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CSI 1101: Introduction to Computers

We live in the middle of an information revolution. Computers and related technologies impact on our everyday lives, affecting the way we work, study and play. Consequently, computer literacy is becoming increasingly more valuable, if not essential, in the workplace and at home. This course encourages the development of basic computer skills, but involves much more than that. It explores issues relating to the world of computing in general; where it has come from and where it is going, how computers contribute to people becoming more productive, and some of the problems that computers have caused. Lectures will apply to a wide range of common computers, and will be supplemented with laboratory exercises that provide concrete examples of the general principles discussed. CSI 1101 is intended to prepare people to work in a society where information is viewed as an important asset.

By the end of the course students will be able to:

• Name the major hardware components of a computer and explain their functions.
• Explain what computer software is, how it is developed, and the difference between system software and application software.
• List popular computer applications and the problems they can solve.
• Describe basic features and different kinds of programming languages.
• Explain networking fundamentals and basic features of the Internet and the World Wide Web.
• Discuss issues of human-computer interaction, computer security and privacy, and the ethics of computer use.

Lecturers and Office#:
Mr. Lenandlar Singh–C7, Ms. Fannita DeJesus-Barakat–C21, Ms. Penelope DeFreitas-C21

Credits: 4
Tutorials/Labs: 1-2 hrs (per week) Lectures: 3 hrs
Pre-requisites: none

Course Work = 40%
- 3 Tests = 20%
- Tutorials = 5%
- Classroom Activities = 5%
- Assignments = 10%
Final Exam = 60%


Unit 1 - Introduction to Computer Science (5 weeks)

1. The field of Computer Science
2. What is a computer? What do computers do?

  • Overview of the History of computers

• Computer coding systems
3. Number systems: binary, octal, decimal, hexadecimal
4. ASCII, EBCDIC, Unicode
• Programming – Languages and paradigms
5. Software Development
6. Programming and Problem solving (2 weeks)
   o Problem Solving
     Algorithms
     – Pseudocode
     – Narratives
     – Flowcharts
   o Programming (2 weeks)
     Programming languages and paradigms
     Coding
     – Syntax and Semantics
     – Coding and Implementation
     – Testing and Debugging
7. Test 1

Unit 2 – 3 weeks
• Application Software: features, popular brand names, installation, versions
8. Web browsers
9. Communication software: email, chat, file sharing
10. Word processors and desktop publishing software
11. Spreadsheet software
12. Database software
13. Other types of software -- games, graphics, suites, etc.
• System Software
14. Types of systems -- interactive/non-interactive, batch, time-sharing/multi-access, multi-processing, real-time systems
15. Operating systems: process management, file management, I/O management, device drivers, etc.
• Human-Computer interaction
16. Interface design, ease-of-use
17. Human and computer health
18. Ergonomics and care of computers
• Security and privacy
19. Viruses, worms, encryption
• Ethical issues
20. copyright violation and piracy of software, music, video, text and other intellectual property
21. Test 2

Unit 3 - 3 weeks
• Computer hardware: architecture and organization
22. Motherboards: form factors, components, power supplies
23. Central Processing Unit (CPU)
24. Memory: cache, RAM, EPROM, ROM
25. Disks: hard disks, floppy disks, disk controllers, organization of data
26. Optical storage: CD ROMs, CD R/W, and DVDs
27. Other storage devices -- Zip drives, Tape drives
28. Input devices: keyboard, mouse, joystick, trackball, scanner
29. Video and computer graphics: monitors, adapters, resolution, file formats
30. Audio: sound cards, file formats, speakers, microphones
31. Printers: inkjet, laser, color, etc.
32. Network cards, modems, serial and parallel interfaces, USB, SCSI
33. Portable computing: notebooks, handhelds, cell phones
34. Test 3

• Networking - 1 week
35. Hardware and software, network layers
36. Network protocols, transmission speed
37. Local- and wide-area networks
38. The Internet and the World Wide Web

Department of Computer Science’s Website:
Facebook Group: CSI 1101(2012_2013) - Intro to Computers
Suggested Reading

1. Beekman, George. Computer Confluence: Exploring Tomorrow's Technology. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 2004. (Companion
2. Pyles, James. PC Technician Street Smarts: A Real World Guide to CompTIA A+ Skills. Wiley Publishing, 2007 (or any other A+ book)
3. New Perspectives on Computer Concepts. Washington D.C.: Thomson Publishing, 2007.
4. Simple Program Design – A Step by Step Approach. Washington D.C., 2006.
5. PC Magazine
6. PC Novice Magazine

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