Computers and Computing (COMP-102)
Syllabus - Fall 2011
|Times:||Tuesday and Thursday, 11:35-12:55am.
|Prof. Joelle Pineau, School of Computer Science
Office: McConnell 106N
Office hours: Tuesdays 1:00-2:00pm
Office: McConnell 111
Office hours: Wednesdays 2:00-3:00pm
Athena Kardehi Moghaddam
Office: McConnell 111
Office hours: Thursdays 10:00-11:00am
|Class web page:|
A course for students with no previous knowledge of computer science. The course is intended to provide a survey of selected topics in computer science starting from how computers store data (text, numbers, image, sound, and video), to the inner workings of computers (hardware) and moving on to more advanced topics such as computability, complexity, web design, AI, robotics, cryptography, and social implications of computing. (3 credits; 3 hours per week)
Prerequisite: The course is appropriate for both novice and experienced computer users.
It is intended for any student with high-school-level math and science
background who has a keen interest in learning how the science of
computation is impacting the world in which we live.
Restrictions: Credit will not be given for COMP-102 if it is taken concurrently with, or after, any of COMP-202, COMP-203, COMP-208, or COMP-250. Management students cannot receive credit for COMP-102.
- Introduction to Computer Science. A brief history of computing.(1 week).
- How is information represented in a computer? Bits and bytes, data structures, sounds and images, data compression. (2 weeks)
- How do we tell computers what to do? Basic ideas in algorithms, scripting, sorting and searching. (2 weeks).
- Computer systems. (1 week).
- Networks and networking. (1 week).
- Computability. (1 week)
- Special topics: Cryptography, Artificial intelligence, Robotics, Graphics, Computational biology (4 weeks)
- Required textbook: None.
- Suggested reading: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick (Available in most local and online bookstores.)
- Lecture notes: Available from the course web page as we go.
The class grade will be based on the following components:
- Weekly individual assignments - 40%
- One in-class written midterm examinations - 20%
- One final exam - 40%
The assignments will include some practical problems, some applications, and some writing. No formal programming is required.
Assignments and projects must be submitted IN CLASS on the day when they are due. Assignments submitted BEFORE the due date (in class or directly to my office) will also be accepted. Late assignments will NOT be accepted (no exception). Only the marks from the 8 best assignments will be counted towards the final grade. No make-up exams will be given.
All assignments and exams are INDIVIDUAL.
McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand
the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences
under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see
www.mcgill.ca/students/srr/honest/ ) for
In accord with McGill University's Charter of Students' Rights, students in this
course have the right to submit in English or in French any written work that is to