CS 4501/6501: Software Testing
Syllabus — Fall 2017
|Class hours||Tuesday, Thursday 11:00AM - 12:15PM, Olsson Hall 005|
|Prerequisite||Knowledge of discrete math, programming, data structures and general knowledge of software engineering. You will need an understanding of the syntax and semantics of multiple programming languages. Most examples will be in Java and some assignments will require automated tests. Programming skills are required and students are expected to know Java or learn on their own.|
Required: Introduction to Software Testing (2nd edition), Paul Ammann and Jeff Offutt, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Where appropriate, additional references that can be relevant for further reading will be provided.
This course presents the concepts and techniques for testing software and assuring its quality.
Topics cover software testing at the unit, module, subsystem, and system levels,
automatic and manual techniques for generating and validating test data,
the testing process, static vs. dynamic analysis, functional testing, inspections,
web application testing, and reliability assessment.
Over the semester, students will learn when, where, and how to test software appropriately and effectively.
CS 4501 vs CS 6501: Homework assignments and exams in this course will be given as problem solving questions drawn from the Introduction to Software Testing textbook (by Ammann and Offutt) and other assigned reading materials. Each problem is defined by its level of difficulty - fundamental, intermediate, and advanced. Graduate students will be required to solve advanced problems. Extra credit opportunities will be offered to those who choose to complete a short research paper critique presentation. Undergraduates will be expected to solve intermediate problems and those who also choose to solve advanced problems will be given extra credit opportunities.
This course has two closely related themes.
First, more than half the effort in software development is devoted to
activities related to testing,
including test design, execution and evaluation.
This course will teach quantitative, technical, practical methods
that software engineers and developers can use to test their software,
both during and at the end of development.
more than half of software development effort is not new development,
but maintenance activities such as
adding new features,
migrating to new platforms,
and integrating third-party components into new projects.
These two themes are intertwined because much of the effort during
maintenance is testing the changes,
and much of the effort in testing is about
This course covers these two themes quantitatively, with a solid basis in theory and with practical applications. These topics will be useful to strong programmers in the Computer Science program, as well as engineers, physical scientists, and mathematicians who regularly integrate software components as part of their work. The topic of this course is of interest to and accessible to students in a wide variety of specializations.
|Reading||Students are expected to read the relevant material (from the text, various sources on the web, and transparencies that will be made available on the website). You will understand the lectures much better if you read the material before the lectures. The lectures may not cover everything in the readings and will often include material not found in the readings.|
Rounding: By default, grades will not be rounded in this course
Homework assignments will be made available
on the course website.
Some homework assignments will be submitted on paper in class.
Others must be submitted via
More details on submission guidelines will be provided on the course website.
Be sure that you are on the class mailing list,
as refinements and hints for the assignments will be sent through email or posted on
the discussion boards.
Homeworks must be submitted before class on the day they are due. Any submission received after this time will be considered to be late. Assignments will be checked immediately after the due date; if you finish an assignment late, you must inform us (instructor and TAs) by email when it is ready to be graded. Changing an assignment after the due date without prior permission will be treated as a late submission.
Students are expected to have a backup disk (or storage somewhere) for every assignment they turn in. In this way, if there is any problem with the copy that is handed in, the backup can be used for grading purposes.
|Quizzes||Instead of a midterm exam, we will have weekly quizzes. Quizzes will be given during the first 10 to 15 minutes of class on Tuesdays and no makeups or late quizzes will be given. Please do not ask for an exception. For overall grade calculations, the lowest three quiz scores will be dropped. The remaining quizzes with the highest scores will be used to calculate the final "quiz" part of the grade. This essentially means that you can miss up to three quizzes without penalty.|
This course will use Piazza
for a discussion board.
Information for accessing our class will be provided on the first day of class.
Participation on the discussion threads counts towards your grade.
You can earn credit in several ways.
Updates to the course web page will generally be noted on the Piazza page.
We will often have in-class exercises.
They will not be scheduled or announced ahead of time,
and most will be graded on a "done / not done" basis.
Some exercises will be graded via brief demonstrations to the instructor or TAs.
Students are encouraged to work in small groups.
Each exercise is designed to get you to think about some specific aspect of the material we are learning that day. The exercises will also be used to monitor attendance.
|Five-minute papers||At the end of some classes we will have a "five-minute paper." You will be asked to respond in written form to a simple question related to the day's lecture. This will be graded on a "done / not done" basis and count towards in-class exercises.|
Final exam is closed book/notes/web.
The only exception is a single sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper (double sided)
with hand-written or typed notes by the person taking the exam.
The final is in-class and comprehensive unless specified otherwise by instructor.
Appropriate documentation (as determined by instructor) and
requisite permissions are required for make-up exam requests.
Picture IDs are required to take all exams.
If you know in advance that you are unable to make an exam for a valid and unavoidable reason (such as a scheduled surgery, etc), you must notify me at least one week before the scheduled exam date to make arrangements for a make-up, and bring documentation with you when you take the make-up. If you miss an exam due to a university-accepted excused absence (such as an illness or car accident the day and time of the exam), you must notify me within 24 hours of your absence to make arrangements for a makeup, and bring approved documentation with you when you take the make-up exam. Failure to follow either of these policies will result in a zero grade on the exam.
You are allowed to work on homeworks
collaboratively using one of two models:
Unless arrangements are worked out in advance,
50% penalties apply to late assignment submissions. Assignments are not accepted after two days past the deadline.
I place a high emphasis on timely completion of homework. The reason is that I want to immediately use the fact that you have completed an exercise (typically with a quiz). For this reason, late homeworks are heavily penalized.
|Regrading Policy||If you are dissatisfied with a grade on a homework assignment, quiz, or exam, you should consult with the instructor directly within a week of the day the graded work was returned to you. No regrade requests will be considered after this week period.|
|Phone calls, text messages, instant messages, emails, and general web surfing are highly disruptive to other students and hence not allowed during class time. Technology devices may only be used for the class purposes (e.g. following slides or working on in-class exercises.) Violators will be asked to leave the room. Repeat offenders will lose credit on the "Participation" grade.|
I occasionally send important announcements to your UVA email account,
so it is imperative that you read it regularly.
Students must use the UVA email system for all correspondence with the instructor and TAs (using the following email subject format: CS 4501: insert your subject or CS 6501: insert your subject); if not, we may not notice it.
General assignments or class questions should not be sent through email — in such events, your email will be returned and you will be asked to post your question to the discussion board. In general, the turnaround time for responses to questions will be much quicker on the discussion board. Students should also avoid emailing their code to the instructor unless permission has been obtained (under no circumstances should code be posted publicly to the discussion board).
If you need to contact me via emails, please be aware that I typically answer emails during work hours Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm.
|Office hours||Office hours are times that I commit to being in my office, door open, first come, first served. You do not need an appointment, and no appointments are made. If you cannot make my office hours, then we can try to set up an appointment. I will inform you in class or on the discussion board if I have to miss office hours.|
The School of Engineering and Applied Science relies upon
and cherishes its community of trust.
We firmly endorse, uphold, and embrace the Universityís Honor principle
that students will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor shall they tolerate those
who do. We recognize that even one honor infraction can destroy
an exemplary reputation that has taken years to build.
Acting in a manner consistent with the principles of honor will benefit
every member of the community both while enrolled in the Engineering School
and in the future.
Students are expected to be familiar with the university honor code, including the section on academic fraud. Each assignment will describe allowed collaborations, and deviations from these will be considered Honor violations. If you are in doubt regarding the requirements, please consult with me before you complete any requirement of this course. Unless otherwise noted, exams and individual assignments will be considered pledged that you have neither given nor received help. (Among other things, this means that you are not allowed to describe problems on an exam to a student who has not taken it yet. You are not allowed to show exam papers to another student or view another studentís exam papers while working on an exam.) Send, receiving or otherwise copying electronic files that are part of course assignments are not allowed collaborations (except for those explicitly allowed in assignment instructions). Assignments or exams where honor infractions or prohibited collaborations occur will receive a zero grade for that entire assignment or exam. Such infractions will also be submitted to the Honor Committee if that is appropriate. Students who have had prohibited collaborations may not be allowed to work with partners on remaining homeworks.
|SDAC and Other Special Circumstances||If you have been identified as an SDAC student, please let the Center know you are taking this class. If you suspect you should be an SDAC student, please schedule an appointment with them for an evaluation. Students who need academic accommodations should see me and contact the SDAC. All academic accommodations must be arranged through the SDAC. If you have other special circumstances (athletics, other university-related activities, etc.) please contact instructor and/or TA as soon as you know these may affect you in class.|