Intro. to Comp. Sci. & OOP: Python


UC San Diego, Department of Extended Studies


Welcome to CSE6 XSD, an introductory computer science course offered by the Department of Extended Studies at UC San Diego. The course will cover a range of programming topics, including basic data types, loops and iteration, basic data structures, memory models, conditional statements, recursion, algorithm time complexity, analysis, class design, inheritance, and more.

The information on this page is subject to change.


Course Staff

  • Sabeel Mansuri (Instructor)
  • Daniela Perry (Assistant Teacher)

Lectures Problem Solving Sessions

In place of traditional lectures, this course offers synchronous Problem Solving Sessions (PSSs) on Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 5 PM to 6 PM, during which the instructor will review key concepts, answer questions, and work through problems. These sessions will be recorded. While synchronous attendance is not required, all students are expected to either attend synchronously or watch the recordings (or both). All material covered in PSSs is fair-game for quizzes and the final exam! The PSSs will be held via the Zoom link available on Canvas.

Most of the course content will be presented via an online platform called Stepik, which will serve as your interactive textbook.


Building a support system of friends with whom you can struggle and work through the challenges you encounter is one of the best ways to seek help. You will quickly learn how much you can figure out working together!

For additional help, there are two kinds of sessions you can attend. The first is open lab hours, where our fleet of tutors give one-on-one help with programming tasks and course content. This is the primary synchronous help mechanism, and is available at the times (and Zoom link) listed on Canvas.

The second is office hours, which are held by the TA at the times (and Zoom link) listed on Canvas. Office hours are a great place for any kind of question about the course, from help with your assignment to clarifications about material in lecture to questions beyond what we cover in the course. Instructor office hours are available by appointment.


Week Topic(s) Quiz
One (10/2) Python Syntax, Strings, Variables, Operator Precedence, Comments -
Two (10/9) Boolean Logic, Conditionals, Short-Circuiting -
Three (10/16) For-Loops, While-Loops, Break/Continue, Nesting -
Four (10/23) Data Structures: Lists, Tuples, Sets, Dicts Quiz 1: Ch. 1-3
Five (10/30) Functions, Default Parameters, Variable Arguments -
Six (11/6) Recursion -
Seven (11/13) Objects -
Eight (11/20) Exception Handling, Custom Exceptions Quiz 2: Ch. 4-7
Nine (11/27) File I/O, Serialization -
Ten (12/4) Libraries -



  • Code Challenges: 50%
  • Exercise Breaks: 20%
  • Quizzes: 10%
  • Final Exam: 20%
    • You must pass the Final Exam to pass the course

By default, we will use the standard scale of 90%—100% = A, 80%—89.9% = B, 70%—79.9% = C, 60%—69.9% = D, and <60% = F. These cutoffs may be lowered, if need be, but they will never be raised. In other words, we may make it easier to get a certain letter grade, but never harder. Pluses and minuses will be given at the instructor's discretion.

Student Conduct

All Discover UC San Diego students are part of the UC San Diego community and are expected to follow university and UC-wide policies, including the Student Conduct Code. The UC San Diego Student Conduct Code represents the pride and values that define our community, and include the UC San Diego Principles of Community, which further illustrate the expectations for all members of our community. The Code defines our community’s applicable standards and authorizes the administration of student conduct at UC San Diego Extension. The Code applies to all UC San Diego undergraduate, graduate, professional school, and Extended Studies students.

Reports of alleged violations involving sex offenses, including sexual assault and sexual misconduct, will be handled under the policies and procedures set forth in the University of California’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy. Reports of alleged violations of academic integrity will be handled under the policies and procedures set forth in the UC San Diego Extended Studies Academic Integrity Policy.

For more information on each policy, see Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Academic Integrity

UC San Diego Extended Studies values life-long learning and the opportunity to serve individuals, organizations and the community by providing continuing education and degree-related programs that support academic, professional, economic and social development.

To support our efforts, it is essential to create an environment where academics are achieved through one’s own efforts. Discover UC San Diego students expect that academic study will be applied with honesty, responsibility to scholarship and with original thought. This is a shared responsibility between the Instructors, the Students, and the administration.

Reports of alleged violations of academic integrity will be handled under the policies and procedures set forth in the UC San Diego Extended Studies Academic Integrity Policy.

Non-Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services. The University also prohibits harassment on any of these bases, including sexual harassment, as well as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in university programs and activities.

If students have questions about student-related nondiscrimination policies or concerns about possible discrimination or harassment, they should contact the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) at (858) 534-8298,, or Students are encouraged to seek assistance as soon as possible, as time limits may apply to complaint resolution processes.

Drop Policy

Discover UC San Diego students must email all drop requests to Notifying the instructor of the intent to drop or not attending does not constitute dropping a course. Drops are effective as of the date on which Head Counselor, Alissa Tuter, receives the email request, regardless of when the student ceased attendance.

Drop Deadline

The deadline to drop the course without receiving a grade on your academic record is TBD.  Students may file a petition for a retroactive drop, after the drop deadline if they are unable to continue enrollment for various reasons. For more information, view the petition for exception to drop policy.

Attendance Policy

All UC San Diego Discover courses have attendance requirements specific to the course and section. To review the attendance requirements please refer to the program information page or the syllabus for review.

Grading Criteria

Letter Grade: Each Discover UC San Diego student will be provided a grade between A+ and F that reflects your performance in the course which is included in your grade point average (GPA) calculation. A passing grade counts toward your earned credit hours.

Grade Changes and Appeals

All grades are determined by the instructor and are considered final when they are submitted. An instructor may request a change to a final grade if there has been an error in calculation or transcription of the grade.

Grade Appeal Procedure

Discover UC San Diego students who believe their grade was improperly assigned or that they received a grade based on non-academic criteria have the right to question and appeal the final grade. Grounds for an appeal are limited to administrative error, work turned in to the instructor that was not included in the total score, and/or improper grading procedures. No grade may be changed more than one calendar year from the time it was recorded.

For more information, view our Grade Appeal Procedure.

Disability Services

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, UC San Diego Extended Studies strives to provide equal access and an exceptional learning environment for all students.

To complete the accommodation request form and set up a meeting to meet with our disability coordinator please click here.