Syllabus and general information for MCS-270: Object-Oriented Software Development (Spring 2000)


The first half of this class (until Spring break) will be a crash course in object-oriented software development. For the second half (after Spring break), you will work in teams to develop custom software for clients. In the first half, our main focus will be on object-oriented analysis and design, which will be covered using the primary text. I'll be adding some additional analysis and design material, particularly regarding invariants. Also, I'll be slipping in some material on implementation technologies commonly used in modern "client/server" or "three tier" systems. Specifically, we'll look at relational databases, accessed using SQL, which can be done in Java using JDBC, and at communication with remote objects, which we'll do in Java using RMI.

Office hours

I will be available in my office (OHS 303) on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11:20, on Wednesdays from 11:30 to 12:20, on Thursdays from 1:30 to 2:20 (except March 9), on Fridays from 2:30 to 3:20 (except March 10), and by appointment. You may send me electronic mail at or call me at extension 7466. I'll try to put any updates to my office hours on my web page, so check there if in doubt.

World Wide Web

All course materials will be available through my World Wide Web page. The URL for this course is After this syllabus I will give hardcopy handouts only to those students who want them.


Our text will be Applying UML and Patterns: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design by Craig Larman (Prentice Hall, 1998). For those wishing to buy books tied to the programming side of the course (rather than just relying on the web and books owned by the department or myself), I have had the Book Mark order The Java Tutorial and The Java Tutorial Continued by Campione, Walrath, and Huml (Addison-Wesley, 1998) as supplemental texts.


There will be four labs, as shown in the syllabus below. They will all involve concrete experiential work, but not necessarily seated in front of a computer. Each lab has a class day set aside for us to work together, but will also require you to spend additional time out of class.

Attendance is mandatory for all lab sessions, unless you have already turned in your lab report. I will excuse up to three absences per student, for any reason. Use yours wisely. If you exceed this allowance, I may reduce your course grade by one letter grade. In the second half of the course, your project team's weekly meeting with me will be covered under this attendance policy.


There are two tests, shown on the syllabus below, which are both going to be in-class, individual work, closed book and mostly closed notes, though one handwritten sheet of notes will be allowed. (Up to 8.5 by 11 inches, both sides of the sheet allowed.)


Students are encouraged to discuss the course, including issues raised by the assignments. However, the solutions to assignments should be individual original work unless otherwise specified. If an assignment makes you realize you don't understand the material, ask a fellow student a question designed to improve your understanding, not one designed to get the assignment done. To do otherwise is to cheat yourself out of understanding, as well as to be intolerably dishonorable.

Any substantive contribution to your solution by another person or taken from a publication should be properly acknowledged in writing. Failure to do so is plagiarism and will necessitate disciplinary action.

The same standards regarding plagiarism apply to team projects as to the work of individuals, except that the author is now the entire team rather than an individual. Anything taken from a source outside the team should be be properly cited.

One additional issue that arises from the team authorship of project reports is that all team members must stand behind all reports bearing their names. All team members have quality assurance responsibility for the entire project. If there is irreconcilable disagreement within the team it is necessary to indicate as much in the reports; this can be in the form of a ``minority opinion'' or ``dissenting opinion'' section where appropriate.

Late assignments

All lab assignments are due at the beginning of class on the day indicated. Late assignments will be penalized by one ``grade notch'' (such as A to A- or A- to B+) for each weekday (that the college is in session) late or fraction thereof. However, no late assignments will be accepted after graded assignments are handed back.

If you are too sick to complete an assignment on time, you will not be penalized. Simply write ``late due to illness'' at the top of the assignment, sign your name and hand it in. Other circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Grade changes

Please point out any arithmetic or clerical error I make in grading, and I will gladly fix it. You may also request reconsideration if I have been especially unjust.


I will provide you with a letter grade on each lab assignment, test, and project report, in addition to the mid-term and final grades, so that you may keep track of your performance. As a guideline, the components will contribute in the following proportion to the final grade: However, I reserve the right to subjectively adjust your final grade. Please see me if you have any question how you stand. Class participation is not graded; however, it allows you to find and repair the gaps in your understanding before doing the homework or exam, and thus can dramatically improve your grade.

For the major team project in the second half of the semester, I will grade you in accordance with the goals you establish for yourselves. It is up to you to decide what the deliverables of your team are. If you decide that all there is going to be is a working program at the end of the semester, then that is what you will be graded on -- all or nothing. If, on the other hand, you establish a timetable in which there are other deliverables scheduled along the way -- such as a requirements document, one or more design documents, an interface mock-up, a web page of information for users, a suite of test cases, etc. -- then you will be graded on each of them, and you will have less of an "all the eggs in one basket" problem. But it is really up to you. Similarly, my default mode of grading will be to give the same grade to all members of the team. However, if you establish specific assignments of responsibility, then I will grade each team member on those items he or she is responsible for (as well as including a common grade portion for those items not assigned). Each portion of the project for which an individual is assigned responsibility needs some mechanism for separate assessment. For example, if someone has responsibility for programming a module, then that person must show test results for that module in isolation in order to show that it works, rather than just combining it with all the other modules and leaving it to me to figure out which ones work and which don't.

Style guidelines

All lab reports should be readily readable, and should not presuppose that I already know what you are trying to say. Use full English sentences where appropriate (namely almost everywhere) and clear diagrams, programs, etc. Remember that your goal is to communicate clearly, and that the appearance of these technical items plays a role in this communication process. Be sure your assignments are always stapled together and that your name is always on them.


Please contact me immediately if you have a learning or physical disability requiring accommodation.


Note that after Spring break, you will meet in project teams rather than as a full class. Therefore, this syllabus only shows the first half of the semester. Also, it shows my best guess as to the rate at which we will cover material. However, don't be shocked if I have to issue one or more revised syllabi.
2/9Lab 1: Requirements analysis
2/116-8Use cases

2/149-12Conceptual modeling
2/15Conceptual invariantsLab 1
2/16Lab 2: Conceptual modeling
2/1813-14System behavior + SQL intro

2/2115-17Collaboration diagrams + more SQL/JDBC
2/2218Responsibility assignmentLab 2
2/23Lab 3: Database usage
2/2519-20Example design

2/2821Design class diagrams + design invariants
2/2922System architecture
3/1Exam 1
3/323-24Mapping designs to codeLab 3

3/7More three-tier technology
3/8Lab 4: Three-tier development
3/10No class

3/1325-28Generalization + subclass invariants
3/1429-31Enhanced conceptual modeling
3/1732-33Enhanced behavioral modeling

3/2034-35Design patterns
3/2136-37Development process issues + QA
3/2238Frameworks and persistenceLab 4
3/24Exam 2

4/3Initial project team meetings

Course web site:
Instructor: Max Hailperin <>