CIS 120: Programming Languages and Techniques I
Spring 2020


If at any point you want additional academic help beyond that provided by the course staff, I encourage you to contact the Penn Tutoring Center. It is best to get connected with a tutor early in the semester before all spots are filled. (It can be difficult to get a tutor if you wait until midterm week.) All Tutoring Center services are FREE for matriculating undergraduates.

Note that while you are free to request individual help from your TA, it is against CIS 120 policy for you to hire a current CIS 120 TA as a personal tutor.

Weingarten Learning Resources Center

Many CIS 120 students take advantage of the Weingarten Learning Resources Center.

The Office of Learning Resources at the Weingarten Learning Resources Center offers individualized instruction and a variety of workshops to guide Penn students towards more efficient and effective academic study skills and strategies. Professional staff provides free and confidential instruction in areas such as time/project management, academic reading and writing, exam preparation and test-taking strategies, and study strategies. The office is located in Stouffer Commons, 3702 Spruce Street. Stop by to use the study lounge or computer lab or to pick up self-help brochures and semester calendars. To schedule an appointment with a Learning Instructor, call (215) 573-9235 or visit in person.

Formal and Informal Accommodations

We are committed to assisting students requiring special accommodations for circumstances that are registered with the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS). The University of Pennsylvania provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities who have self-identified and been approved by the Office of Student Disabilities Services (SDS). Students need to make arrangements with SDS. If you have not yet contacted SDS and would like to request accommodations or have questions, you can make an appointment by calling SDS at 215-573-9235. The office is located in the Weingarten Learning Resources Center at Stouffer Commons 3702 Spruce Street, Suite 300. All services are confidential. If you are not formally registered with SDS and experience anxiety, depression, learning disabilities or other issues that affect your ability to fully participate and learn in this class, you are encouraged to check-in with a course instructor.

CAPS: Mental Health Resources

We are here to support you and care about the well-being of CIS 120 students. We don't just want you to succeed academically, but you also must put effort into your physical and mental health. Anxiety and depression are common in high-stress environments, such as Penn, but you don't have to face this alone. CAPS offers self-help tips for coping with stress. Signs of stress include:

  • Body aches;sleep difficulties; persistent fatigue; restlessness.
  • Feeling anxious/worried; overwhelmed; sad; tearful; irritable; trouble concentrating.
  • Withdrawing from friends; missing classes; becoming impulsive; drinking/smoking or using other substances as a way to cope.
  • Having negative thoughts of self blame or self harm
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms on more days than not, it is advisable for you to discuss your feelings/situations with someone like a professional counselor, advisor, house dean, family member or anyone else you feel close to. If you are feeling concerned about a friend, family member or a significant other, please discuss your concerns with someone to figure out ways to reach out and support them.

If you, or anybody you know, is in need of mental health care, please refer to the following campus resources: (1) Counseling and Psychological Services, CAPS 215-898-7021 (off hours and weekends 215-349-5490); (2) Department of Public Safety 215-898-7333, or 511 if imminent danger to themselves or others; (3) Finding Programs for Student Wellness through the VPUL; and (4) Student Health Services.

Financial Help for Students

We have designed CIS 120 so that the only materials that you need to purchase for this course is a laptop. We make the lecture notes freely available and the engineering school sponsors the usage of commercial educational tools such as Codio and PollEverywhere. However, FGLI CIS 120 students should feel free to reach out to the course staff directly in the case of financial hardship.