Homework 1


40 pts., due Feb. 16

The solution you turn in should be word-processed. None of that old-fashioned stuff!

  1. As precisely as possible write down, in plain English, the sequence of steps necessary in making change. Assume that the person making change has an infinite supply of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. (I wish I were that person!) You may assume that the amount of change to be returned is less than $1.00. The catch is that your set of instructions must guarantee that the minimum number of coins is returned.

  2. Computer technology has profoundly infiltrated many aspects of our lives. Write a one-page essay discussing any one of the following topics. To use Plato's categories, your essay should stay in the realm of the rational as much as possible, without needlessly wandering off into the realms of the emotions or of the appetites. After all, the person who will be reading your essay is a cold, hard scientist! I encourage you to seek electronic or printed sources to aid you in marshalling your argument.
    1. What would be the implications, if any, if someone could devise a computing system which passed as ``human?''
    2. Will the ``Information Superhighway'' substantially change the human condition? Will the change be for the better or worse?
    3. Is it possible to commit adultery in cyberspace? (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 3, 1996, pg. A-5)
    4. Computer databases allow mailing lists to be transferred easily from one business to another. Is it ethical for a business to sell your name and address to another business? (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 7, 1996, pg. A-5)

Thomas P. Kelliher
Thu Feb 8 08:26:14 EST 1996
Tom Kelliher