MCS-170 The Nature of Computer Science
1. Welcome to the Course!
- Introductions, Roll, Student Survey
- Your Goals?
- Gain general knowledge about computers and computer science
- Expand skills in programming and computer literacy (Market)
- Fulfill quantitative reasoning general education requirement
- In any event, this course is designed to meet all of these goals
and, hopefully, do so in a fun way.
2. Outline and Syllabus
3. What is Computer Science?
- Computer science is the study of computational processes.
- Relatively young science -- first electronic digital computer -
- Interdisciplinary nature: Mathematics, Electrical Engineering,
Solid State Physics, Neuro-Science, Quantum Physics (future).
- Design and analysis of algorithms
(recipes for solving problems)
- Implementation of algorithms as programs
- Design and organization of computational devices
for executing programs
of computation-- how fast is an algorithm? how much memory will it use?
does the algorithm give a correct answer?
- A computer is a computational device that
receives, stores, and processes information
- Components of a computer:
- Hardware: Physical
- input/output devices
- Software: Programs that
run on the computer (stored in memory)
- von Neumann architecture
(John von Neumann - 1950's)
- Memory <- bus -> CPU <- bus -> I/O Devices
- Memory-- Information
stored as series of bits (data
is a 0 or 1)
- byte (B) = 8
bits (256 possible values for data) ( a character)
- kilobyte (KB) = 2^10
bytes = 1,024 bytes (few paragraphs)
- megabyte (MB) = 2^20
bytes = 1,048,576 bytes (a book)
- gigabyte (GB) = 2^30
bytes (a small library)
- terabyte (GB) = 2^40
bytes (Library of Congress)
- Types of memory: Cache, RAM, hard disc, floppy disk, CD, flash.
- CPU - main processing
- takes data and instructions from memory
- executes instructions on data
- returns result to memory
- millions of electronic components packed into small chip
- I/O - interface to
- Mouse, monitor, printer, keyboard, game pad, microphone,
scanner, Ethernet card
5. Exploration (tear apart a computer and disk drives)
6. Reading Assignment