Frequently Asked Questions

Q: "When are your tutoring times?"
A: I'm available after school every day starting at 4:30 PM.  Tutoring ends when the last student no longer needs my assistance.  

Q: "Does my child need any special software?"
A: All the software we use is free to download and use.  There's nothing special about it.  The Java 8 JDK can be downloaded from the Oracle website (link).  We have a FREE version of JCreator on the Google Drive (link).  Install the Java 8 JDK first, then install JCreator.  

Q: "What is the difference between AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles?"
A: AP Computer Science A focuses on the programming aspect of computer science.  Students spend one year learning Java and basic programming language concepts.  AP Computer Science Principles allows students to learn the various concepts of computer science rather than focusing on programming alone.  These concepts include computational thinking, impact of computing, abstraction, algorithm development, creativity, data and information, the Internet, and programming concepts.  For more information about AP Computer Science Principles, visit apcsprinciples.org.

Q: "In what order should I take AP CS Principles and AP Computer Science?"
A: There's no particular order we recommend.  Students who have taken AP Computer Science A first will already have programming concepts mastered, experienced some algorithm development, and understood computational thinking.  These students will be challenged in other areas of study in AP CS Principles.  Students who take AP CS Principles first will have a better understanding of what is expected in AP Computer Science A.  

Q: "Is AP Computer Science / AP Computer Science Principles hard?"
A: This is subjective as every student learns differently and varies in prior knowledge.  Both courses assume the student has no prior experience in programming or computer science.  We start from beginning in both courses.  Do remember both courses are Advanced Placement (AP) courses so they are vigorous and demanding and we expect our students to be prepared for the challenges the courses offer.  

Q: "Is there a book for the course?"
A: All of our lessons can be found in the Google Drive.  We don't follow a single particular textbook.  We do use Barron's AP Computer Science A, 7th Edition as a study guide for students who wish to take the AP exam in May.  

Q: "Are there prerequisites for either course?"
A: The prerequisite for AP Computer Science is Algebra 1.  AP Computer Science Principles has no prerequisite.  

Q: "Who teaches which course?"
A: Ryan Monaghan (ryan.monaghan@risd.org) teaches AP Computer Science Principles.  The website for his classes is MonaghanCS.com.  Henry Vo (henry.vo@risd.org) teaches AP Computer Science.  You're on his website right now because you're reading the FAQ he wrote.

Q: "What's 'Computer Club?'"
A: That would be our extracurricular club, which is now known at "RHSCompSci" collectively due to how many different activities we participate in.  These activities include programming contest, hackathons, cybersecurity, game design, special effects, and community outreach.  Anyone can join our activities; we have no requirements.  We only ask for our students to be diligent, dedicated, and devoted towards everything we do.