CSCI 1001 - Introduction to Computer Science for Non-Majors  


Spring 2010

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Dr. Qin Ding
Office:  Sci. & Tech. C-118
Phone:  (252) 328-9686
Office hours:   Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11am - noon, and by appointments

Meeting Time and Place

Tuesday & Thursday 9:30am-10:45am
Classroom:  Austin 209


Learning to Program with Alice (2nd Edition), by Wanda P. Dann, Stephen Cooper, and Randy Pausch. Published by Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. ISBN-10: 0-13-208516-X, ISBN-13: 978-0-13-208516-8.

This 3-credit course is designed to provide non computer science majors with an introduction to computer science and object-oriented programming.  The topics emphasized are (1) Machine hardware and architecture and the machine cycle,  how data is represented in the computer, the role of the operating system, and how you can via user interfaces interact with the hardware and machine cycle to get data and instructions into computer memory and to get the computer to execute your instructions. (2) Computers, the internet,  the web, and how browsers work. (3)  How to give instructions to the computer via programs you write by using languages like HTML and Javascript (to create your own web page) and object-oriented programming as illustrated by Alice to create interactive 3-D storeis and games. (4) Using ECU resources to maintain your web page. (5) Learning the type of creative thinking involved in designing instructions for a computer and writing software for computers. The classes are held in a computer lab with little time spent on formal "lectures". The student will learn by doing and the emphasis is on self-learning.

By the end of the course students should be able to 
1. Describe how data, including instructions, are stored in a computer.
2. Describe in broad terms the hardware components of a computer according to the Von Neumann architecture, and the role of the Operating System.
3. Define the World Wide Web and the Internet and understand the difference.
4. Use Google and other resources to find information.
5. Know how to evaluate the veracity of information found on web sites.
6. Know what an algorithm and program are and how they are related.
7. Know some fundamentals of design of algorithms and programs and compare several implementations of algorithms as programs: HTML, JavaScript, Alice.
8. Know the use of divide and conquer, abstraction, modularity, trial and error, using functions and control structures in developing algorithms and programs and problem solving in general.
9. Understand some basic object oriented concepts: classes, objects, methods, parameters, functions, and how these relate to the fundamentals of design and implementation into a program using Alice.
10. Use the information in Alice Chapter 1-7 to produce a project.
11. Work in a team environment.
12. Evaluate and improve learning experiences by creating self reflection documents.
13. Others: As the student expresses interest, including making a basic web page using HTML and JavaScript.
Required Work and Grades

Most of the work will be done during class, which is a lab.  "Lab" means that you must be an active learner, not merely listening to a lecture.  In fact, relatively little in the way of lecture will take place.  Moreover, much of what you will do in class will involve group (team) work.  HENCE:  Attendance is important and will count towards your final score in the course.



The homework assignments are at the class web site on the "Homeworks" page.  Homework is due the next class period unless otherwise stated.  The homework is submitted as hard copy unless otherwise instructed on the specific assignment.

Important Dates


Announcements will be sent through email if needed.  It is the responsibility of the student to regularly check your email.

Web Page

The web page for the course is at

Academic Honesty

All work must be completed in a manner consistent with the ECU Academic Integrity. Please refer to the Student Handbook for further information on ECU's policy on academic integrity.

Students With Disabilities

East Carolina University seeks to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students requesting accommodations based on a disability must be registered with the Department for Disability Support Services located in Slay 138 ((252) 737-1016 (Voice/TTY)). Instructors should also be notified during the first week of classes.

Weather Policy

In the event of a weather emergency, information can be accessed through the following sources: ECU emergency notices or the ECU emergency information hotline at (252) 328-0062.

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