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1 Why take this course?

Did you just take CS 1110 or 2110 and enjoy it, but you don’t know the how Computer Science is different from programming? Are you considering a Computer Science major or minor but you don’t know what how to apply it outside of software development? Or, maybe you’re just interested in technology, and you want to know how computers work without taking a course like Computer Architecture. No matter what the case, if you want to broaden your understanding of Computer Science, this course is for you!

We hope to give a brief overview of some the big ideas behind Computer Science, and how to apply those ideas to a variety of fields. Topics covered in this course include: quantum computing, cybersecurity, machine learning and artificial intelligence, data analysis, bioinformatics, and more! Throughout this course you’ll learn, laugh, cry (happy tears!), and most importantly learn to be incredibly impressed by (and maybe even a little afraid of) computers. It’ll be a blast!

2 Course Overview

The goal of this course is to provide a deeper understanding of the field of Computer Science and the different career paths available. In particular, we will take high level glances at the following:

  • How computers store, represent, and manipulate all sorts of things
  • How those representations can help and hinder what we can do with computers
  • How computers actually enable certain applications, including:
    • Computer networks and the Internet
    • Security and Encryption
    • Intelligence and learning
    • Genes and bioinformatics

2.1 Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the differences between Computer Science and programming
  • Contextualize content covered in other cs courses
  • Communicate the hows and whys of using computers for a variety of different domains
  • Identify new application areas, career paths, cutting edge advancements in Computer Science

2.2 Eligibility

You should take this course if you’ve taken CS 1110 or have some background knowledge about computer programming. You can take this course without having programmed before as there will be very little code in this course, and you will not have to write code yourself, however understanding how to read and write basic code makes understanding some course concepts easier.

2.3 Course Structure

You will see the following components in this course this semester. Look in the syllabus for the details on each:

  • Lectures: Introduces and explains all topics in the course. This is the primary component of the course
  • Quizzes: Individual work to evaluate your fluency and understanding of each of the course concepts
  • Chats (optional): We will have weekly chats on Fridays (time TBA) to discuss concepts brought up during that week’s lecture and answer questions. These meetings are completely optional

2.4 Other Notes

2.4.1 Online Logistics

As many of you have probably guessed, this class will be taught entirely online. Because of this and the many problems that come with it, I will be doing my best to help everyone get accomodated, so if you have any issues with this course or any others, feel free to talk to me about them! I’m here to help you! I will be posting all lectures to the course webpage and onto Collab, so if you have to miss a lecture it isn’t a huge deal. If something keeps you from turning in an assignment on time or attending a lecture, email me and we can work it out. Additionally, I think this video is super helpful if you’re struggling with online learning.

2.4.2 Instructor Warning

This is my first time teaching this course, so if things don’t go well at first, please forgive me. I’ve never tried something like this before As many of you have probably guessed, this class will be taught entirely online. Because of this and the many problems that come with it, I will be doing my best to help everyone get accomodated, so if you have any issues with this course or any others, please forgive me as I try to figure things out.

2.4.3 Friday Chats

We will also have optional meetings on Fridays (time TBA) to just discuss the topics covered in lecture and on the homeworks that week. This is where I can help with homeworks and answer questions about the topics covered. I will also do my best to provide career advice, or at least point you towards resources that can give better advice than me. The purpose of this class is really just to help you, and I want to make these meetings very unstructured and open so that I can answer any questions you have.