Classes will start on
Berkeley Time!

(we are starting 10 minutes after the listed start (so we start at 6:40))

please talk to each other it will be less awkward

Discussion 0

Welcome to CS61A πŸ‘€

Antonio Kam
anto [at] berkeley [dot] edu


  • Welcome! πŸ₯³
  • HW 1 releases Friday, due next Thursday (this schedule will be pretty consistent)
  • First Lab next Monday πŸ‘€
    • pls come πŸ₯Ί
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

All slides can be found on

Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Agenda 🐱

  • A bit about me
  • Ice-breaker
  • Logistics (Lab/Discussion)
  • Lost on the Moon
  • Course info + tips + Q&A
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

About me

  • Second-year (CS + Music Major)
  • 2nd Semester on course staff
  • From Hong Kong!
  • I solve Rubik's cubes competitively
    • That's where my pseudonym comes from πŸ‘€
  • I love cats 🐈
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Ice-Breaker! 🧊

  • Turn to people around you! (in around groups of four)
    • Introduce yourselves - share your name, major, pronouns (if comfortable), and answer the questions on the next slide
  • After 5-7 minutes, we'll share this with the whole class!
    • Additional question: What questions do you have on CS @ Cal
  • This is a great opportunity to get to know people in this section!
    • The next few sections are super useful for finding people to be your project partners!
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Ice-Breaker! 🧊

  • Is the color on the left closer to pink or orange?
  • Is the color on the right closer to yellow or green?
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Logistics πŸˆβ€β¬›

Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)


  • Discussion sections will have more conceptual review
  • We generally won't finish all questions on the worksheet
  • If you have a question at any point in time during the discussion, please ask!
    • Please be respectful of each other
  • Attendance will be done during discussion, and you need to go to 10 discussions to get full credit for discussion (if you attend regular sections, which you all are doing now).
  • If you want a version of CS 61A without as much guidance, consider a mega section
  • Worksheets can be found on
  • If for some reason you can't make my discussion (due to time conflicts), email another TA, or join the mega section
  • Excused absences: email me!
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Mega Discussion Sections

  • Can switch to the mega section whenever
    • Just switch on sections tool
    • If you find that this section doesn't work for you, do this
  • Time conflicts - join the mega section, and email your situation to cs61a@, or make a private post on Ed.
  • This section is designed to be larger and have less peer-to-peer interaction
  • Your call on whether you find this section more useful
  • There isn't a mega section just yet, but it will eventually show up
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)


  • Labs are somewhat similar to discussions, except you code
  • I'll start with a mini-lecture
  • Labs are collaborative!
  • Whenever you have a question, feel free to talk to your peers, or raise your hand up, and I, or one of the lab assistants, will come over
  • Attendance for labs, similarly to discussions, is also required. (10 required)
  • To receive credit, you must attend and get checked off (which requires finishing the lab).
    • There will be policies announced later (hopefully) about what you can do if you finish the lab before lab section to get lab credit.
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Office Hours

  • Office Hours
    • My office hours have yet to be determined, but they'll be updated on my website once I know when they'll be.
  • There are 4 different types of office hours that you can go to in general
    • Advising office hours - not directly related to content
    • In-person office hours - go to a physical room (can work collaboratively!) and join a queue to get help from course staff
    • Online office hours - 20-minute session with course staff for debugging or conceptual questions.
    • Instructor office hours - no questions on assignments, only on concepts
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Course Assignments

There are 3 different types of assignments:

  • Lab
    • Due date is very close to the day of our synchronous lab.
  • Homework
    • Generally due in on Thursday
  • Projects
    • 4 different projects
    • Generally larger programming projects
    • You can work with someone else on them
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Submitting Assignments

  • Submitting assignments is now very different to previous iterations of the course. We now use Gradescope instead of okpy to handle grading.
  • The process is to upload the .py file to Gradescope, which I will demonstrate during Lab 1 once again, but also shows up in the Lab 0 instructions
    • (this is your cue to open lab 0 anto)
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Lost on the Moon πŸŒ” πŸš€

Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Lost on the Moon

Your spaceship has just crashed on the moon. You were scheduled to rendezvous with a mother ship 200 miles away on the lighted surface of the moon, but the rough landing has ruined your ship and destroyed all the equipment on board except for the 15 items listed below. Your crew’s survival depends on reaching the mother ship, so you must choose the most critical items available for the 200-mile trip. Your task is to rank the 15 items in terms of their importance for survival. Place a number 1 by the most important item, number 2 by the second most important, and so on, through number 15, the least important.

  • Work 5 minutes by yourself
  • Work 10 minutes in groups of 4 (in the group from earlier)
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

NASA Rankings

Ranking Item Ranking Item
1 Oxygen 9 Self-inflating Life raft
2 Water 10 Signal Flares
3 Stellar Map 11 Pistols
4 Food Concentrate 12 Dehydrated Milk
5 FM Receiver/Transmitter 13 Heating Unit
6 Nylon Rope 14 Magnetic Compass
7 First-aid Kit 15 Matches
8 Parachute Silk
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)



(Attendance forms after this one won't be nearly as long πŸ₯Ί)

(that's an l rather than a 1)

Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Course Advice

Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Course Website

  • The course website is super useful!
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)


  • How to ask questions
  • How to ask a private question (with the template!)
  • The resources/index button

Link to private post template

Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

61A General Information

  • This class is not designed for people without prior coding experience
    • Something like AP CS A is enough to get started with 61A
    • If you don't have prior experience, consider taking something like CS 10 or Data 8 instead (CS 10 is recommended)
      • It's still possible to do well in this class without prior experience
      • Prior data has shown that only around 10% of people without prior experience can get a B+ or above
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

61A Resources

  • This class is most definitely difficult, but it also has the most resources out of any CS lower division class here (everything can be found on
    • Office Hours
    • Tutor Sections
    • Video Walkthroughs/Past Exams
  • Please don't stress 😭
    • 61A has the infrastructure to help students, so please reach out to anyone on course staff if you're looking for advice or just want general help
    • Everyone struggles in this class
    • There are Lab + HW drops as well as opportunity for extra credit!
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

61A Resources

  • I'm also a resource!
    • I took this class in Fall 2021 (recently!), so I still remember what it was like to struggle through this class, and have seen other people go through those same things.
    • Please feel free to email me whenever you have anything to ask - I'll respond within 24 hours (if you don't see a message then, please bump the email thread). I'm always available to talk (not just related to CS61A!), give advice, and help out in any possible way I can
  • Your classmates can help too!
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

61A Resources

    • Contains different ways to contact course staff - some of them might be more useful to you in certain situations - please take a look at them
  • Extension Request Form (
    • If you want to request an extension, please do it here!
    • 24-hour extensions (past an assignment deadline) are guaranteed to be approved!
      • They take time to show up on okpy
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Mental Health Resources

  • CAPS:
    • If you need to talk to a professional, please call CAPS at 510-642-9494.
  • After Hours Assistance
    • For any assistance after hours, details on what to do can be found at this link
  • Me!
    • While I'm not a professional in the slightest, I'm more than happy to talk to you about anything.
Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Thank you! πŸ₯³

I'm excited to be here this semester! I hope you all have a good one!

Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

Anonymous Feedback Form

Please give me feedback on what to improve!

Slides by Antonio Kam (anto@)

- Discussions consist of conceptual reviews (mini-lectures), and more exam-style methodology of solving questions as compared to something like homeworks or labs where you have access to an interpreter - Discussion worksheets are designed to have more questions than we have time for - If you have a question at any point in time during the discussion, *please* ask - if you have a question, it's near certain that somebody else has that same question, so by asking questions, you're going to be helping out everyone in this discussion! - Attendance is done at a random time during discussion - there will be a form that you fill in, and a secret word that you have to input - I will generally know how many people go to discussion, so don't share the code with other people that don't end up going to discussion because I will generally know

- Labs are generally a more hands on version of discussions where you code up the solutions yourselves. - I'll first start off with a mini-lecture covering a bit of the material that you'll need in the lab (will reiterate this during our next lab) - Labs are meant to be collaborative - this is the one coding-based portion of this course where you are allowed to, and in fact encouraged to, communicate to your peers and come up with a solution collaboratively.

Show people the course website here

- TA without prior experience: Richard! (the instructor) - Data ran by Pamela Fox