CS 320: Introduction to Software Engineering

Spring 2015

This website is for the section of CS 320 taught by Prof. Yuriy Brun.

News | Description | Logistics | Grading | Integrative Experience | Schedule | CS H320 | CS 529 | Nondiscrimination | Academic integrity | Reading | Prerequisites | Acknowledgements



Software engineering goes beyond software development. It involves defining software products, dealing with customers who may not understand software or even their own needs, coordinating large teams of coworkers, ensuring the quality of software, shipping and maintaining software, and much more! As well as requiring strong technical skills, a good software engineer requires strong teamwork and communication skills. Get ready to learn software engineering principles first hand, ship product, and survive to do it again!


Lecture:Monday and Wednesday 2:30–3:45 PM in room CS 142
Discussion:Wednesday 1:25–2:15 PM in room CS 142

Yuriy Brun
office: CS 346
office hours: Wednesday 11AM–12PM

Ted Smith
office: CS 354
office hours: TBD

All assignment submissions are through Moodle.

Late policy: Assignment due dates and times are listed on the schedule. All deadlines are sharp and the submission site will be closed at the specified time. No extensions will be granted after the assignment is due. Early requests for extensions will be considered only in extenuating circumstances.


Students are responsible for submitting all assignments. Each student who fails to participate in one or more of the exams, or whose group fails to submit one or more of the seven (7) project assignments, will receive the grade F for the entire class.

 Assignment Grade
exam 1 20%
exam 2 20%
class and lecture participation 10%
project 50%

The project's 50% are further broken down:

product idea 2%
requirements specification 6%
software design 8%
α release 5%
β release with presentation 10%
user report 4%
1.0 release with presentation 15%
total: 50%

Integrative Experience:

CS 320 is an integrative experience course. It focuses on developing communication, reflection, and learning-aware learning skills. Each student will:


(subject to change; check regularly)

week date day topic due
Week 1
Jan 19 M Martin Luther King Jr. Day. University holiday.
Jan 21 W No discussion first week
Jan 21 W Course introduction product idea slides:
due Sun Feb 1, 9:00PM EST
Week 2
Jan 26 M Software development lifecycle
Jan 28 W (discussion section): Work on product ideas
Jan 28 W Teamwork
and a guest lecture (watch video) on
Automated Support for Reproducing and Debugging Field Failures
Week 3
Feb 2 M Snow day, no class
Feb 4 W (discussion section): Idea presentations project preference survey:
due Fri Feb 6, 11:55PM EST
Feb 4 W Idea presentations
Week 4
Feb 9 M Snow day, no class requirements specification:
due Tue Feb 17, 12:00PM noon EST
Feb 11 W (discussion section): Work in groups
Feb 11 W Requirements
Week 5
Feb 16 M Presidents Day: University holiday
Feb 17 T Monday schedule, class meets. Architecture
Feb 18 W (discussion section): Work in groups design specification:
due Wed Feb 25, 12:00PM noon EST
Feb 18 W UML
Week 6
Feb 23 M Pair programming
Feb 25 W (discussion section): Design presentations
Feb 25 W Design presentations α release:
due Mon Mar 9, 12:00PM noon EDT
Week 7
Mar 2 M Guest lecture (watch video):
"Leveraging Big Software Data to Improve Software Quality"
Mar 4 W (discussion section): Work in groups (think β)
Mar 4 W User interface
Mar 5 Th Optional guest lecture in CS 151 4–5:
Secure and Robust Software Through Testing and Verification
Week 8
Mar 9 M Exam review. Design patterns
Mar 11 W (discussion section): No class Team Assessment 1:
due Wed Mar 25, 11:55 PM EDT

β release:
due Wed Apr 1, 12:00PM noon EDT
Mar 11 W Exam 1
Week 9
Spring Break
Week 10
Mar 23 M Testing
Mar 25 W (discussion section): Work in groups (think β)
Mar 25 W Debugging
Week 11
Mar 30 M Security: Control-Alt-Hack
Apr 1 W (discussion section): β release presentations
Apr 1 W β release presentations user report:
due Wed Apr 15, 12:00PM noon EDT
Week 12
Apr 6 M Groupthink design exercise
Apr 8 W (discussion section): Work in groups
Apr 8 W Groupthink design exercise
Week 13
Apr 13 M Reasoning about programs
Apr 15 W (discussion section): The Matrix (starting at 1:30 PM)
Apr 15 W The Matrix
1.0 release:
due Thu Apr 30, 11:55PM EDT
Week 14
Apr 20 M Patriots' Day: University holiday
Apr 22 W Monday schedule: no discussion section today
Apr 22 W Power of software. Exam review.
Week 15
Apr 27 M 1.0 release presentations
Apr 29 W (discussion section): work on your 1.0 release
Apr 29 W No lecture, work on your 1.0 release Team Assessment 2:
due Fri May 3, 11:55 PM EDT
Week 16
May 7 Th Exam 2: 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM in Hasbrouck Lab Add room 124
(see C3 of the campus map)

CS H320: Honors seminar

CS H320 is an honors seminar held with CS 320. You must be registered for CS H320 to attend.

Project ideas list.

CS 529: Software Engineering Project Management

CS 529 is an advanced class on project management. Each student in CS 529 leads a team of CS 320 students toward a successful project completion. In addition to all the CS 320 lecture and discussion meeting times, CS 529 students also meet on Monday, 4–5PM in room CS 243. The prerequisite to take CS 529 is an A- or better in CS 320 and instructor approval.

Nondiscrimination policy:

Software engineering is at its nature a collaborative activity and it benefits greatly from diversity. This class includes and welcomes all students regardless of age, background, citizenship, disability, sex, education, ethnicity, family status, gender, gender identity, geographical origin, language, military experience, political views, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and work experience. Our discussions and learning will benefit from these and other diverse points of view. Any kind of language or action displaying bias against or discriminating against members of any group, or making members of any group uncomfortable are against the mission of this course and will not be tolerated. The instructor welcomes discussion of this policy, and encourages anyone experiencing concerns to speak with him.

Academic integrity:

Students are allowed to work together on all aspects of this class except the midterm. However, for the homework assignments, each student must submit his or her own write up, clearly stating the collaborators. Your submission must be your own. When in doubt, contact the instructors about whether a potential action would be considered plagiarism. If you discuss material with anyone besides the class staff, acknowledge your collaborators in your write-up. If you obtain a key insight with help (e.g., through library work or a friend), acknowledge your source and write up the summary on your own. It is the student's responsibility to remove any possibility of someone else's work from being misconstrued as the student's. Never misrepresent someone else's work as your own. It must be absolutely clear what material is your original work. Plagiarism and other anti-intellectual behavior will be dealt with severely. Note that facilitation of plagiarism (giving your work to someone else) is also considered to be plagiarism, and will carry the same repercussions.

Students are encouraged to use the Internet, literature, and other publicly-available resources, except the homework solutions and test (including quizzes, midterms, finals, and other exams) solutions, from past terms' versions of this course and other academic courses, whether at UMass and at other institutions. To reiterate, the students are not allowed to view and use past homework and test solutions, unless explicitly distributed by the CS 320 staff as study material.

Whenever students use Internet, literature, and other publicly-available resources, they must clearly reference the materials in their write ups, attributing proper credit. This cannot be emphasized enough: attribute proper credit to your sources. Failure to do so will result in a zero grade for the assignment and possibly a failing grade for the class, at the instructor's discretion. Copying directly from resources is not permitted, unless the copying is clearly identified as a quote from a source. Most use of references should be written in the words of the student, placing the related work in proper context and describing the relevant comparison.

The students should familiarize themselves with the UMass Academic Honesty Policy and Guidelines for Classroom Civility and Respect. These policies and guidelines apply to this class.

Students who violate University standards of academic integrity are subject to disciplinary sanctions, including failure in the course and suspension from the university. Since dishonesty in any form harms the individual, other students, and the university, policies on academic integrity have been and will be strictly enforced.


There is no required textbook for the course. There may be several reading assignments that will come from publicly available research papers. Students who wish to read established textbooks beyond the assigned reading should consider:


This course does not teach students to program. Software engineering is a larger concept than programming and both cannot be taught in a single semester class. Students should already be proficient in at least one programming language (such as Java or C++). A grade of C or higher in CS 220 is required, though you will likely have a difficult time with the material in CS 320 if you got below a B in CS 220.


Various materials used in this course have greatly benefited from materials developed by Gail Alverson, Lori Clarke, Michael Ernst, André van der Hoek, David Notkin, Nenad Medvidovic, Lee Osterweil, and Ian Sommerville. Thank you.