AP  Computer Science  


(class filled)

On-Line for 2012-2013 School Year

Teacher: Cynthia Lang

E-mail: CKLang@aol.com

Texts Required:

  • Introduction to Computer Science Using Java. Java 5 edition. Bradley Kjell. (available free online at http://chortle.ccsu.edu/CS151/cs151java.html).
  • Barron’s AP Computer Science A. Roselyn Teukolsky. Latest edition. Cost about $14. 

Technical Requirements:

  • Computer, high-speed internet access, e-mail
  • Programming Environment
    The Java environment that we will be using is developed especially for computer science teaching by Rice University and is called DrJava.  You can visit the website at
    www.drjava.org to download the latest build.  And best of all, it’s free.  Prior to downloading DrJava, you must install the most recent Java Development Kit (JDK).  You can find that at http://java.sun.com.
  • There will be additional software that will be installed for projects (Alice3 Beta, NetBeans, RoboCode, JavaWIDE).  All of this software is also free, but will require a significant amount of hard drive space, which may be an issue with families who share a computer.

Who Should Apply:  Computer science graduates are currently in high demand and receive correspondingly high salaries in the workplace.  In fact, the percentage increase in starting salaries for computer science graduates exceeded every other major for the class of 2010 (NACE Salary Survey). Perhaps through AP Computer Science, you will decide this is the career for you. A side benefit to studying computer science is that it has been shown to boost SAT Math scores.  Also, demanding, rigorous coursework in high school has been shown to correlate with college success. If you enjoy solving puzzles and problems, you will enjoy computer programming.  

Prerequisites: The necessary prerequisites for entering the AP Computer Science A course include a completion of Algebra II with B or better and experience in problem solving. A student in the AP Computer Science A course should be comfortable with functions and the concepts found in the uses of functional notation. Previous computer programming experience is not required. Prospective students should be ready to commit at least 6 hours working alone on the computer each week.

Course Fee: $680

Course Description: This course prepares students for the AP Computer Science A Exam. Object-oriented programming methodology with a concentration on problem solving and algorithm development is emphasized. Students will read, answer questions, take quizzes, and most importantly, design, code, document and test Java programs. In addition, a case study developed by the College Board that highlights the capabilities and implications of object-oriented program design is integrated into the curriculum. Throughout the year, AP-style questions are practiced. However, starting in March, the emphasis in the class shifts toward preparation for the AP Exam, which is administered in May.  

 As a member of this class, you will be part of an online community. You will be interacting with your classmates and the teacher through the website, email, and “live” class sessions.  Through the online forum, you will post any questions you may have about the software, reading material or the homework assignments, answer each other’s questions, discuss computer science topics, and upload homework. We will also have some team activities during the year. Students typically enjoy this peer interaction, and full participation will help you to stay engaged in the course.   

Instructor Qualifications: I have an MSChE from University of Maryland and am a licensed Professional Engineer. I have taught in the engineering department of Penn State Abington for 21 years, where I also coach teams of students in robotic competitions. I have completed the National Science Foundation’s TeachJava training in residence at Rice University as well as two online workshops for the AP Computer Science Case Study offered through Georgia Tech. Additional computer science pedagogical training includes Alice3 Beta (a Java-based animation program from Carnegie Mellon that we use in class), Java Web Integrated Development Environment (JavaWIDE), Google Computer Science for High School: Real Projects for Real People, Greenfoot (a graphical programming environment for teaching Java), Bioinformatics for Computer Science Teachers, and Test First Java Program Design completed in residence at Brown University. I am also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, Computer Science Teachers of America, and the Philadelphia Area Computer Science Educators. This will be my sixth time teaching AP Computer Science for PA Homeschoolers.   I have three formerly homeschooled children. The youngest is a junior is college.  



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