COMP_SCI 101: Computer Science: Concepts, Philosophy, and Connections

Quarter Offered

None : 3-3:50 MW ; Birnbaum


Computation is ubiquitous: DNA contains biological programs and is a part of all lifeforms, the human brain is a powerful computer, and the digital computer has revolutionized most aspects of our society. The primary goal of this course is to explore the what, whys, and how of computer science.

Topics to be covered include the theory of computation (what computers can compute), algorithms for efficient computation (what to tell a computer to compute), programming languages (how to tell a computer what to compute), artificial intelligence (how your computer can do things your brain does), computational biology (how DNA-based biological systems are like programs), computer systems (e.g., how computers work together in networks like the Internet), and human computer interaction.

In this course, students will learn what the computer science major is all about. Coursework will be reading and writing about computer science topics and their impact in the world. For detailed information, see:

NOTE: All students are required to purchase Turning Technologies Clickers (QT2 Device) and subscription license to participate in this course. Students may purchase a QT Device at the Norris Center Bookstore located in The Norris Center on the Evanston campus. Instructions for registering your clicker and purchasing a subscription can be found in the Student Canvas Learning Center, Using Turning Technologies Clickers in Canvas-

COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Larry Birnbaum