University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Programming Principles in C

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Computer Science

DESCRIPTION This unit is intended as a first programming course and takes the student step by step through a number of fundamental concepts including basic language constructs (assignment, branching and loops) and data types, abstract data types, dynamic memory management, preprocessor directives, debugging, library linking, and cross-platform program building. The unit will also cover techniques for efficient and effective debugging and profiling of programs.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is that of introducing the students to the basic concepts of programming in terms of the C programming language, a language that sits at the right level so as to give the student important exposure to concepts such as memory management through pointers and the associated intricacies associated with such constructs. C also happens to be the lingua franca of systems programming.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to design, implement and test procedural programs while choosing appropriate language constructs and algorithms including I/O operations;
- Demonstrate practical application of structured design principles.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Describe an algorithm (sequence of steps) that solves a problem. (Automation);
- Analyse algorithm to determine whether it solves the problem. (Correctness);
- Describe how C source code is executed by a computer (Runtime semantics);
- Compare algorithms and associated data structures to determine which is better suited for a particular problem.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- C Primer Plus (6th edition). Stephen Prata. Addison-Wesley, 2013. ISBN 978-0321928429
- The C Programming Language. BW Kernighan, DM Ritchie. Prentice-Hall, 1988. ISBN 0-13-110362-8
- Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets. Peter van der Linden. Prentice Hall, 1994. ISBN 978-0131774292

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Mark J. Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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