Introduction to Computers, Spring '04 :: Course Overview

Topics & Outline

Intended primarily for students in the humanities and not available to engineering students. General introduction to computer science, including the design of algorithms and computer hardware, as well as hands-on experience with applications such as spreadsheets, databases, and the World Wide Web. Introductory programming in Java/C++.

This course's main objective is to introduce students to the fundamental problems and goals in computer science. While there will be some introductory programming taught, the bulk of the course will concentrate on examining and solving problems. The course will first take a look at the history of computing and how modern machines work. Next, programming and design methodologies will be examined with emphasis on understanding their goals rather than their technical details. Students will have hands-on experience developing simple programs. The material will then shift to exploring some of the more theoretical foundations of Computer Science while examining some advanced topics including artificial intelligence, logic, and encryption. Social issues surrounding modern technology will be a constant topic of elaboration.

Topics will likely include:


None. But familiarity with the general use of a computer is expected. There are many AcIS workshops available for learning the basics of computer operation and there will be ample help for completing exercises.


Work for the class will likely consist of (a definite breakdown will be provided during the first week of class, once enrollment has settled):

Lecture Slides