CSC 107: Introduction to Computing Concepts
Spring 2002



2:00-3:15 TuTh
411 Old Gymnasium
Dr. David Reed
215 Old Gymnasium      x2583
DaveReed@creighton.edu


Course Description

This course presents an overview of computing technology and the field of computer science. Discussion topics will include the organization of modern computers, the history of computer technology, and the societal impact of technology. Since the World Wide Web has evolved into a universal medium for communication and computation, special emphasis will be placed on studying the Web and related technologies. Through class discussions and hands-on exercises, students will gain an understanding of Web technologies and learn to develop attractive, interactive Web pages.

Since programming is the central activity in computer science, a significant portion of the course will be spent learning the process of programming and problem solving on a computer. Applications will be studied from a variety of fields such as biology and economics in order to demonstrate the use of computers in solving real-world problems. Using the programming language JavaScript, students will be able to integrate programming skills with their knowledge of the Web and thus develop powerful, Web-based applications.

The specific goals of this course are:


Required Work

Most class periods will be spent working through online lessons that introduce programming and general computer science concepts, and contain numerous exercises to demonstrate and reinforce these concepts. Solutions to the odd numbered exercises in the online lessons will be posted immediately after the due date in order to provide feedback to students. Accordingly, late submissions will not be accepted. You will be allowed to drop your lowest lesson grade, however.

Interspersed throughout the course will be four lab assignments. Lab assignments focus on the application of programming and analytical skills to various interdisciplinary problems. In addition to some programming, lab assignments generally involve written components and data analysis. Lab assignments are due one week after their start date -- late submissions will not be accepted.

There are seven discussion days planned throughout the semester. Students will be assigned readings and must answer review questions via email before the discussion day. Attendance and participation in class discussions of the assigned material is expected of all students.

In addition, there will be two 75-minute tests and a cumulative 100-minute final exam.

online lessons 24 %
lab assignments 16 %
review questions/discussions 5 %
two 75-minute tests 30 %
100-minute final exam 25 %

The final grade for the course will be based on the above weightings. At the minimum, traditional grading cutoffs for the final average will apply. That is, 90% is guaranteed an A, 87% is guaranteed a B+, etc. Depending on class performance, some shifting of grades (in an upward direction only) may occur as final letter grades are assigned.

Regular attendance is expected of all students. If a student must miss class for a legitimate reason, it is their responsibility to make up missed work. Assignments and tests will not be rescheduled except in extreme circumstances.


Policy on Collaboration

The college policy on cheating and plagiarism is spelled out in the Student Handbook. In addition to this, the following guidelines hold for this course.

Violations of the above collaboration will be dealt with severely, with possible outcomes including failure in the course and expulsion from the university.


Tentative Schedule

Date Topic Hand-in
Jan 17
0. Introduction to CSC 107  
22
24
COMPUTER BASICS
1. HTML and Web Pages
email
 
29
31
 
INTERNET & THE WEB
 
email
Feb 5
7
2. Dynamic Web Pages via JavaScript
 
Lesson 1
 
12
*13
LAB 1: Monte PI
GUEST SPEAKER: WEB DESIGN
 
email
19
21
3. Data Types and Expressions
 
Lesson 2
Lab 1
26
28
LAB 2: random walks
TEST 1
Lesson 3
 
Mar 5
7
4. Abstraction and Functions
 
 
Lab 2
12
14
SPRING BREAK
19
21
HISTORY OF COMPUTERS
5. Event-driven Programming
email
Lesson 4
26
28
 
ALGORITHMS & PROGRAMMING
 
email
Apr 2
4
6. Conditional Execution
 
Lesson 5
 
9
11
LAB 3: Prisoner's Dilemma
 
Lesson 6
 
16
18
TEST 2
LAB 4: slot machine
 
 
23
25
HOW COMPUTERS WORK (pt. 1)
work on lab 4
email, Lab 3
 
30
May 2
HOW COMPUTERS WORK (pt. 2)
COMPUTERS & SOCIETY
email, Lab 4
email 
May 9
FINAL EXAM     (Thu 8:00-9:40)