CSC 121: Computers and Scientific Thinking
Fall 2020

Section B
9:30-10:20 MWF
Eppley 119
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 a Hybrid Instruction (SD200) course. Since the scheduled room permits social distancing directives to be met only with half the number of enrolled students at a time, students will attend synchronous class meetings in a rotating schedule. In particular, half of the class (cohort 1) will be in the classroom on Mondays, while the other half (cohort 2) will synchronously attend via Zoom. On Wednesday, the roles flip with cohort 2 in the classroom and cohort 1 attending via Zoom. All students will meet remotely via Zoom on Fridays. To encourage collaboration during these working sessions, students will be divided into three cohorts and assigned to separate, moderated Zoom rooms. Cohorts are determined alphabeticcally by last name - see the schedule below for each day's assigned participation mode.

Students are expected to attend classes synchronously, either in person or via Zoom as assigned. If you must miss a class because of an emergency (non-health related), 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 recorded and 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 that 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 strongly 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 rows. In addition, you will have assigned seating for the purposes of contact tracing. 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 (Gabbi) office hour:T 4:00-5:00http://creighton.zoom.us/my/gabbicaito
TA (OC) office hour:W 4:00-5:00http://creighton.zoom.us/my/ozioma

Required Work

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

chapter projects 32 %
lab assignments 14 %
review questions/discussions 10 %
two 50-minute tests 20 %
100-minute final exam 24 %

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 (by last name) Readings Hand-in
Aug 17
19
21
Course Overview
Computer Basics (pptx)
Lab 1
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-I: zoomR; J-P: zoomG; Q-Z: zoomO
 
Chapter C1
 
 
C1 questions
 
24
26
28
The World Wide Web (pptx)
HTML & the Web (pptx)
Project 1.A (pptx)
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-I: zoomR; J-P: zoomG; Q-Z: zoomO
Chapter C2
Chapter X1
 
C2 questions
 
Lab 1
31
Sep 2
4
The Internet (pptx)
HTML & Hypertext (pptx)
Project 2.A
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-I: zoomO; J-P: zoomR; Q-Z: zoomG
Chapter C3
Chapter X2
 
C3 questions
 
Project 1.A
7
9
11
LABOR DAY - NO CLASS
Applications in Biology (pptx)
Lab 2
 
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-I: zoomO; J-P: zoomR; Q-Z: zoomG
 
online
 
 
 
Project 2.A
14
16
18
TEST 1
Dynamic Web Pages (pptx)
Project 3.A
zoomR & Blueline
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-I: zoomG; J-P: zoomO; Q-Z: zoomR
 
Chapter X3
 
 
 
Lab 2
21
23
25
History of Computers (pptx)
Interaction & Design (pptx)
Project 4.A
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-I: zoomG; J-P: zoomO; Q-Z: zoomR
Chapter C4
Chapter X4
 
C4 questions
 
Project 3.A
28
30
Oct 2
Scientific & Computational Thinking (pptx)
Numbers & Computation (pptx)
Project 5.A
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-I: zoomR; J-P: zoomG; Q-Z: zoomO
Chapter C5
Chapter X5
 
C5 questions
 
Project 4.A
5
7
9
Algorithms & Programming (pptx)
Randomness & Libraries (pptx)
Projects 6.B & 6.C
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-I: zoomR; J-P: zoomG; Q-Z: zoomO
Chapter C6
Chapter X6
 
C6 questions
 
Project 5.A
12
14
16
CS as a Discipline (pptx)
Applications in Data Science (pptx)
Lab 3
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-I: zoomO; J-P: zoomR; Q-Z: zoomG
Chapter C7
online
 
C7 questions
 
Projects 6.B & 6.C
19
21
23
TEST 2
Conditional Execution (pptx)
Project 7.C
zoomR & Blueline
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-I: zoomO; J-P: zoomR; Q-Z: zoomG
 
Chapter X7
 
 
 
Lab 3
26
28
30
Inside the Data (pptx)
Loops and Simulations (pptx)
Project 8.C
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-I: zoomG; J-P: zoomO; Q-Z: zoomR
Chapter C8
Chapter X8
 
C8 questions
 
Project 7.C
Nov 2
4
6
Inside the Computer (pptx)
Applications in Encryption
Lab 4
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-I: zoomG; J-P: zoomO; Q-Z: zoomR
Chapter C9
TBD
 
C9 questions
 
Project 8.C
Nov 9
11
13
Impact on Society (pptx)
Computing in the News
Lab 5
A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR
A-L: zoomR; M-Z: in-person
A-I: zoomR; J-P: zoomG; Q-Z: zoomO
Chapter C10
TBD
 
C10 questions
 
Lab 4
Nov 16
Course Review A-L: in-person; M-Z: zoomR   Lab 5
Nov 23
FINAL EXAM     Monday 8:00-9:40      

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