CS 100 - Introduction to Computing through Applications
School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo

Using personal computers as effective problem solving tools for the present and the future. Effective use of spreadsheets to process, manipulate, and visualize numeric and textual information. Introduction to computer and network organization, digital information, HTML, and CSS. Algorithms underlying the functional components of web search engines and their influence on data access.

All announcements, questions, and answers are on Learn. Check the course's Learn website regularly to be kept up to date.


If you are a current student, please see below for a list of personnel.
Instructor: Dave Tompkins
Email: dtompkins@uwaterloo.ca
Instruction Support Coordinator: Barbara Daly
Email: barbara.daly@uwaterloo.ca
Instructional Support Assistant: Maria Cruz
Email: cs100@uwaterloo.ca
Instructional Support Assistant: Daniel Funston
Email: cs100@uwaterloo.ca
Instructional Support Assistant: Taylor Pacholko
Email: cs100@uwaterloo.ca


If you are not currently enrolled in the course, please direct all inquiries to the Instructional Support Coordinator, Barbara Daly (barbara.daly@uwaterloo.ca)


Communication for Fall 2021

  • Email should be used for personal issues or specific questions regarding grades, content or course delivery. Please use CS100 in the subject line.
    Barbara Daly can be contacted for missed assignments, or other extenuating circumstances. All other inquiries should be directed to cs100@uwaterloo.ca
  • Learn Announcements will be used to notify you of important general CS100 information.
  • Microsoft Teams (part of Office365) will be used for discussion boards, general course questions, assignments and content related questions. As this is a new platform, we may modify througout the term to best suit the needs of both the teaching team and students.

Consulting Hours

The following outlines the schedule of online consulting hours for the Fall 2021 term. These hours provide you with an opportunity to to ask the ISAs any questions you may have pertaining to assignments, exams, or course content. If you are unable to make it to any of these online office hours, alternative options include attending online consulting hours, posting your question to Teams or emailing the ISAs directly at cs100@uwaterloo.ca .

Office Hours


Time* (EST)









Microsoft Teams






Microsoft Teams ISA




Microsoft Teams ISA
Thursday By Appointment Only Microsoft Teams




Microsoft Teams ISA

* Times subject to change

Note: Office hour appointments can be made with the ISAs or course instructor, via email.



Please keep in mind that all dates expressed in this schedule are tentative and subject to change at any time.

Week Module Activities and Assignments Start Date (10:00 AM EST) Due Date (11:59 PM EST Midnight) Weight (%)
1 Module 0: Introduction Assignment 0 Wednesday September 8 Monday September 13 N/A 1 (Bonus)
1 Module 1: Digital Information Assignment 1 Wednesday September 8 Monday September 13 6.11
2 Module 2: Computer Organization Assignment 2 Monday September 13 Monday September 20 6.11
3 Module 3: Network Organization Assignment 3 Monday September 20 Monday September 27 6.11
4 Midterm 1: There will be no office hours during this time and no questions will be answered on MS Teams. Monday October 4 (12:00 PM EST Noon) Tuesday October 5 (11:59 PM EST Midnight) 15
5 Module 4: Introduction to Excel Assignment 4 Monday October 4 Monday October 18 6.11
6 Module 5: Advanced Excel Functions Assignment 5 Monday October 18 Monday October 25 6.11
7 Module 6: Displaying and Optimizing Data in Excel Assignment 6 Monday October 25 Monday November 1 6.11
8 Midterm 2: There will be no office hours during this time and no questions will be answered on MS Teams. Monday November 8 (12:00 PM EST Noon) Tuesday November 9 (11:59 PM EST Midnight) 15
9 Module 7: HTML Assignment 7 Monday November 8 Monday November 15 6.11
10 Module 8: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Assignment 8 Monday November 15 Monday November 22 6.11
11 Module 9: Dynamic Web Pages Assignment 9 Monday November 22 Monday November 29 6.11
12 Midterm 3: There will be no office hours during this time and no questions will be answered on MS Teams. Monday December 6 (12:00 PM EST Noon) Tuesday December 7 (11:59 PM EST Midnight) 15


Breakdown for Fall 2021

  • The assignments are worth 55% of your final grade.
    • Assignment 0 is worth 1% and is considered a "bonus" assignment.
    • There are 9 assignments, each is worth 6.11%.
  • There will be three midterms. Each is worth 15%.
  • You must pass the combined midterms with a grade of 50% to pass the class.

The plan is that there will be a corresponding assignment for each module.

Protip: Although each assignment will be weighted the same, it is inevitable that some assignments will be harder and/or require more work than others.

Schedule and Availability

Each module and its assignment will normally be available on the Monday of the corresponding week.

Each assignment will normally be due on the following Monday.

Assignment 0 Policy

You must submit and pass Assignment 0 (with a minimum of 75%) before any other assignment will be accepted. You have an unlimited number of attempts to complete this assignment.

Late Assignments

  • Late assignments will be accepted until 11:59 PM on the Wednesday of the week in which they are due. No assignments will be accepted beyond this time.
  • There is no penalty for late assignments as long as the cumulative number of late days for all assignments does not exceed seven.
  • For example, if Assignments 1 and 2 are submitted on time, Assignment 3 is two days late, and Assignment 4 is two days late, Assignment 5 is two days late, then Assignment 6 cannot be more than one day late.
  • Once these late days have been used, a penalty of -10% per day is given. (The late penalty will be calculated towards your assignment grade at the end of the term.)
  • Learn calculated late days are not accurate, we will post your late day total weekly. Questions regarding late days can be directed to Barbara Daly.

Assignment Format

Assignments will include quizzes with multiple choice and/or short answer questions.

Some assignments may have more than one "quiz" in Learn.

Some assignments will also require you to submit files (and/or upload them to your website).

Quizzes (Multiple Choice and Short Answer)

All questions for these parts of the assignment are found in the the Quizzes tab (under the Assessments drop down menu) on Learn (also known as Desire2Learn or D2L).

You may answer as few or as many questions as you wish each time you read those files. If you are not yet ready to submit your answers, click on Save Answers and exit the quiz (without submitting it). When you are ready to submit the quiz, hit the Go to Submit Quiz. You will be directed to a Quiz Submission Confirmation page. Ensure that you click Submit Quiz and that you are subsequently directed to your Submission View.

For a more detailed explanation of the Quizzes tool (with visuals), please visit Waterloo LEARN Help.

You are responsible for ensuring that you correctly follow all the steps for submitting quizzes.

Note: Quizzes may be submitted once only (Assignment 0 only can be submitted several times).


All questions for this part of an assignment can be found in the Content tab (under the Course Materials drop down menu).

Each file you create must be saved using the following naming format: the assignment number followed by the question number and ending with the appropriate extension for the type of file. For example, if question C1 on Assignment 1 asks you to submit a text file, you would create a file named A1C1.txt. Similarly, if question C2 on that assignment asks you to submit an image, you would create A1C2.jpg. Please note that for Assignment 0, you are not required to rename the file before submitting it.

Mac Users: Ensure that there is an extension at the end of your file name (e.g., A1C1.txt).

You must upload your file, using the following steps:

  1. Find the Dropbox by navigating through the course content, or under Dropbox in the Assessments menu.
  2. Select "Add a File" below the assignment instructions and select the file you wish to submit.
  3. Once you have selected your file, click on "Upload".
  4. You can now select "Save" and your submission will be ready for your instructor. If you wish to upload a different file, select the trash can icon next to your submission, and start over from Step 2.

For a more detailed explanation of the Dropbox tool (with visuals), please visit Waterloo LEARN Help.

Note: Your instructor may provide feedback to your submission. Once it is available, you can view this feedback by returning to dropbox.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you submit the correct files on time and that they are, in fact, uploaded. Ensure that you save a copy of your email Confirmation Receipt.

What If I Need to Resubmit My Assignment?

Quizzes can be submitted once only for any assignment, except for Assignment 0, where multiple submissions are permitted.

You can resubmit your files to Dropbox as many times as you wish prior to the deadline. This is especially useful if you accidentally submit the wrong file or you wish to modify a submitted file for any reason. Follow the above steps each time you submit. The marker will grade your last submission only. Late days will be applied to the latest submission that is marked.

Assignment Feedback

Assignment marks are eventually posted in the Gradebook. To view your grades, click on Grades in the navigation bar. General feedback will be made available in the assignment folder approximately one week after the assignment is due. Feedback for multiple choice and short answer questions will be available within your quiz submission (under Quizzes). Feedback for long answer (applications) can be found in the Dropbox unless instructed otherwise.

If you have a question about your mark or wish for your assignment to be remarked, please contact the ISAs at cs100@uwaterloo.ca. Remark requests must be submitted within two weeks from the date the mark was received. Any requests submitted after this time will not be processed.

Please note that if you email the instructor a question about your marks, the instructor will forward it to the ISAs. To get faster responses, email the ISAs directly at cs100@uwaterloo.ca.

Your student.cs Environment

Your UW User ID

Even if you use your own computer for this course, you still need access to some services provided by the University. For this purpose, a User ID has been created for you using the University of Waterloo standard of your initials (as shown on your student ID card), followed by your last name, with spaces, apostrophes, periods, and hyphens removed and with a maximum of 8 characters. To distinguish users who would otherwise have identical User IDs, digits may have been inserted after the first initial, producing a User ID such as j22smith. This is the "username" that you use for many university related functions, including signing on to Quest and D2L.

All students in CS 100 have been allocated computing resources for the course in the student.cs environment managed by the Cheriton School of Computer Science. You will use these facilities for storing Web pages and for working with the Wiki. You may also use the on-campus CS 100 Labs (Mac computers running Mac OS X). Access to the student.cs environment is also based on your User ID.

Setting Your Password

There is a Web interface at https://student.cs.uwaterloo.ca/password/ for setting or changing your password. You need to use that interface in order to set the password you will use when logging onto a Mac in the UW Lab.

Follow the instructions given on that site. You will first be presented with a screen asking you to enter your UW User ID and password in order to confirm your identity.

You will then be presented with a page in which you can enter the password you wish to use.

Although the same User ID is used for multiple systems, the password you use to sign onto the student.cs environment is not the same as the password you use to sign onto WatIAM, Learn, or Quest.

As explained on that page, there are several restrictions on valid passwords for the CS environment, and you might have to try several alternatives before one is acceptable. The purpose of these restrictions is to make it difficult for others to guess or "discover" your password and thereby access your personal property stored on the system.

As you type the password you wish to use, the system will respond with messages explaining what needs to be changed. For example, you might see one of the following:

Eventually you will see:

Type the same password into the confirmation box and then press save. Starting approximately five minutes later (the time needed to propagate your password to the various systems in the CS environment), you will be able to sign onto any Mac in the CS 100 lab.

It is important that either you logout or you close the browser when you are done, since your UW User ID and password will have been temporarily stored; if they are not deleted by closing the browser, the next student using the machine could access your grades or other personal information.

Logging Into the OS X Network

If the computer is not already on (for the Mac, either the desktop is visible on the screen or the white light under the screen is on), turn your Mac on by pressing the power key (located on the back of the iMac's monitor).

After a few seconds the screen will display a form allowing you to log in. You should see the cursor blinking in the box to the right of a User ID or see that the Name: box and any contents in it are highlighted. Use the keyboard to type in your UW User ID (the same as you use for D2L and WatIAM). Be careful: there are no spaces or periods in your User ID. Press the tab key to advance to the Password box and enter the password you set through the Web interface. To complete the login process, position the mouse over the button marked Log in and click with the left mouse button.

If the login window on your screen "shakes", it means there is an error with your User ID or your password. First, verify your User ID. Check that the caps lock key is not on. If your User ID is typed correctly, highlight the password line by clicking at the beginning of the password and dragging to the end, delete your password then retype it. Once you have retyped the password, click the Log In button. If the login window "shakes" again, ask an ISA for assistance, try another computer in the Lab, or reset your password using the Web interface.

A Successful Login

At this point, you have completed the first process of logging into the computer system. Once you log in, your screen will display a desktop.

The Macintosh HD icon represents a hard disk physically located inside your computer. This disk contains all applications, preferences and information needed for the computer to run properly.

One advantage of using a network is that you can use any computer on the network to retrieve your files if they are stored in a central location. Several of the disk icons that appear on your screen do not reside physically on your computer. Instead, they are stored elsewhere by your computing service provider. A disk to which you have access but is not located on your computer is known as a virtual disk.

Much of the information on a networked computer applies to all users. Other data is specific to you the user, such as your User ID and password. In order to personalize your working environment, the computer uses preferences to store settings that are unique to you. Before you begin using applications on the computer, you need to personalize your environment.


Academic Integrity

In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. Please take the time and go through the following:

To better understand the basic values of academic integrity and the consequences of academic misconduct please refer to Academic Integrity tutorial.


A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance. Read Policy 70, Student Petitions and Grievances, Section 4. When in doubt please be certain to contact the department's administrative assistant who will provide further assistance.


A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing an academic offence, and to take responsibility for his/her actions (see Academic Integrity Guidelines ). A student who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offence, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offences (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about 'rules' for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course instructor, academic advisor, or the undergraduate Associate Dean. For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71, Student Discipline. For typical penalties check Guidelines for the Assessment of Penalties


A decision made or penalty imposed under Policy 70 (Student Petitions and Grievances) (other than a petition) or Policy 71 (Student Discipline) may be appealed if there is a ground. A student who believes he/she has a ground for an appeal should refer to Policy 72 (Student Appeals)

Final Grades

In accordance with Policy 46, Appendix A - Access to and Release of Student Information, the Centre for Extended Learning does not release final examination grades or final course grades to students. Students must go to Quest to see all final grades. Any grades posted in Waterloo LEARN are unofficial.

AccessAbility Services

AccessAbility Services, located in Needles Hall, Room 1401, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with them at the beginning of each academic term.

Mental Health

If you or anyone youknow experiences any academic stress, difficult lifeevents, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support.

On-campus Resources

  • Campus Wellness
  • Counselling Services: 519-888-4567 ext 32655 / NeedlesHall North 2nd floor, (NH 2401)
  • MATES: one-to-one peer support program offered by Federation of Students (FEDS) and Counselling Services
  • Health Services service: located across the creek from Student Life Centre, 519-888-4096.

Off-campus Resources

  • Good2Talk (24/7): Free confidential help line for post-secondary students. Phone: 1-866-925-5454
  • Here 24/7: Mental Health and Crisis Service Team. Phone: 1-844-437-3247
  • OK2BME: set of support services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning teens in Waterloo. Phone: 519-884-0000 extension 213


It is our intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, and that students’learning needs be addressed both in and out of class. We recognize the immense value of the diversity in identities, perspectives, and contributions that students bring, and the benefit it has on our educational environment. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let us know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups. In particular:

  • We will gladly honour your request to address you by an alternate/preferred name or gender pronoun. Please advise us of this preference early in thesemester so we may make appropriate changes to our records.
  • We will honour your religious holidays and celebrations. P lease inform of us these at the start of the course.
  • We will follow AccessAbility Services guidelines and protocols on how to best support students with different learning needs.

UWaterloo's Web Pages

All rights, including copyright, images, slides, audio, and video components, of the content of this course are owned by the course author, unless otherwise stated. These web pages are owned or controlled by the University of Waterloo, Centre for Extended Learning. By accessing the web pages, you agree that you may only download the content for your own personal, non-commercial use. You are not permitted to copy, broadcast, download, store (in any medium), transmit, show or play in public, adapt, or change in any way the content of these web pages for any other purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of the course author and the University of Waterloo, Centre for Extended Learning.

Other Sources

Respect the copyright of others and abide by all copyright notices and regulations when using the computing facilities provided for your course of study by the University of Waterloo. No material on the Internet or World Wide Web may be reproduced or distributed in any material form or in any medium, without permission from copyright holders or their assignees. To support your course of study, the University of Waterloo has provided hypertext links to relevant websites, resources, and services on the web. These resources must be used in accordance with any registration requirements or conditions which may be specified. You must be aware that in providing such hypertext links, the University of Waterloo has not authorized any acts (including reproduction or distribution) which, if undertaken without permission of copyright owners or their assignees, may be infringement of copyright. Permission for such acts can only be granted by copyright owners or their assignees.

If there are any questions about this notice, please contact the University of Waterloo, Centre for Extended Learning, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3G1 or extendedlearning@uwaterloo.ca