Before You Begin

Today your lab TA will assign you to a new partner. If you haven’t read the Collaboration Guide yet, go check it out to see what’s going on with all this partnership business.

Pull the code for Lab 3 from GitHub.

Hint: git pull _________ master

Learning Goals for Today

First off, this lab’ll get you up and running with IntelliJ, a Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Next, we’ll move on to an introduction to Java loops and conditionals (the if, while and for statements), followed by a brief explanation of Java Arrays. We assume no prior experience with any of these topics in Java, but we do assume some prior knowledge of these concepts from an earlier course (like Python flow control and lists as taught in CS61A).

Because of this, there is a lot of information presented in this lab, but hopefully most of it will be review that can be skimmed through quickly.

This course strives to teach you how to “program”, and this includes not just teaching you how to write code, but how to do a variety of activities. Today’s lab includes some exercises that tests your ability not only to write code, but also to analyze code (to figure out what code does), to test code (to see if given code is doing what it should do) and to evaluate multiple versions of code.


Complete the steps here to Set Up IntelliJ.

Review of if/else and while

How if and if ... else Work

You’ve already seen some of this from the first lab, and hopefully in another course, so it should be a bit of a review — but read on!

An if statement starts with the word if. It is followed by a condition statement in parentheses that is either true or false (a boolean expression). There is then a sequence of statements surrounded by braces, which is called the body. For example:

if (year % 4 == 0) {
    System.out.println (year + " might be a leap year.");

(Note: like in Python, the % symbol above is called mod, and it takes the remainder after division. The above statement is checking if year has no remainder when divided by 4).

The braces after an if statement aren’t technically necessary if there is only one statement in the sequence; however, it is good practice to always include them since it makes it easier to add lines to the body later.

Unlike other languages (Python in particular), the condition of the if statement must be a boolean statement or a statement that reduces to a boolean expression. “if (5):” is a legal statement in Python, but will throw an error in Java.

Boolean expressions often involve comparisons. The comparison operators in Java are == and != for equality and inequality testing, and >, >=, <, and <= for comparison of magnitudes. Multiple comparisons can be chained together with the logical operators && (and) and || (or). If instead you wish to negate an expression, you can prefix your expression with !, the Java negation operator.

The block of statements following the if statement above will not execute if year’s value is not divisible by 4. If you wanted something to happen when the test fails, use the else keyword. Here’s an example:

if (year % 4 == 0) {
    System.out.println (year + " might be a leap year.");
} else {
    System.out.println (year + " is definitely not a leap year.");

You can also add further tests that are executed only if above boolean expressions evaluate to false, for example:

if (year % 4 != 0) {
    System.out.println (year + " is not a leap year.");
} else if (year % 100 != 0) {
    System.out.println (year + " is a leap year.");
} else if (year % 400 != 0) {
    System.out.println (year + " is not a leap year.");
} else {
    System.out.println (year + " is a leap year.");

Note that only one body section, the one corresponding to the first true boolean expression (or else if none are true), will execute. Afer that, your program will continue on, skipping all the remaining code in this if structure. This implies that none of the conditions below the first true boolean expression will be evaluated.

One consequence of conditions reveals in non-void methods. Recall that in Java, you must return something of the return type. Consider the following code snippet

public int relu(int x) {
    if (x < 0) {
        return 0;

As the code is, it will not compile. That is because currently, a value is only returned when x is less than 0. What happens when that’s not the case? Java must be assured that relu() always returns an int, and thus will not allow you to compile your code.

A correct version looks like this:

public int relu(int x) {
    if (x < 0) {
        return 0;
    } else {
        return x;

How while Works

The while statement is used to repeat a sequence of statements. It consists of the word while, followed by a continuation test in parentheses, also called the condition. It is then followed by a sequence of statements to repeat enclosed in braces, called the loop body.

The while statement works by evaluating the condition. If the condition is true (the test succeeds), the entire loop body is executed, and the condition is checked again. If it succeeds again, the entire loop body is executed again. This continues, possibly infinitely.

A common mistake when first learning a Java-like language is to think that the behavior of while is to stop as soon as the test becomes false, possibly in the middle of the loop. This is not the case. The test is checked only at the end of a complete iteration, and so this is the only time the loop can stop.

Here’s an example that implements the remainder operation dividend % divisor, and produces some output. We assume all variables have already been declared, and that divisor and dividend have already been assigned positive values.

while (dividend >= divisor) {
    dividend = dividend - divisor;
    System.out.println ("loop is executed");
remainder = dividend;

All statements of the loop body are executed, even if one of them affects the truth value of the test. In the example above, values of 9 for dividend and 4 for divisor result in two lines of output. We show a representation with values of 13 for dividend and 4 for divisor and initially 0 for remainder. This results in 3 lines of output.

When debugging while loop code, sometimes it’s useful to make charts like the one below to keep track of the value of each variable.


Exercise: Date Converter

The program in the lab03 skeleton folder is missing two assignment statements. The missing statements can either be at the beginning, the end, or at both the beginning and the end of the loop.

Worksheet: 1a. Date Converter

In a bit, you’ll determine what the statements are and where they go. But first, you’ll come up with a small but comprehensive set of tests for the code before writing the code itself. This technique is called test-driven development, and we’ll be doing it more in subsequent labs.

Complete part a of this exercise on your worksheet.

Implement and Test

Testing the code involves supplying a value for dayOfYear on the command line. A few new things about the code:

  • The value for dayOfYear is read from args[0], which is a command line argument. Review the previous labs if you don’t remember how to run a program with different command line arguments.

  • The statement import*; makes Java library methods involving input and output accessible inside the program. You don’t have to worry about this.

  • The five lines starting with try { catches an exception that would occur if the command line argument isn’t an integer. We’ll learn about exceptions in a couple of weeks.

Complete by putting in two assignment statements as specified above. Once you’re done with that, compile your program and try each one of your test cases.

IntelliJ will automatically compile your code when you save the file; in order to provide an input argument go to Run -> Edit Configurations, and put the arguments in the Program Arguments box:


You can run it with the green play button in the top right (as labeled). Clicking the name of the class in the top right will allow you to change the class that is run. Another way is to right click the name of the class you want to run in the left sidebar and select “Run”.

Worksheet: 1b, 1c. Reflect

Complete parts b and c of this exercise on your worksheet.

Exercise: A Jigsaw Puzzle - Drawing a Triangle

The file TriangleDrawer.stuff contains a collection of statements. Some of the statements, together with some extra right braces, form the body of a main method that, when executed, will print the triangle:


(Each line has one more asterisk than its predecessor; the number of asterisks in the last line is the value of the SIZE variable.)

First, switch places with your partner. Copy and paste statements from the TriangleDrawer.stuff file into the main method of a new class you create called You’ll have to add some right braces in addition to the copied lines that you’ve chosen and rearranged. (You won’t need all the statements. You shouldn’t need to use any statement more than once.)

Many students encounter infinite loops in their first solutions to this problem. If you get an infinite loop, be sure to hit the big red square button (“Terminate”) in IntelliJ’s console to stop the program.

Review of For statements

The for Statement

The for statement provides another way in Java to repeat a sequence of statements, similar to while but slightly different. It starts with for, continues with loop information inside parentheses, and ends with the loop body (the segment to be repeated) enclosed in curly braces.

for (loop-information) {

Loop information consists of initializations, a test (condition), and increments. These three sections are separated by semicolons, and any of these may be omitted. If there is more than one initialization or increment, they are separated by commas. If the test succeeds, the loop continues.

for (initialization; test; increment) {

Loop execution proceeds as follows:

  1. Initializations are performed.
  2. The test is evaluated.
    • If the condition is false, the loop is finished and execution continues with the code following the for loop.
    • If the condition is true, the loop body is executed, increments are performed, and we loop back to the top of step 2 where the test is evaluated again. (Note: We never re-initialize.)

For Loop Execution

The following loops are several equivalent ways to compute n factorial (the product of all the positive integers up through n).

  • Two initializations in loop-information
for (int k = n, product = 1; k > 0; k = k - 1) {
    product = product * k;
  • Product initialized outside for loop
int product = 1;
for (int k = n; k > 0; k = k - 1) {
    product = product * k;
  • Decrement performed inside the loop-body
int product = 1;
for (int k = n; k > 0; ) {
    product = product * k;
    k = k - 1;
  • While loop equivalent
int product = 1;
int k = n;
while (k > 0) {
    product = product * k;
    k = k - 1;

Look over these four options and decide with your partner which is the easiest to read. Why?

As the last loop demonstrates, the for loop is basically a repackaged while loop that puts all the information about how long the loop should continue in one place. Thus, a for loop is generally easier to understand than an equivalent while loop.

Worksheet: 2. while-to-for Translation

Complete this exercise on your worksheet.

Shortcuts for Incrementing/Decrementing

Let k be an integer variable. Then the three following statements are equivalent in that they all increment k.

k = k + 1;
k += 1;

Similarly, these three statements all decrement k by 1.

k = k - 1;
k -= 1;

Note: The motivation for this shorthand notation is that the operations of incrementing and decrementing by 1 are very common. While it is legal to increment or decrement variables within larger expressions like


this is a risky practice very susceptible to off-by-one errors. Therefore, we ask that you only use the ++ or -- operations on lines by themselves.

The Break Statement

The break statement “breaks out of” a loop (both for and while loops). In other words, it stops the execution of the loop body, and continues with the statement immediately following the loop. An example of its use would be a program segment that searches an array named values for a given value, setting the variable found to true if the value is found and to false if it is not in the array.

boolean found = false;
for (int k = 0; k < values.length; k++) {
    if (values[k] == value) {
        found = true;

This break statement allows us to save computation time. If we find the value within the array before the end, we don’t waste more time looping through the rest of the array.

However, the break statement is not always necessary, and code with a lot of breaks can be confusing. Abusing the break statement is often considered poor style. When using break, first consider if instead it would be more appropriate to put another condition in the test.

The Continue Statement

The continue statement skips the current iteration of the loop body, increments the variables in the loop information, then evaluates the loop test. This example checks how many 0’s there are in array values:

int count = 0;
for (int i = 0; i < values.length; i++) {
    if (values[i] != 0) {
    count += 1;
System.out.println("Number of 0s in values array: " + count);

Similar to the break statement, the continue allows us to save time by skipping sections of the loop. In this case, the continue allows us to add to the count only when there is a 0 in the array. Removing continue will give an incorrect output.

The difference between break and continue is that break immediately stops the loop and moves on to the code directly following it. In comparison, continue stops going through the current iteration of the loop body and immediately continues on to the next iteration as given by the loop information.

Like with break, abusing continue is often considered poor style. Try not to go crazy with nested breaks and continues.

Both break and continue apply to only the closest loop it is enclosed in. For instance, in the case of the following nested loop, the break will only exit out of the inner for loop, not the outer one.

for (int i = 0; i < values.length; i++) {
    for (int j = i + 1; j < values.length; j++) {
        if (values[i] == value[j]) {

Worksheet: 3. Nonstandard for Loop

Complete this exercise on your worksheet.

Exercise: Another Jigsaw Puzzle

Make a new Java file called (you might want to copy and paste from In this file, rewrite the program so that it produces the exact same output, but using for loops and no while loops. If you have having trouble, re-read the parts above describing how to convert a while loop to a for loop.


Array Definition and Use

An array is an indexed sequence of elements, all the same type. Real-life examples of arrays include the following:

  • post office boxes
  • book pages
  • egg cartons
  • chessboards/checkerboards

We declare an array variable by giving the type of its elements, a pair of square brackets, and the variable name, for example:

int[] values;

Note that we don’t specify the length of the array in its declaration.

Arrays are basically objects with some special syntax. To initialize an array, we use the new operator as we do with objects; the argument to new is the type of the array, which includes the length. For example, the statement

values = new int[7];

stores a reference to a 7-element integer array in the variable values. This initializes the array variable itself. If we want to declare and initialize the array at the same time, we can:

int[] values = new int[7];

The elements of the array are indexed from 0 to (array length) - 1 and the element at a particular index can be changed with an assignment statement. For example, to set the second element to 4 we write:

values[1] = 4;

For an int array, Java will (by default) set all of the elements to 0. Similarly, double arrays will be filled with 0.0, boolean with false, etc. For arrays of references to non-primitive objects (review Lab 2 if you need a refresher), the array will be initialized with null.

If you know what every value in your array should be at initialization time, you can use this simplified syntax to directly initialize the array to the desired values. Note that you don’t have to provide the array length because you’re explicitly telling Java how long your array should be.

int[] oneThroughFive = new int[]{1, 2, 3, 4, 5};
//This also works but only if you declare and instantiate in the same line
int[] oneThroughFive = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};

To access an array element, we first give the name of the array, and then supply an index expression for the element we want in square brackets. For example, if we want to access the kth element of values (0-indexed), we can write,


If the value of the index expression is negative or greater than/equal to the length of the array, an exception is thrown (negative indexing is not allowed).

Every array has an instance variable named length that stores the number of elements that array can hold. For the values array just defined, values.length is 7. The length variable can’t be changed; once we create an array of a given length, we can’t shrink or expand that array.

Worksheet: 4. Practice with Arrays of Objects

Complete this exercise on your worksheet.

Worksheet: 5. Recognizing Purpose

Complete this exercise on your worksheet.

for Statements with Arrays

for statements work well with arrays. Consider, for example, an array named values. It is very common to see code like the following:

    for (int k = 0; k < values.length; k += 1) {
        // do something with values[k]

Exercise: An Adding Machine Simulator

Consider a program that simulates an old-fashioned adding machine. The user types integers as input, one per line. Input should be handled as follows:

  • A nonzero value should be added into a subtotal.

  • A zero value should print the subtotal and reset it to zero.

  • Two consecutive zeroes should print the total of all values inputted, then print out every value that was inputted in sequence (not including zeroes) then terminate the program.

Here’s an example of how the program should behave.

user input printed output
0 subtotal 0
0 subtotal 11
0 subtotal 0
0 subtotal 5
0 total 16

If your partner has been coding recently, please switch places. Then, complete the framework in to produce the simulator program. You can add code anywhere in the program, though you shouldn’t have to remove any.

A few more details:

  • You can assume that we will never enter more than MAXIMUM_NUMBER_OF_INPUTS non-zero values during any run of the program. In real life, you’ll never have a guarantee like this, but you haven’t been taught the proper Java to handle an arbitrarily long sequence of inputs.

  • To exit the main method, execute a return; statement somewhere inside the method. Because the main method is of type void, it can’t return a value. Therefore, the appropriate return statement doesn’t have an argument.

  • This code introduces the Scanner class. A Scanner can be used to read user input. Here the Scanner is created with as an argument, which means that it is expecting input from the command line (or from IntelliJ’s Console).

    • You can do a variety of things with a Scanner, but in this exercise you’ll find it most useful to use code like this:
        int k;
        k = scanner.nextInt();
    • Here, scanner reads everything it can from its input and stores the result in an integer k. Because scanner’s input is the command line, the program will actually stop and wait at this part of the code until the user types in something at the command line and hits enter. For example, if the user types 100, then the program will store the value 100 in k before continuing on.

Exercise: Insert & Delete

Look at the files and

Fill in the blanks in the ArrayOperations class. Your methods should pass the tests in ArrayOperationsTest.

Note: Before trying to program an algorithm, you should usually try a small case by hand. For each of the exercises today, work with a partner to do each algorithm by hand before writing any code.

  • The insert method takes three arguments: an int array, a position in the array, and an int to put into that position. All the subsequent elements in the array are moved over by one position to make room for the new element. The last value in the array is lost.

For example, let values be the array {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}. Calling

insert(values, 2, 7)

would result in values becoming {1, 2, 7, 3, 4}.

  • The delete method takes two arguments: an int array and a position in the array. The subsequent elements are moved down one position, and the value 0 is assigned to the last array element.

For example, let values be the array {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}. Calling

delete(values, 2)

would result in values becoming {1, 2, 4, 5, 0}.

For today don’t worry about the methods being called with incorrect input.

Exercise: It’s all Greek to Me

So far all the exercises have involved writing your own code. This is an important skill, but is far from the only thing you need to be a successful programmer. Equally important is debugging code. SieveOfEratosthenes.template is a file that has been provided for you. When you call this program from the command line, you provide it a single integer input as such:

java SieveOfEratosthenes 500

This program calculates all prime numbers smaller than the input value and prints them out in increasing order. (If the input number is prime, it itself is not printed; only primes smaller than it are printed.) It uses the algorithm known as the Sieve of Eratosthenes, which is one of the fastest prime number finding algorithms there is (even though it’s over 2000 years old!). However, the file as it has been given to you is buggy and incomplete (in fact, it won’t even compile). You have several tasks ahead of you.

First, read the wikipedia page on the Sieve of Eratosthenes so that you understand how the algorithm works and rename SieveOfEratosthenes.template to be

Second, attempt to compile In IntelliJ, you can compile (and run) by clicking on the green triangular play button in the left margin of line 1 of your file. The output you should see looks something like this: error: incompatible types
        int upperBound = args[0];
  required: int
  found:    String
1 error

Or, in IntelliJ it will show a red squiggly underline and an error message if you try to run it:

Fortunately, just seeing the red squigglies in your code will let you know right away if something you’ve typed won’t compile.

Before anything else, try to understand what the Java compiler is telling you. Once you understand what is going wrong, you’ll probably realize you don’t know how to fix this problem: DON’T ASK FOR HELP JUST YET. An important part of CS61BL is teaching you how to debug and look for help on your own and with your partner. Once you’ve realized what the error is, you and your partner should try searching for how to solve this problem online (Google is your friend). (IntelliJ trick for after you figure out how to fix it: press Alt+Enter to bring up options to quick fix, quick-import, or quick-change any code your cursor is on! Abuse it!).

Third and finally, fix all the bugs in and complete the unfinished parts so that it works as intended.

Hint: If you’re having trouble figuring out what to do in the corrupted part, try to fill in the blanks here…“when i is 2, we need to mark numbers a, b, c, d, e, and f as not prime; when i is 3, we need to mark …”.

Multidimensional Arrays

Having an array of objects is very useful, but often you will want to have an array of arrays of objects. Java does this in a very natural way. We’ve already learned that to declare an array, we do:

int[] array;

Similarly, to declare an array of arrays, we do:

int[][] arrayOfArrays;

When constructing an array of arrays, you must declare how many arrays it contains (because this is the actual array you are constructing), but you don’t have to declare the length of each array. To declare an array of 10 arrays, you do this:

int[][] arrayOfArrays = new int[10][];

To construct the first array in the array of arrays, you could do:

arrayOfArrays[0] = new int[5];

And you could access the first index of the first array as:

arrayOfArrays[0][0] = 1;

Hopefully this all makes sense. Alternatively, you can fix the length of each array in the array of arrays as the same length like this:

int[][] tenByTenArray = new int[10][10];

An array of arrays, when the different sub-arrays can be of different sizes, is called a jagged array. If they are all the same size, it is often convenient to forget altogether that you have an array of arrays, and instead to simply imagine you had a multi-dimensional array. For instance, you could create a 3-dimensional array (to represent points in space, for example) like this:

int[][][] threeDimensionalArray = new int[100][100][100];

This 3D array has 100x100x100 = 1,000,000 different values. Multidimensional arrays are extremely useful, and you’ll be encountering them a lot.



Today’s lab reintroduced a number of concepts in programming (such as loops and conditionals) which you have likely seen before, and explained to you how they work in Java. The exercises gave you practice both with writing your own code from scratch, and with debugging and interpreting code which has been given to you.

If you found the information presented in today’s lab interesting, I would recommend reading into the Java documentation on Control Flow and Enums. If you’ve noticed that Java Arrays have some pretty large weaknesses compared to lists in say, Python, I would recommend reading the Java Documentation for the ArrayList class (which we’ll be talking about in a week or two).

If you found the information presented in today’s lab difficult, I would recommend reading this tutorial on Java conditionals, and the follow-up tutorials on Java loops and Java Arrays, as well as reading the relevant textbook chapters. In general, nothing in this lab should be new to you (except maybe some Java syntax), so if you’re having a lot of trouble, please let a TA know.


Here’s a short recap of what you need to do to finish this lab.

  • Make sure that you have Intellij fully setup! All future labs and projects should be done in Intellij.

  • Complete all exerises and submit the following files to Gradescope for grading.
  • Turn in your completed worksheet to your lab TA by the end of your lab section today.