CS106A: Programming Methodologies
Winter 2018
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:30pm to 2:20pm in NVIDIA Auditorium


CS106A Info
Course Schedule
How to Submit
Teaching Team
Lecture Videos
Canvas - YEAH Videos
icon Eclipse
Karel Book
icon Stanford Java Lib
Blank Java Project
Blank Karel Project
Help Hours
Pair Programming



Monday, Feb 12th

Monday, March 19th


Chris Piech
Gates 193
Thurs 1-3pm

Nick Troccoli
Gates B02
Tues 10am-noon

Lecture TA
Brahm Capoor
Tues 8pm-10pm


Sunday 5-6PM
Sunday 9-10PM
Monday 6:30-7:30PM
Tues 7-8PM
Tues 9-10PM
Wed 9-10PM
Thurs 7:30-10:30PM

Sign up here
(free QueueStatus account required).

All office hours in PST.

Mon. 1/29 9-10PM instead of 6:30-7:30PM.



One of the joys of programming is the ability to make something totally of your own creation. In CS106A this quarter we are hosting a Graphics Contest where you can program anything you like using the concepts and tools we learn in class. There will be four grand prizes which each are worth a 100% on the final exam. Serious entries and runners up will be awarded extra credit on assignments. WSee the contest handout for more details.

This contest is genuinely optional (and in the genuine sense of the word optional – not in some mischievous “this is extra credit but if you don’t do it, your grade will suffer” sort of way). I will only apply bonuses for the contest after I have calculated final grades for the class. Thus, if you don’t participate you are going to get the exact same final grade in CS106A as you would have received had there been no contest.

Midterms Returned

Graded CS106A midterms were returned after class on Wednesday, Feb. 22 via https://cs106a.stanford.edu/restricted/midtermreturn.html, if the site does not load for you, please email Nick, the Head TA. The website has your solutions

The median for the CS106A midterm was 87 out of 120 points. Here is the full distribution:

If you believe part of your exam was incorrectly graded, regrade requests will be accepted through https://goo.gl/forms/GXgwVN0yaH1LqDUp2 until Wednesday, Feb 28. As part of your request, you will need to provide a short write-up of the problem(s) on your exam that you think were misgraded. Regrade requests need to point out the aspect of the problem that was correct, but for which points were taken off. We use a detailed rubric to grade exams, so simply requesting that an incorrect answer "should be worth more points" is not likely to result in additional points. Also, we reserve the right to re-grade the whole exam to make sure there are no other grading issues present - this may result in a lower total score.


Assignment 5 YEAH Hours Materials Posted

Thanks to everyone who came to YEAH hours for Assignment 5! The slides and video have been posted to the Assignment 5 page.

Assignment 5: ImageShop

For your fifth assignment, you will implement the algorithms for an image editing program. This assignment will give you practice with concepts like 1D arrays, 2D arrays, and image manipulation. Checkout the assignment page and make sure to get started early!

UPDATED: Midterm is Monday 2/12

The midterm is Monday, Feb 12th, from 7pm to 9pm. It's on a computer so don't forget your laptop as well as a charger if you feel you'll need it! Please make sure to disable notifications on your computer for the duration of the exam . Bluebook detects when you swap away from your screen, and disabling notifications reduces the risk of that.

UPDATED: the encrypted exam is now available to download on the Midterm Info page below. Please download this in advance of the exam!

You can find all of the midterm information here: Midterm Info

Midterm location is based on last name:

Last Name: A through J
Cubberley Auditorium

Last Name: K through Z
Hewlett 200

Pair Programming Correction

The pair programming page erroneously said that you must be taking the course for the same grading basis to be partners on assignments. This has been corrected to clarify that the only pair requirement is that both of you are in the same section time and location.

Practice Midterm Live!

The practice midterm is live.

  • Mac download: Mac
  • PC download: PC
  • Linux download: Linux

On a Windows PC, download the .zip file and completely extract it into another folder. Then open the BlueBook program by double-clicking. If you get a Windows message that says, "Windows protected your PC," click on "More info" and then "Run anyway" (We're working on resolving this!).

The password for the exam is funkyPenguin . Practice exam submission will not work , but a tool to view your exam answers - as well as solutions - is below. If you run into any issues, please email Brahm and Chris .


In order to view your practice midterm answers, download the appropriate exam viewer below: upon opening the application, you should be able to view your answers immediately.

  • Mac download: Mac
  • PC download: PC
  • Linux download: Linux

Should you run into any issues, please email Brahm . Note that this exam viewer will work only for this Practice Midterm, and not future exams.

Assignment 4 YEAH Hours Materials Posted

Thanks to everyone who came to YEAH hours for Assignment 4! The slides and video have been posted to the Assignment 4 page.

Assignment 4: Hangman

Assignment 4 (Hangman) has been released, a fun console+graphics game that will give you practice with strings and file-reading - see the assignment page for the handout and starter code. This is also the first assignment that may be done (optionally) in pairs. We have posted a pair programming guide in the sidebar to the left if you would like more information. As a reminder, you may only pair up with students in the same section time and location. Assignment 4 YEAH hours will be Wednesday 2/7, 8:30-9:30PM in STLC 114. We hope to see you there!

Midterm Exam

The midterm is Monday, Feb 12th, from 7pm to 9pm, locations to be announced soon. It is open-book, open-notes, but closed electronic device for everything except administering the exam itself. If you can't make the scheduled time because of an academic conflict, or if you have OAE accommodations, please send Chris and Nick an email by Thursday, Feb. 8 at 11:59PM PST.

Additionally, the exam will be administered digitally; if you do not have access to a laptop you feel comfortable using for the duration of the exam, please send Chris and Nick an email by Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 11:59PM PST.

We will be administering a practice midterm exam seating Thursday, Feb. 8 7-9PM in Cemex, to give a sample exam under conditions similar to the actual midterm. We hope to see you then!

YEAH 3 Materials Posted

Thanks to everyone who came to our YEAH (Your Early Assignment Help) hours for assignment 3! The slides have been posted on the assignment 3 page. Additionally, a recording of the session is available online. In an effort to provide videos with a faster turnaround, recordings will be posted immediately following each YEAH on Canvas (link in sidebar). On Canvas, select "CS106A" and click "Lecture Videos" to view YEAH videos. The videos will also be uploaded to the regular lecture videos location, mvideox, but there may be a delay of up to 48 hours due to SCPD processing.

Assignment 3: Breakout

In your third assignment you will program the classic game of Breakout! See the assignment page for the handout and starter code. Assignment 3 YEAH hours will be Wednesday 1/31, 7:30-8:30 PM in 370-370 . As a reminder, YEAH hours, or “Your Early Assignment Help” hours, are optional sessions meant to provide additional help getting started with each assignment. We hope to see you there!

YEAH 2 Materials Posted

Thanks to everyone who came to our first YEAH (Your Early Assignment Help) hours for assignment 2! The slides have been posted on the assignment 2 page. Additionally, a recording of the session is available on the SCPD/online videos page (link in sidebar). The next YEAH session will be on Wednesday 1/31, 7:30-8:30PM in 370-370.

Second Assignment: Simple Java

For your second assignment, you'll get practice writing a series of small Java programs. These programs consist of both console and graphics programs! Please note that for the graphics problems, we recommend waiting until after Monday's lecture to get started, as some material we cover that day will help you with those problems. Note that the style guide has also been updated with additional guidelines for the second assignment.

Section Assignments & Late Signups

For those who submitted section preferences by 5PM on Sunday, we have finished emailing out section assignments; as a reminder, sections start this week! (You can also view your assigned section via the "Section" dropdown above). If you were unable to submit the form by the 5PM Sunday deadline, the late signup form is available under the "Sections" tab. As a reminder, SCPD students should sign up via the special SCPD link instead.

If you would like to individually switch to a different section because of scheduling or other constraints (and are not switching for reasons related to being with a requested partner), please request a swap by going to the form linked to in the "Sections" dropdown in the top bar. If you would like to switch into a different section to be with a requested partner, please request a swap by filling out this form. For the second form, please be sure to fill out ALL possible times you and your partner are free, not just your current section times.

The deadline for section swaps is Tuesday, 1/23, at 5PM.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Reminder that today, Jan 15th, is MLK day so there will be no classes. LaIR office hours will start this evening at 6pm.

Here is a video of the last public speech MLK gave. The date was April 3, 1968 and he was assassinated the day after. Civil rights for all people, regardless of their ethnicity, is a cause that is still being fought for around the world.

If you haven't recently seen the I Have a Dream Speech, that is worth watching for its beautiful narrative and its influence on history. In 1967 MLK gave a speech at Stanford where he directly addressed students and faculty.

Section Signups Open Until 5PM Sunday 1/14

Section signups are now open! Click on the "Section" tab at the top and select "Section Signup" to submit your preferences. As a reminder, signups are not first come first serve. As such, you may modify your preferences any time up until the Sunday 5PM deadline. We will notify you of your section assignment early next week.

Note: Remote SCPD students (if you are an SCPD student but able to attend a section on campus, you may disregard this message) should instead click on the "Remote SCPD Signup" link in the "Section" tab. Remote SCPD students will not be assigned a physical section; instead, you will have access to online recordings of one section this quarter, and another assigned Section Leader to grade your assignments.

First Assignment: Karel

For your first assignment you will write a series of Karel the Robot programs. See the assignment page for more details. The assignment is due Friday, Jan 19th, but make sure to get started early. Though Karel is a fun, simple robot, some of the questions can take a lot of time.

Download Eclipse

In CS106A we use a free, "development environment" called icon Eclipse to write our programs. It is the most popular development environment for the Java language. Download eclipse by following these instructions.

If you run into any issues while installing or using Eclipse, please see the bottom of the Eclipse install instructions for common troubleshooting steps. There will also be an Eclipse installation troubleshooting session Thursday the 11th of Jan, 7pm to 9pm in the LaIR. Try to install Eclipse before and come if you have any trouble.

Who are you?

We have a very simple google form for you to fill out so that we have a chance to get to know you a little. It should only take a few minutes. Though we call it "assignment 0" it is not for a grade.

What is CS106A?

We put together some handouts to help you understand where we are going to go in CS106A and how we plan to get there. See the General Information handout for details on logistics and the Course Placement handout to help you decide if CS106A is the right place for you.

The Course Schedule page shows you the topics that we are going to cover in CS106A and the corresponding readings. We will also post lecture slides and lecture code on the schedule page.


Welcome to CS106A! We are looking forward to a fun quarter. Class starts Monday Jan 8th at 1:30pm in NVIDIA Auditorium.