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Computer Science 101

Connecting with Computer Science

Credits: 3

Length of Course: 14 weeks

Classroom Hours Per Week: 4 hours lecture, 1 hour lab.

Prerequisite: Math 090

Corequisite: English 097

Text: Fluency with Information Technology: Skills, Concepts, and Capabilities, 3rd Edition, Lawrence Snyder, Addison Wesley, 2008.

Course Description:

An overview of the history and fundamentals of computing and the connections with the arts, psychology and biology. This course provides a thorough and rigorous overview of the fundamental issues concerning both hardware and software. No prior computing background is required.

Course Outline:

  1. Becoming Skilled at Information Technology

    • Understanding the basics around computer.
    • Getting familiar with the World Wide Web, computer networks, and other internet features.
    • A brief look at the future of possible human and computer interface.
  2. Web Page Design

    • Creating web page using HTML and JavaScript.
    • Getting acquainted with programming concepts, such as: data types, logical flow statements, and functions.
  3. Computer Graphics

    • History and profiles of computer artists.
    • Graphical applications.
    • Programming approaches to image generation:
      • 2D shape representation.
      • 2D graphic manipulation.
      • Use Java to generate geometric art images.
      • Algorithmic Thinking: using iteration and randomness to create 2D images, trees, flowers, and more.
  4. Computing, Language and Intelligence

    • Is artificial intelligence possible with the use of computer?
    • The Turing test, computational natural language processing; computers and learning connectionist models of computing.
  5. Data and Digitizing Information

    • Representing information digitally.
    • How information is processed.
    • Understanding the basic concepts of computer hardware, computer software, interpreters, and compilers.
  6. Application Software

    • Basics of Spreadsheets.
  7. Natural Computing

    • Examples of ‘computation’ in nature.
    • The genetic code: digital representation biological information in DNA.
    • What is bioinformatics.
    • Biologically inspired computing methods.
  8. Sound, Lights, and Magic: Representing Multimedia Digitally

    • Digitizing color.
    • Computing on representations.
    • Digitizing sound.
    • Digital images and video.


Quizzes 10%
Lab assignments 15%
Projects 15%
Mid-terms 25%
Final exam 35%


Ken Chan, B.Sc., (Simon Fraser), M.S.E.E., (Wayne)
William Cheng, M.Sc. (California State)

Yvonne Yang, B.Sc. (Hunan), Ph.D. (Paris)

Transferability: see