Read Me First

Welcome to CS135!

Thank you for setting out on a learning journey with us. No matter whether you’ve never programmed before or have considerable programming experience, we have a place for you. We hope to guide you through a carefully designed curriculum that introduces you to core concepts in computer science. More than 11,000 students have successfully made this journey with us in the past.

In a typical week, you will move through the following activities:

  • Study course content from the on-line Study Modules, including submitting answers to self-check questions.
  • Attend a Question & Answer session, either on-line or in-person.
  • Complete an assignment demonstrating your mastery of the material.

One significant change from previous years is that we’re beginning to use a new delivery platform called “edX”. More on that in a moment.

Things to do to get started

If you are have trouble with the following tasks, send email to the course account .

Create an account on edX

edX is the learning platform we’re using for CS135. You’ll find your assignments there, lots of information about the course, discussion forums to get help – just about everything except for this page and the actual course content to study.

  1. Open   in your browser.
  2. Click the “Create Your Account” button. Do not fill in the form with name, email, etc. If you have manually created a user account by accident, contact us immediately.
  3. Your browser will redirect you to the University of Waterloo Single Sign-On site. Login with your UW credentials.
  4. You will then be redirected back to the edX website.
  5. Click this link and then click the “Enroll Now” button to enroll in the course.
  6. Explore!

Setting up Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has lots of functionality, but in CS 135 we use it primarily as a videoconferencing platform for group and individual office hours.

You should be automatically added to the relevant CS135 Team on the first day of classes (if you are registered). If you register late, you should be automatically added within 24 hours of registering for the course. If something goes wrong, email the course account .

Installing Microsoft Teams

There are two ways you can access Microsoft Teams:

You will need to log into Teams using your University of Waterloo credentials (using your email address as the login; if your userid is longer than 8 characters, use only the first 8). This will provide you with some functionality immediately (e.g. chat) but the core functionality for CS 135 will not be available until after classes start and you have been automatically added to the relevant team.

For people on Linux, the browser version has one advantage over the desktop app (as of Sept 2021): in the browser version you can share an individual application window, and in the desktop app you can only share your full screen. However, the Linux desktop app allows you to take remote control of other people’s shared windows, and the browser version does not. For other users the desktop app appears to be equal or better than the browser version in (almost) every way, but either should work okay.

Review the Calendar

  1. In edX, click the “Calendar” tab at the top of the main page.
  2. Note the following deadlines in the very near future:
    • The first study module (due Thursday, Sep 9)
    • The second study module, up to slide 32 (due Monday, Sep 13)
    • Assignment 00 (due Tuesday, Sep 14)

Study Module 01

On the CS135 web site (this one!), click “Study Modules” in the table of contents on the left column. Then click “M01: Syllabus”.

What about Learn ?

CS135 does not use it.

What about the Practicum section listed on my schedule?

Back when we started planning for this offering of CS135 we had reasonable hopes that the entire course would be in-person. We had ambitious plans to revamp the course to build on the work we did previously for the pandemic what would have made use of those Practicum sections.

As you know, the pandemic didn’t resolve as we hoped and we were unable to adapt our plans to the current reality. So the Practicum sections will be unused.