Lab 0: Preliminaries
Please complete ASAP!
This lab consists of some simple tasks that you should complete on your own as soon as possible.
If you encounter any problems while completing these tasks, please post your question to Piazza, our class discussion site. The link to our Piazza course page is available on this site’s navigation bar.
Task 0: Set up your CS account
In order to use the computing resources of the computer science department, you need to set up a CS account, which is different from your regular BU account. To do so, you will need to go the CS undergraduate lab, which is located in EMA 302 (730 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd level; the main entrance is by Pavement Coffeehouse). Make sure to bring your BU ID with you to the lab.
Once you get to EMA 302, you should perform the account-creation process using one of the Unix machines, which are located on the left-hand side of the lab. Directions for doing so should be available when you enter the lab; ask one of the people at the help window if you don’t see an instruction sheet.
After you have completed the instructions for creating an account, show your BU ID to someone at the window. You are then free to leave the lab.
Task 1: Review course policies
As your next task, please review the policies of the course, which can be found in the syllabus and using the links in the navigation bar. In particular, please review carefully the policies on collaboration and academic misconduct for this course. Note that under some circumstances collaboration between students is encouraged, but there are important limitations to the extent to which you may do so. Read over these policies and ensure that you understand to what degree you may work with other students. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.
Task 2: Complete a survey
Please use the link below to complete a short survey that is required of all students in CS 105.
Task 3: Get a notebook for lecture
A number of lecture exercises will require you to write out your work on paper. As a result, you will need to bring a paper notebook (either loose-leaf or spiral) and a pen or pencil to every lecture. Doing so will also allow you to take notes during class, which we highly recommend!
Task 4: Prepare to use the Top Hat response system
We will be using the Top Hat classroom response system during lecture. You will be required to use this system to submit answers to in-class questions using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
To prepare for your use of Top Hat, we encourage you to visit the Quick Start Guide that is found on their website. It outlines how you will register for a Top Hat account, and it also provides a brief overview to get you up and running on the system.
Top Hat will require a paid subscription, and a full breakdown of the available subscription options can be found here.
You should receive an email invitation from Top Hat with all of the necessary information for joining our course on Top Hat. If you don’t receive this email, you can use the following details that are specific to CS 105:
- Top Hat join code: 332554
- Top Hat URL: https://app.tophat.com/e/332554
Should you require assistance with Top Hat at any time, please contact
their support team directly by email (
the in-app support button, or phone (1-888-663-5491).
Task 5: Install the virtual desktop software
At some point during the semester, you may need to use a virtual desktop that has been created for students in CS courses. To do so, you need to install the VWware Horizon Client on your laptop by following the appropriate set of instructions:
To use this software off-campus, you will also need to use BU’s virtual private network, which you can download by following the instructions found here: