MIS 120: Starting A New Semester

Welcome to MIS 120!

                  I had no idea what to expect walking into Alston room 10 for the first class of MIS 120. Sure enough I was surprised when after a brief overview of the syllabus and the “I’m not trying to scare you” scare speech, we jumped right into what it means to be a programmer in 2015. Professor Lucas ended our first class with an assignment that most would find a little bit off the wall. The assignment was to teach “Hannah” the robot how to bake a cake. My first thought was “Am I in the right class? Or is this cooking 101?” Professor Lucas had an underlying lesson he wanted to teach us, and that was that there is more to programming than just inputting lines of code into a computer. For most of us in the room, it was our first real taste of what MIS had in store for us.

A week later we were assigned our first MIS 120 project. We have three different scenarios for which we must build a flow chart and an input processing output table (IPO). In the first scenario, we have to plan out a program that allows the user to input 5 numbers and provide summary data such as average, maximum value, and minimum value. The second scenario we must plan out a way to approve or deny credit applications for a car dealership using data such as name, birthdate, and annual income. The requirements for approve or deny are also listed. In the third scenario you must plan out a system that calculates annual bonuses for the same car dealership’s employees using data provided with a rating system A, B, C, and D with a coordinating bonus percentage for each one. I can tell that right from the start Professor Lucas and all of his Assistants are going to push us to the limit so that they can get the best out of us, but more importantly so that we can be prepared for the semesters to come and whatever comes after.

Professor Lucas has done a great job since day one of expecting everything out of us. For many of the students in MIS 120 this is our first time learning how to code. By the end of the course we will be able to solve problematic scenarios using drawn out methods and also code in C++. The MIS program at Alabama does an amazing job from day one to prepare you for a career not just a degree. This is the beginning of a long journey, and I can tell that if we trust in Professor Lucas, his assistants, and other MIS faculty we will succeed in our goal of reaching our true value. I cannot wait to find out what else he has in store for us in the coming weeks, but I’m excited to see what’s around every corner.


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