CSC 121: Computers and Scientific Thinking
Spring 2021

Section C
11:00-11:50 TR; 5:00-5:50 R
Harper Auditorium; online
Dr. David Reed
Hitchcock 209A      x2583
DaveReed@creighton.edu


Text: Computer Science: Concepts & Explorations, David Reed, 2020.   (Custom text available for purchase at the bookstore.)

Course Description

This course introduces students to science and scientific reasoning from a perspective that integrates computer science and the natural sciences. Students will gain a basic understanding of computer technology (its organization, history, societal impact, etc.) and how computers are used in various scientific disciplines. In particular, the use of the scientific method and the importance of computer modeling in scientific inquiry will be studied. Students will learn to develop simple Web-based programs for analyzing data and modeling systems, and use those programs in conducting hands-on experiments. Applications in biology, physics, and data science will provide insights into how these disciplines approach problems and utilize computers and computer modeling as tools.

The specific goals of this course are:

Course Structure

This course is considered by the university to be an In-person Instruction (SD100) course. The auditorium allows for all students to attend class in person while maintaining appropriate social distancing. Students are expected to attend classes in person on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Thursday afternoon class sessions will be online labs using Zoom. To encourage collaboration during these online lab sessions, students will be divided into smaller cohorts and assigned to separate, moderated Zoom rooms. Check this syllabus each week to determine the zoom room you are assigned (based on your last name).

If you must miss a class because of an emergency, you are expected to notify the instructor as soon as possible. If you are sick, please do not come to class. In the event of illness (fever/chills, shortness of breath, headache, sore throat, lack of taste/smell, etc.) please register your condition with the COVID-19 Screening App CampusClear and notify the instructor. Even if you can't attend class, you won't fall behind. Class sessions will be live-streamed in the instructor's zoom room (http://creighton.zoom.us/my/davereed) and a recording will posted on Blueline within 24 hours. Be aware that all class materials posted on Blueline, including quizzes, discussions, and Zoom recordings, are considered to be copyrighted and are intended to be used only by students enrolled in the class, for the purposes of fulfilling the course objectives. Only the instructor may record common class sessions. Sharing any of these materials with others outside of the course will be considered "misuse of academic resources," as defined in the Creighton University Student Handbook as an act of academic misconduct, and students can be penalized, up to and including failure of the course.

Many of the class periods will involve working on a computer, either using provided software tools or developing your own interactive Web pages. As described in the university tech guidelines, students are expected to have a laptop with a camera. You are encouraged to bring your laptop to class, even when attending in person. Installing the preferred class software, Brackets, is straightforward and assistance will be available during the first lab session if needed.

Students in this course will adhere to all Creighton community standards. Students will properly wear a mask in class and maintain 6-feet of distance between individuals whenever possible. Students will be required to enter and leave classrooms in a socially distant manner. For this reason, the instructor will plan to dismiss you in sections. You are required to sanitize your work area upon arrival and departure with the provided supplies.

Instructor and TA office hours will be conducted via Zoom, with face-to-face (but socially distanced) meetings scheduled by request.

Instructor office hours:   MW 10:30-12:00, TR 1:00-2:00    http://creighton.zoom.us/my/davereed
TA office hours:Sun 2:00-3:00 (Julius)http://creighton.zoom.us/my/juliusquilarto
M 5:00-6:00 (OC)http://creighton.zoom.us/my/ozioma
T 5:00-6:00 (Gabbi)http://creighton.zoom.us/my/gabbicaito
W 6:30-7:30 (Nathan)http://creighton.zoom.us/my/nathanlauder
W 8:30-9:30 (Vi)http://creighton.zoom.us/my/viconrad
R 8:00-9:00 (Claire)http://creighton.zoom.us/my/clairepini

Required Work

Class periods will consist of three types of activity, roughly organized along the following schedule.

There will be two 50-minute tests and a cumulative 100-minute final exam. The final course grade will be based on the following weightings with minimum cutoffs of A (93-100%), A- (90-92), B+ (87-89%), B (83-86%), B- (80-82), C+ (77-79%), C (73-76%), C- (70-72), D (60-69%), and F (0-59%). Some shifting of grades, in an upward direction only, may occur as final letter grades are assigned.

ten chapter quizzes 5 %
eight chapter projects 30 %
five lab assignments 15 %
two 50-minute tests 25 %
100-minute final exam 25 %

Policy on Collaboration

Creighton's policy on cheating and plagiarism is spelled out in the Student Handbook. In addition, the following guidelines hold for this course.

Violations of these guidelines will be dealt with severely, with possible outcomes including failure in the course.

Daily Schedule

Date Topic Participation (Zoom by last name) Readings Hand-in
Jan 28
 
Course Overview
Lab 1
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
 
 
 
 
Feb 2
4
 
Computer Basics (pptx)
The HTML & the Web (pptx)
Project 1.A (upload instructions)
Harper auditorium
Zoom
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C1
Chapter X1
(p. 194)
C1 quiz
 
Lab 1
9
11
 
World Wide Web (pptx)
HTML & Hypertext (pptx)
Project 2.A
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C2
Chapter X2
(p. 212)
C2 quiz
 
Project 1.A
16
18
 
The Internet (pptx)
Dynamic Web Pages (pptx)
Project 3.A
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C3
Chapter X3
(p. 230)
C3 quiz
 
Project 2.A
23
25
 
History of Computers (pptx)
Applications in Cryptography (pptx)
Lab 2
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C4
TBD
 
C4 quiz
 
Project 3.A
Mar 2
4
 
TEST 1
Interaction & Design (pptx)
Project 4.A
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
 
Chapter X4
(p. 250)
 
 
Lab 2
9
11
 
Scientific & Computational Thinking (pptx)
Applications in Biology
Lab 3
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C5
TBD
 
C5 quiz
 
Project 4.A
16
18
 
Algorithms & Programming (pptx)
Numbers & Computation (pptx)
Project 5.C
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C6
Chapter X5
(p. 273)
C6 quiz
 
Lab 3
23
25
 
CS as a Discipline (pptx)
Randomness & Libraries (pptx)
Projects 6.A & 6.C
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C7
Chapter X6
(pp. 290 & 292)
C7 quiz
 
Project 5.C
30
Apr 1
 
Applications in Artificial Intelligence
Applications in Data Science
Lab 4
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
TBD
TBD
 
 
 
Projects 6.A & 6.C
6
8
 
TEST 2
Conditional Execution (pptx)
Project 7.C
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
 
Chapter X7
(p. 313)
 
 
Lab 4
13
15
 
Inside the Data (pptx)
Loops and Simulations (pptx)
Project 8.A
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C8
Chapter X8
(p. 329)
C8 quiz
 
Project 7.C
20
22
 
Inside the Computer (pptx)
Computing in the News
Lab 5
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C9
TBD
 
C9 quiz
 
Project 8.A
27
29
 
Impact on Society (pptx)
Impact on Society (cont.)
Exam Prep
Harper auditorium
Harper auditorium
Zoom: A-F,   G-J,   K-N,   O-Z
Chapter C10
TBD
 
C10 quiz
 
Lab 5
May 4
Course Review Harper auditorium    
11
FINAL EXAM     Tuesday 1:00-2:40

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