Computers and Cognition  Spring
quarter, 2012

Faculty: Ab Van Etten   Email:

Fields of Study: computer science and consciousness studies

Spring: CRN (Credit) Level 30152 Credits: 8   TuTh 6-10pm

Prerequisites: Students should be familiar with computers. We will
instruct in the Windows/IE environment. It is encouraged that you have a home
computer with internet access, as you may get help and work online if you
choose. While you can use the school’s computers, you will find it more
convenient to have your own computer.


What types of problems can be
solved by computers? How do humans and computers differ in the types of
problems they can solve? What is the future of computing, and will computers
evolve an intelligence that includes what we would define as human thought? Can
computers learn or create on their own? This program will explore the basics of
computer science, how computers work, and their possibilities and limits. The
program will include basic programming in Javascript, Web development,
introductory computer electronics, and other computer science topics. We will
contrast this with human cognition. We will then look at how computers will
likely affect the way we live, work, and relate in the future. In seminar we
will explore the issues surrounding machine vs human consciousness and strong
artificial intelligence.

Maximum Enrollment: 24

Advertised Schedule: 6-10p Tue/Thu

Preparatory for studies or
careers in:

Books:    A Balanced Introduction to
Computer Science, 3ed. Reed

Are We Spiritual Machines? Ray

Evaluation: Assignments, Programs, Programming competencies, Individual
and Group Presentations, Participation, Summary paper, Content Examinations

Topics:    Instruction, April 3 to June

Week 1:  Intro and Syllabus, What is a
computer? What can it do? Web/JS intro

Week 2:  Input and Output, Networks and
Internet, History,  JavaScript IO

Week 3:  Calculations,  Uses of Computers, TTTTT,  The Brain,
JS Change

Week 4:  Computer Decisions and Loops,
Programming Process, JS Craps, TTT

Week 5:  Functions, What can a computer
do?  Limits? JS TTT, Read,Write Code

Week 6:  Arrays, Computer Learning,
Creativity and Emotion, Comptetencys

Week 7:  How the computer works:
Transistors, Gates, Circuits, Soft Engr, MMind

Week 8:  Computer Science, Nesting,
Future of Computers, MMind, 8puz, AI

Week 9:  Compare Future of People with
Future of Computer, Jobs, Philosophy

Week 10: Finish Competencies, Summary paper, Exams, Review, Presentations

Evaluation Week:  June 11-13

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