Intro. to Programming - Spring 2019 - MW 12-12:50am - Room 208

Instructor: Ted Wetherbee

Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College
2101 14th Street
Cloquet, Minnesota 55720

Office: W217
Phone: 218-879-0840

Spring 2019 Class Schedule:
   9- 9:50am M W F Statistics            Room 228
  10-10:50pm M W F College Algebra       Room 228
  12-12:50pm M W   Intro. to Programming Room 208
   6- 8:45pm   W   Statistics            Room 256  

Office Hours in Room W217:
  Monday   Wednesday  Friday
  11-noon  11-noon    11-noon
  1-2      5-6

Course Website:

The schedule and most class materials will be online from this web site. You can also navigate from this simpler URL:

All current and past assignments are on the course website listed by date under the tentative schedule.

Text (Free online; inexpensive in FDLTCC bookstore)

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python, by Allen Downey, Jeff Elkner, and Chris Meyers, 1st edition. Free PDF (1st ed.)
Online Book (1st ed.)

This book is available in the FDLTCC book store at a reasonable price. Note that there is a 2.0.17 version and there is a Python 3 version, but we are using the earliest edition for convenience.

There is a local PDF copy here:

Materials needed: USB Key/Drive

Get yourself a USB key/drive. It does not have to be large. Managing your code is a very important aspect of programming!

Create a directory/folder for each programming assignment. Save your Python code often with short but descriptive names in the correct folder. NEVER use spaces in program or directory/folder names! Use underscores_between_words, if necessary. End Python script names with ".py". Disable "hide known file extensions" in a folder view so that you can see the ".py" extensions--which should always be there for Python scripts. When you refine a program, it is extremely helpful to save versions with different names incrementally, e.g.,,, and so on.

Include descriptive comments within your Python scripts so that you can later open the file, read comments, and thus know what it does, the author, when it was written, and so forth. You don't have to write a great deal, but you should write enough in a way so that a complete stranger could read your Python script and thus understand what it does, who wrote it, and when it was written. That stranger will usually be yourself! Programmers are humans; it is easy to completely forget almost everything about a code. Explain it to yourself within your code with comments, and do it as if you are writing to a complete stranger.

Python on Room 208 and Open Computer Lab machines

Some of the room 208 machines have Python 2.7 installed, some also Python 3. All the Mac and Windows machines in the open computer lab have Python 2.7. Use Python 2.7 for our class work. As usual for FDLTCC classroom and computer lab machines, never expect anything you leave on a machine to remain on the machine! Always copy your programs and other files to a USB key/drive, and label them carefully so that you can find your files later.

Python on FDLTCC Mac Machines

All the Mac machines in labs and classrooms have Python installed, and this should be version 2.7 . Click the Finder (bottom left with the "half-face"), click "Applications" in the left pane, scroll down and click the "Utilities" folder, then click "Terminal". To run Python IDLE: At the terminal prompt (user$), type idle then press Enter.

Installing Python on Your Computer

Python is free. It is probably already be installed if you have a Linux or Mac PC/notebook. There are many free distributions of Python you can install on your Windows machine. You will want to install Python on your own machine if that is what you will use for this course, a notebook or desktop machine.


15 programs 15x40 = 600
1 final             100
                    700 total

90-100%   A
80-90%    B
70-80%    C
60-70%    D
0-60%     F

Tentative Schedule

Mon jan14  1 1 ch1 intro.; Python in lab, personal machine; interactive vs. program script
           Setup Python (on your own machine)
Wed jan16  2 p1

Mon jan21  Holiday     
Wed jan23  3 3 ch2 variables; Tkinter intro.; P2

Mon jan28  4 ch3 functions; P3
Wed jan30  5

Mon feb04  6 ch4 tests and recursion; P4
Wed feb06  7

Mon feb11  8 ch5 functions and return values; P5
Wed feb13  9

Mon feb18 Holiday
Wed feb20 10 ch6 iteration; P6

Mon feb25 11 
Wed feb27 12 ch7 strings; P7

Mon mar04 13 ch8 lists; P8
Wed mar06 14 

Spring Break

Mon mar18 15 ch9 tuples; P9
Wed mar20 16

Mon mar25 17 ch11 files and IO; P10
Wed mar27 18

Mon apr01 19 ch10 dictionaries; P11: P11
Wed apr03 20

Mon apr08 21 python arrays: P12
Wed apr10 22

Mon apr15 23 Python ctypes; P13
Wed apr17 24

Mon apr22 25 ch12-14 classes and objects; P14
Wed apr24 26

Mon apr29 27 P15 (final program)
Wed may01 28

Mon may06 29 presentations
Wed may08 T1
Thu may09 Holiday
Fri may10 T2 10-12 room 228 (math1010), 12-2 room 208 (csci1020)

Mon may13 T3 9-11 room 228 (math1030-day)
Tue may14 T4


Plagiarism, or presenting the writing of another as your own (a.k.a. “copying”), results in an F for this course and is subject to any other disciplinary actions mandated by this institution and the Minnesota State system.

Disabilities Notice

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehab Act, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College provides students with disabilities (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory or physical) reasonable accommodation to participate in educational programs, activities or services. Students with disabilities requiring accommodation to participate in class activities or meet course requirements should first complete an intake form and necessary requirements with Nancy Olsen, Disability Services coordinator, to establish an accommodation plan. She can be reached at or 218-879-0819.

Sexual Violence

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, gender or sex-based bullying and stalking. If you or someone you know has experienced gender or sex-based violence (intimate partner violence, attempted or completed sexual assault, harassment, coercion, stalking, etc.), know that you are not alone. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has staff members trained to support survivors in navigating campus life, accessing resources, providing accommodations, assistance completing with protective orders and advocacy. For more information regarding the Campus Security Report, the following link will give you a report on the Clery Compliance and Security Report at FDLTCC:

Please be aware that all Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College employees are required to report any incidents of sexual violence and, therefore it cannot guarantee the confidentiality of a report, but it will consider a request for confidentiality and respect it to the fullest extent possible. If you wish to report sexual misconduct or have questions about school policies and procedures regarding sexual misconduct, please contact Anita Hanson, Dean of Student Services, at 218-879-0805 or

Content is neither approved nor reviewed by FDLTCC.