questions. I try to avoid making tricky problems. The week before each exam I will give out a list of problems representative of the level of difficulty of problems the student will be expected to answer on the exam. Any disputes concerning grades on exams should be directed to me, Professor Pollett.

If you are unsatisfied with your midterm score, you can choose to participate in the Silicon Valley Neat Ideas Fair using the project you are creating for this class. I will go to the fair and check out your project there and if you have a reasonable poster and your project is reasonably polished I will give half credit back on the score of your midterm.


If you believe an error was made in the grading of your program or exam, you may request in person a regrade from me, Professor Pollett, during my office hours. I do not accept e-mail requests for regrades. A request for a regrade must be made no more than a week after the homework or a midterm is returned. If you cannot find me before the end of the semester and you would like to request a regrade of your final, you may see me in person at the start of the immediately following semester.

Academic Honesty

Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University, and the University's Academic Integrity Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The policy on academic integrity can be found at

Specifically, for this class, you should obviously not cheat on tests. For homeworks, you should not discuss or share code or problem solutions between groups! At a minimum a 0 on the assignment or test will be given. A student caught using resources like Rent-a-coder will receive an F for the course and be referred to University for disciplinary action.

Additional Policies and Procedures

The campus policy to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is:
"If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with DRC to establish a record of their disability."

More information about SJSU policies and procedures can be found at the following links: