Java Programming Essentials: AP Computer Science A

AP Computer Science, Java, Java 8, Programming, Objected Oriented Programming, OOP, BlueJ, Eclipse, Java SE
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  • Lectures 186
  • Exercises 2 coding exercises
  • Length 20.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English, captions
  • Includes Coding Exercises New!
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About This Course

Published 1/2016 English Closed captions available

Course Description

This course covers the first of AP Computer Science which includes complete introduction for Java programming. The course is suitable for people who are seeking for a on-line class for introduction to Java programming, who is preparing for AP Computer Science Exam in high school and who want to sharpen their knowledge in Java.

This part 1 course includes elementary programming in Java, program structures, OOP, and basic data structures. This course revolutionize the way computer science is taught. Instead of teaching textbook chapter by chapter.

This course will be focused on an example program in each lecture. Lucid big idea in computer science will be introduced by the example program. It is followed by explanation of Java syntax and other language features. Practice questions, quizzes, and programming exercises will be given thereafter to enhance the understanding of the idea and to help to improve programming efficiency and test scores.

A spiral study model is suggested for student to build up good programming habits and shorten learning cycles in programming.

I would proudly say that this is one of the best Java Programming course on-line ever.

In this course, you will get:

(1) On-line lectures (with .pdf slides)

(2) sample programs (in Java)

(3) Quiz and exams (in multiple choice format) with solution

(4) AP format exam with solution.

(5) Free-online textbook access.

(6) Free on-line related information links and book chapters.

(7) Demo programs

(8) Lab projects

(9) Chapter projects.

(10) Facebook Q&A support and Gmail responses.

What are the requirements?

  • Some Math knowledge at least Algebra one
  • Some computer knowledge is preferred but not required.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn essential Java programming skills and master big ideas in computer science
  • Learn how to do programming and analyze a program
  • Get prepared for AP Computer Science Exam, and work toward a perfect score 5

Who is the target audience?

  • High School STEM student working toward science and engineering school
  • Students seek for basic computer knowledge for college preparation
  • College students who want to sharpen their programming skills
  • Working individuals who want to learn Java to boost up their career.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Start Here (Introduction to Java Programming AP Edition)

Brief Introduction for Instructor and the teaching philosophy.


Overview of AP Computer Science Course as a whole. It also includes the table of contents for part 2 and part 3. Provide readers a good big picture of what to expect in the course. The slides (.pdf file) is also made downloadable.


Provides information for what materials are available in this course, how to make your own overall study plan for various purposes, and how to organize a study plan for each lecture.


Think Java: Companion book for this course. 

Section 2: Unit 1/Chapter 1: Introduction to Computers, Programs, and Java

Abacus is an ancient tool for calculation. It is still used widely for training of mental calculation. It is also a good example to show how computation can be mapped to a very simple hardware (abacus: beams and beads). In this lecture, we use abacus to explain computation, hardware, programming language and programs.


Introduction to computer science from different view points: digital system, hardware, software, operation system, programming language and problem solving. 


Short overview of Java Development Kit, JRE, Java Virtual Machine, Java API and Java IDE. The purpose is to give audience the first impression of these terms but not the details of how they works. So, don't get scared if you do not fully understand what it is. We will return to them over and over again.


Show the internet resources available for eC Learning Channel by Dr. Eric Chou to support this course. 

My Udemy:

Youtube channel:






Show student the resources and other educational materials provided by the Lecturer.  To guide student to learn Programming step by step. 


Discuss programming languages used in different system level (machine language, assembly language, and high-level programming language). Also discuss the history and trends of programming language.


Demonstrate how to install Java Development Kit (JDK 8) and Integrated Development Environment (Eclipse and BlueJ). We use BlueJ as our default tool. Please also download the PeaZip program if you do not have proper compression/de-compression program. (In this course, we use BlueJ as the main development IDE.) If you want to use Eclipse, please download



You may also find PeaZip tool to be useful when you need to download a zipped source code file (.zip).


Demonstrate the advantages of BlueJ as the first Integrated IDE for beginning students.


Guide you from installation to the first program develop in the DrJava Environment. 


A simple program,, is presented. In this lecture, this simple program will be compiled and run. Discussion on comment lines and basic program structure will also be included. Check study plan for the information or program files to download.

Print First Message
1 question

Demonstration of the building process of a simple Java Program named

Description of Java compilation process, dynamic linking vs static linking. Please download the program and try it.

You may create a new class in BlueJ environment. Then, you do cut and paste from this file to you own class.

Or, you may copy this file to a specific directory that you have already build. And, after that call BlueJ, BlueJ will automatically recognize the program file.

4 pages

Good coding style is very very very important. (Please excuse me to repeat "very" three times. Because it is really very important. A good commonly shared style can make the program less error-prone and make the team work much more efficient and lower misunderstanding.

The programmer's habits is equally essential. Please also download and study the document.


Show the program to demonstrate how to add Javadoc-compatible comments and how to use BlueJ and command line javadoc program to generate Javadoc html page that can be viewed using browser or BlueJ environment. (Download and save to try for your own)

10 questions

Chapter 1 Quiz:

Review on basic computer and programming knowledge.

Section 3: Unit 1/Chapter 2: Elementary Programming

Identifiers as the identification (or name) for a program part. It is very essential to learn how the identifiers are defined and used. Keyword listing is also attached for download. chapter2.pdf can be downloaded as extra reading material


Describes the naming convention for variables, constants, methods, class, and package names.

An example program to demonstrate variables and basic program structure. Please download the is a demo version. has one more variable defined. Please work on the to add a new variable named perimeter and write appropriate code to assign circle perimeter to it and print the result out. The expected result should be similar to


Introduce int and double data types. Other data types are also briefly mentioned. Binary number system is discussed along with two's complement and the number representation for int, float and double data types. This lecture concluded with the constant data modifier.

Integer (int) variable declaration and assignment
1 question

Coffee Break for data, input, output and data processing. 


Present the ways of writing literals for numbers and text into a program and using them to assign value for variables and constants.

In this lecture, the basics of number systems is discussed. The binary number system used in computer and its related octal and hexadecimal number systems are also discussed. Even though binary system is used in computer system. Most of the times, computer numbers are either written in Hexadecimal or Octal code because of convenience. Please download the exercise in the attachment to work on it first. Then, download the answer key to check by yourself.

Java coffee break to show the importance of binary number system. 


Discuss how to read in data from the console and the use of constant PI. (This PI is different from Math.PI.)

Scanner is part of Java API.


Provides information about arithmetic operators and their precedence level when executed. Complete precedence levels are also provided by reserved for future reference and discussion.

Demo Program:
Augmented Assignment, Increment and Decrrement Operators

On topic of casting. Explain implicit casting versus explicit casting. Also, widening casting versus narrowing casting.

Quiz: Numbers
11 questions
Lab: Put things together (Continued Fractional Number)
Common Error and Pitfalls in Numbers
Chapter 2 Quiz: Elementary Programming
15 questions
Chapter Project:
Section 4: Unit 1/Chapter 3: Basic Java Application Programming Interface (API)

Introduce boolean data type, boolean operators, boolean expressions and boolean theorem.


Introduce char primitive data type and Character Class.


Use a very simple program to show boolean data type, boolean expression, char data type, arithmetic for unsigned char and String concatenation.


Briefly mention about Java API for the primitive data types, Math Class and String Class.


Coffee Break for short video clip on Boolean expression and its fuctionality. 


Introduce Math Class as a service and processing utility class for all numbers.


A demo program to show Random class and Math.random method.


This lab focused on Scanner and Math.random method. The student will be asked to write a program to generate two random integers and calculate the difference. Then, prompt to the console to ask for user to input the answer. If the answer is correct, then print out a correct message. Other, print out an error message and the correct answer.

(Student can download but he is also encouraged to work on his own. A sample answer is in

Chapter 3 Quiz 1: Numbers and Math Class
10 questions

Start a series of three lectures on String class. Part 1 is on String construction and String length().


Demonstrate construction of strings and the nature of pointer (reference data type) for strings.


String Class Part 2: for String read-in from console and files. String conversion to double and integer and double. Conversion of integer and double into strings. Third part of this lecture is the methods for string comparison.


Demo proper use of Scanner input stream for integers and strings.


String Class Part 3: substring methods.


Use social security number as an example to practice substring() and charAt() methods


A lab work to experience string method replace and replaceAll


Discuss the three print out methods: println, print, printf.


Examples of printf for integer, floating points and string


Use Trigonometry function sine and cosine to demonstrate the formatted print method: printf and the use of Math class method.


ASCII code artwork has been around for many years since the text-era computers at 1970s-1980s. It is still a interesting art because it is beyond just showing the artistic presentation. It is also a good mental exercise. Enjoy it and have fun.


Short video clip for the functionality of APIs


This is the Chapter Project for this Chapter. Please download the and unzip it. Copy the files to your own BlueJ workspace and try on the program. The is only a skeleton file. You may get started from that. Follow the comments and then do programming on yourself. Then, you may refer to the

Should you have any issue, you are welcome to post on the discussion board, facebook page or email me.

Chapter 3 Quiz 2: Character Data Type, String Class and Data Type Conversion
15 questions
Section 5: Unit 1 Review: Elementary Programming Review

Unit 1 review based on the programming paradigm concept of sequential programming.


Introduce software engineering development models. (Waterfall, V-model, Spiral Mode)


Introduce the pseudo code method for software development at System Design Analysis and Design stages.

Unit 1 Exam: Multiple Choice
20 questions
2 pages

Two free response questions, please follow these steps:

(1) download U1R1 Free Response Problems.pdf and print a hard copy to work on it.

(2) use the rubric to score your own answer or ask some other people to score for you with honor code.

(3) download the sample answer U1R1 FRQ Sample Answer.pdf

(4) The sample java code is in the, please unzip it and copy it under your BlueJ project directory.

Section 6: Unit 2/Chapter 4: Decisions

Introduce one-way, two-way, multiple-way if-statement, if-else-statement, and if-else-if-statements.


A simple demo program for if statements. Please download and unzip to get the .java file.


Lab: Calculate and print out an BMI report of a person based on his /her body weight and height.


Modify the to a format that read in subject score on 0-100 scale and print out a score report with letter grade.


Show many useful techniques to use Math.Random to create random samples. And discuss the applications of computer program using these techniques.

Lab: License Plate for Californian State DMV

Short Introduction to Boolean Algebra. If you are interested in this subject, please look at the external links for more information and study materials.

Also download a quiz file to practice.


Introduce guidelines for good logic design habits for conditional statements.


A Lab Project to determine whether a year is a leap year or not and to determine its associated Chinese Zodiac since 1948. (Based on modulo calculation.)


Discuss conditional expressions and switch statement.


Introduce Random class. How to use it? and its important methods: nextDouble(), nextInt() and random input for Gaussian (normal) distribution.


A Demo Program to update the to

with two new features:

(1) Use Random Class to generate random inputs for the scores of each subject.

(2) revise the logic of the letter grade assignment.

Please download to unzip and try


In this chapter, student are asked to simulate a darts throwing game for a player to throw 3 darts per game. Print the sum of the scores. Random class is required for this project to generate random numbers. Please work on your own and then, download for your reference. (The is in there.)

Chapter 4 Quiz: Multiple Choice Questions
15 questions
Section 7: Unit 2/Chapter 5: Loops

Introduce while-loop and do-while loop. Please also download the extra document reading and the external web-site for while-loop example.


Use Addition Quiz program to demonstrate the while loop. The program also covers Random class, difficulty level, and while loop. Please download the ( and unzip for the file and try it out.


Lab project: using while loop to find sum, average, maximum and minimum for some user input data.


Use Text File I/O to demonstrate how can a while loop be used to read in a Text file. File input stream using Scanner and File output stream using PrintWriter class. This while loop usage is very important for many applications.


This Lab work combine knowledge from while-loop for summation of numbers and FILE Input. bible.txt is a of reasonable size and is a good example for word count program example. Please download and unzip it. is a sample answer program while bible.txt is the input file for students to work on.


Use a coffee shop example to show how to use do-while-loop. in chapter is ported here as a module to calculate the change for the customer.


Perform a Lottery Checking Game with a lottery of 4 decimal number (0 to 9). Use a menu selection for user to pick a way user want to play the lottery. If the first two numbers matched, player get a front-pair winning award. If the middle two numbers matched, it is a middle-pair win. If the last two numbers matched, it is a back-pair win. If all four numbers matched, it is the top prize. Ask user to enter his 4 digit lottery input. The program randomly generate a winning lottery number. Check if the plays wins the play he picked. If so, the program should say the player wins what game. If not, show sorry and try again message. Then, show the menu selection again. Enter a new game if the player does not quit.

Introduce for-loop as a loop with index variable. Simple example is given to show its operations. This lecture concluded with the review of The program is updated with for-loop structure. This program is much more powerful after the modification.

Work on the generation of a Table for sine and cosine function over a unit circle. This lab project is to experience for-loop and handling numerical round-off error. Please work on your own version first and download (sample answer) and try it out for different round-off methods for numerical error handling.


Use Index space chart (discrete vector analysis) for nested for-loop analysis. Also, include to illustrate the nature of nested loop. Please download and try. Extra reading document from UT Austin for nested for-loop is strongly recommended.


Extra Topics on Loops:

(1) Break Level2 (download and unzip to try)

(2) Minimizing Numerical Errors (download and unzip to try) Some discussion next Lecture.

(3) Sentinel Controlled Loop

(4) Redirection of I/O (read external web-link for I/O Redirection)


Detailed Explanation about numerical error detection and handling.

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Instructor Biography

Dr. Eric Chou, IEEE Senior Member, an engineer and an inventor

I love computational research and its application to real world. i have involved in many large-scale computer/communication product research development in many world-leading company such as HP, Micrel, and many startups. I also involved in founding a startup company. I also enjoy sharing my ideas through teaching. I hold many US and international patents in technical fields such as software development, mobile computing, IC design and communication receiver design. I am also a certified coach in Taekwondo in both UAST and AAU.

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