CS144: Web Applications – Spring 2021

Time and Place


Course Description

Developing today’s Web applications requires knowledge of a number of diverse topics, including the basic Web architecture, core Web standards (such as HTTP, HTML, CSS), JavaScript, asynchronous and functional programming, internet security, and cluster-based scalable architecture. Traditionally, these topics have been taught in different subdisciplines of computer science, so students had to take a fair number of courses to learn the basic concepts necessary to build effective and safe Web applications. The goal of this class is to teach students the most important concepts and give them the first-hand experience with the basic tools for developing Web applications.

The topics covered in the class include:

To help students digest the materials learned in the class, we will assign a quarter-long class project (which will be divided into multiple submissions), in which students have to build a Web site that allows users to write and publish blogs (a.k.a., mini WordPress) The software tools and development environment will be provided on the class Web site.


CS143 is a required prerequisite to this class. In particular, students must know:

Students should have access to a computer on which they can install software packages.


The class does not have a required text book, but students may find the following books helpful for reference and in-depth learning:

We will also provide pointers to relevant online/offline materials as the class progresses.


The final grade will be assigned based on the following criteria:

Note that project counts 60%.


See our project description page

Academic Integrity

At http://www.deanofstudents.ucla.edu/Academic-Integrity, the Office of the Dean of Students presents University policy on academic integrity, with special attention to cheating, plagiarism, and student discipline. The policy summaries don’t specifically address programming assignments in detail, so we state our policy here. In order to earn any points on your coursework, you must turn in this signed agreement.

Each of you is expected to submit your own original work, or the original work of your team in the project. On many occasions it may be useful and have an educational value to ask others (the instructor, the TA, or other students) for hints or help, or to talk generally about programming strategies. Such activity is both acceptable and encouraged, but you must indicate any assistance (human or otherwise) that you received. Any assistance received that is not given proper citation will be considered plagiarism. In addition, to avoid unintended sharing and copying of your work, publishing your work on a public repository, such as public github, is strictly prohibited.

So where do we draw the line? We’ll decide each case on its merits, but here are some categorizations:



In any event, you are responsible for coding, understanding, and being able to explain on your own or as a team all project work that you submit.

Be especially careful about giving a copy of your work to a friend who “just wants to look at it to get some ideas”. Frequently, that friend ends up panicking and simply copies your work, thus betraying you and putting you through the hassle of an academic discipline hearing.

You must abide by this policy in addition to the policies expressed in the UCLA Student Conduct Code.

If a violation of the policies is suspected, in accordance with University procedures, we will have to submit the case to the Dean. A typical penalty for a first plagiarism offense is suspension for one or more quarters. A second offense usually results in dismissal from the University of California.

If you have any questions about this policy or about the degree to which we will pursue academic honesty violations, please discuss your concerns with the course staff immediately.


All students must join and utilize CS144 group at Piazza by registering at https://piazza.com/ucla/spring2021/cs144. Piazza will be the primary channel for students to ask course and project related questions and for others, including the TA, to answer them. Note that some of your questions may have already been discussed and answered by others, so please search the board first before asking a question. When you join Piazza, you may choose to receive email notifications for new messages or just to read them on the board. You are responsible for all your posts to Piazza. Thus, please do NOT post any content that might be considered as a violation of honor codes, such as your source code to the project. If you have any doubt or concern, please ASK the TA/lecturer before posting it.


This is the first time that this class is offered completely online, and we are likely to experience a few glitches and hiccups. Please bear with us in addressing challenges that we encounter along the way.

Also, if you have any suggestions on how to make the online class better, please do not hesitate to let us know. You are likely to know more online tools that the instructor and/or the TAs. If there is anything that we can learn from you, we would love to learn.