CPSC 101: Introduction to Computers

Spring 2003

Anil M. Shende
365B Trexler, x2341
email address: shende@roanoke.edu
Office Hours: MW: 9:00am--10:00am; Th: 9:00am -- 11:00am; and by appointment

Required Course Materials: CPSC 101 packet of readings (available in the bookstore). Students will also need at least two 3.5 inch high density diskettes.

Course Objectives: This course is a "liberal arts" introduction to computers designed to give students a general understanding of the fundamental concepts underlying computers and the discipline of computer science. Hands-on activities using the computer are an integral part of the course. The objectives are for the student (a) to understand the basic concepts underlying computer systems; (b) to gain insight into how these concepts arose; (c) to be able to apply these concepts in becoming a more knowledgeable user of computers; (d) to increase his/her ability to think logically and design algorithms to solve problems; and (e) to increase his/her ability (and comfort) in using the computer as a problem-solving tool. There will be hands-on experience in using personal computers running the Windows XP operating system. Applications will include electronic mail, the Internet (including writing Web pages), programming in JavaScript, and using spreadsheets. Pentium-based personal computers (running the Windows XP operating system) will be used in the course.

Students who are considering a major in Computer Science or Computer Information Systems should take CPSC 120 instead of this course! Students who have received credit for BUAD 258 or a computer science course at or above the 200 level may not receive credit for this course.

Attendance Policy: Class attendance is a very important aspect of a student's success in this course. The student is expected to attend every class and is accountable for any missed classes. (Also see notes below about missed labs and quizzes!)

Grading Policy: The course grade will be based on 3 tests, weekly quizzes, several graded assignments and in-class labs, and a comprehensive final examination with weights as follows:

tests.....45%       quizzes.......12%       assignments.......18%       final exam......25%

Test Dates: Test #1 Friday, February 14
Test #2 Friday, March 14
Test #3 Friday, April 11
Final Exam Monday, April 28, 8:30am -- 11:30am
The grading scale is as follows:

Make-up Policy: Everyone is expected to take tests, quizzes, and the exam at the scheduled time. Make-ups will be given only for legitimate, documented absences and, if given, may be oral. No makeup quizzes will be given (a zero will be given for a missed quiz); however, the lowest two quiz grades made during the semester will be dropped in the calculation of the quiz average. In-class labs missed must be made up before the next class period. Graded in-class labs missed without a legitimate excuse will receive at most one-half credit.

Quizzes: Short quizzes will be given weekly to make sure that the student is keeping up with the reading and the daily homework. There will be a quiz every Friday (except in a test week). Quizzes will usually (but not always) be at the beginning of class. The lowest two quiz grades will be dropped when final grades are calculated.

Assignments: There will be several assignments and in-class labs to be handed in for a grade. Most, but perhaps not all, of these will involve computer use. Labs will include using Windows, electronic mail, exploring the Internet, writing Web pages, writing programs and constructing spreadsheets. Generally there will be work to hand in from the in-class lab (sometimes you will need to complete the lab on your own) and there will be a follow-up assignment to be handed in later. In addition to the assignments to be handed in, the student should keep up with the reading, answer the review questions and do the practice problems assigned. Important: The labs are designed to introduce you to a new topic or skill. The goal is for you to learn from them; consequently, you may confer with the instructor, lab assistant, and your classmates in working on labs. The assignments are for you to do on your own without help from classmates. See the statement on Academic Integrity below for details.

Late Policy for Assignments: Unless otherwise specified, work is to be turned in at the beginning of class on the day it is due. Ten percent per calendar day (24 hours) will be deducted for late work; work more than 5 days late will not be accepted.

Academic Integrity: All tests, exams, quizzes, programming and computer assignments, and papers are to be the work of the individual student. You are encouraged to get help from the instructor if you need help with an assignment. The work you turn in must be your own. Using someone else's work or ideas as your own is plagiarism and an academic integrity offense. Examples of academic integrity violations include copying a program or part of a program (even one line) from someone else, writing code for someone else, telling someone else how to solve a problem (such as telling someone the formula needed in a program or a spreadsheet) or having someone tell you how to solve a problem. Discussion among students should be limited to general concepts, not specific aspects of how to complete the assignment.

Computer Use Policies: All students must abide by the Computer Use policies of the Roanoke College. Failure to do so will result in involuntary withdrawal from the course.