Introduction to JavaScript Fall 2009

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JavaScript is a scrappy little language that has seen a lot of changes since its introduction in 1995. Though the language has often been abused, there has been a resurgence of interest since the introduction of highly dynamic web applications like Gmail and Google Maps, which take full of advantage of JavaScript's capabilities.

This class will treat JavaScript with the respect that it deserves. Instead of relying on poorly designed tools to generate half-baked JavaScript, we will be hand writing clean and compact JavaScript.

I fully expect that this class will include students with little to no experience with programming or JavaScript. Luckily, JavaScript is a simple language to work with. Unlike many other languages, JavaScript doesn't require any fancy development environments or expensive tools. I hope that everyone will come away from this class knowing a lot more about JavaScript than they did before starting.

Who's teaching this class?

My name is Matt Ephraim. I am a Ruby on Rails developer at Metromix and I'm currently working on a Master's degree in Information Architecture at IIT.

You can contact me at

I won't have any office hours on campus, but if you would like to meet with me, I am available most days after 5pm and always available after class.

Tools for this class

This is a list of tools that will come in handy for JavaScript development. I will update this list as the class goes on.

Text Editors

For Windows

For OS X

Browser Tools

Tools for Firefox


These books aren't required for the class, but they may come in handy.


This is a list of resources that will come in handy for this class.

Class Schedule


If you are missing any assignments, please turn them in or email if you have any questions. They are still worth credit, even if they are late!