CS-105: Great Insights in Computer Science

Rutgers University
Fall 2008
Michael L. Littman
Office hours by appointment, in Hill 409 or Hill 427 (RL3 Lab)

Teaching assistants:
Time: MW 3:20pm-4:40pm
Place: Hill 116
Semester: Fall 2008

Code: 01-198-105-01

AUDIENCE: Non-CS majors at all levels. (CS majors, curriculum code 198, are not eligible for enrollment.)

DESCRIPTION: The course is designed to introduce non-majors to the fundamental concepts of computer science. Students will be given the background to appreciate the exciting and influential ideas that have shaped this fast-moving discipline. Although it will provide a broad context, the course will focus on specific examples of great ideas and how they work. Students will learn about and solve example problems drawn from major areas within computer science. Although students will learn to read and understand short programs, the course will not teach or require programming skills and cannot be taken for credit for the CS major.

FORMAT: Lectures, hands-on demonstrations, written homeworks, short online activities, written midterm and final.

PRE-REQs: None. (Mastery of high-school-level algebra will be assumed.)


Textbook: Pattern on the Stone, the simple ideas that make computers work. Basic Books, 1998.

Clicker: iClicker. (Should be available at bookstore.)

Website support: Sakai. (All course administration will be done there.)

Lecture notes