Computers & Society

CS 102
Spring 1998

Thomas P. Kelliher
Hoffberger 140
Office phone: 337-6189
Home phone: 931-2946
Send mail to kelliher AT DOMAIN
Office hours: MWF 10:30--11:30am. Th 1:00-3:00pm. Other times by appointment.

Hoffberger 149
MWF 2:30--3:20pm

The key theme is Communicating through Computing. We will explore the world of computing: its capabilities and limitations. The Internet and the World Wide Web are a large part of that world, unlocking personal communication on a scale never before seen. Where else can one communicate with so many, so inexpensively. How do we locate the information we need among this ever-growing body of ``knowledge?'' How do we evaluate that which we find? How can we communicate most effectively with others?

We will also be introduced to some of the technical aspects of computing, as well as the many areas of social and ethical concern raised by the rapid evolution of computer technology. Topics include the Internet and worldwide information exchange, the power and limitations of the computer as a problem solver, and the issues of privacy, security, and computer crime. The course will be very much ``hands-on.'' Large parts of the course are devoted to an exploration of specific computer applications and the Internet.

  1. K. Milburn and J. Burdman, Designing Web Pages with FrontPage 97, New Riders, 1996.
  2. T. Gesing and J. Schneider, JavaScript for the World Wide Web, Peachpit Press, 1997.

Other Resources:

There are many, many resources available on the Internet and especially the World Wide Web. Two of our course goals are discovering and evaluating these resources.

Grade Distribution

A = [92--100], A- = [90--92), B+ = [88--90), B = [82--88), B- = [80--82), etc.

Course Point Distribution

There are 800 total points for the course:

  1. Assignments --- There will be four outside-of-class assignments. Each assignment will be worth 50 points. Late assignments will be accepted only by prior arrangement.

  2. Quizzes --- There will be seven quizzes. Each will be worth 60 points; your two lowest quiz scores will be dropped. Missed quizzes cannnot be made up. The quizzes will be: Jan. 30.; Feb. 13 and 27; Mar. 13; Apr. 3 and 17; May 1.

  3. Group Web site semester project --- After reading project proposals and gauging interests and abilities, project groups (3--4 team members) will be formed. The projects will be due the week of April 27. The project is worth 200 points.

  4. Final --- The hands-on group final, incorporating all that you've learned during the semester, will be worth 100 points. The set of groups will not be the same as for the semester project.

Course Handouts:

Most course handouts will be made available once in class. After that, they may be obtained from the class home page on the World Wide Web (see the class URL above). Some course handouts will only be distributed through the class home page.

Attendance of classes, while not required, is quite important. Attendance and participation are necessary learning components. Please inform me beforehand if you will be absent. Remember that you are responsible for making up missed work.

I expect that you will complete reading assignments before class and come to class prepared to discuss the day's material. If you need to print a copy of an outline before class, please arrive early so that you don't cause a disruption at the beginning of class.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Refer to the Student Handbook.

Tentative Outline:

  1. Introduction.
  2. Basic tools of the Internet.
  3. Using search engines.
  4. Basic Web page design.
  5. Images and scanning.
  6. Page design issues.
  7. Advanced Web design.
  8. Issues in computing.
  9. Personal computer hardware.
  10. Personal computer software.
  11. Other topics.

Thomas P. Kelliher
Wed Jan 21 10:06:08 EST 1998
Tom Kelliher