CS-442: Topics in Computer Science: Great Insights in Computer Science
Michael L. Littman
Grad: Monica Babes:
Hill 410, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours by appointment
(for your convenience!).
Undergrad: Gabriel Nieves, email
Michael's office hours are also by appointment, in Hill 409 or
Hill 427 (Lab).
NEW COURSE OFFERING: Learn about the science behind
Time: TThu 2:50pm-4:10pm 5th Period
Place: Hardenbergh Hall, Room B1
Semester: Spring 2006
AUDIENCE: Non-CS majors at all levels. Don't let the course
number fool you---it's just a bookkeeping thing (we needed to use the
"topics" course number temporarily). Note 1: CS majors
(curriculum code 198) are not eligible for enrollment. Note
2: Because of the bookkeeping trick, a permission number is
required to register for the course. Please
(Michael Littman <email@example.com>).
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 areas like: artificial intelligence (robotics),
bioinformatics (DNA analysis), computer graphics (3d visualization),
networking (high speed communication), and security (cryptography).
General ideas will be described in concrete form to make them most
easily grasped. 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
Pattern on the Stone, the simple ideas that make computers
work. Basic Books, 1998.
Lecture notes (as available, in pdf format)