Computers and Human Reason Syllabus, Summer 05 (8 cr.)

NOTE:  Syllabus  may be updated or revised during the quarter.
Class instructions will  superceed this syllabus.

Ab Van Etten, Class email:  abvechr@hotmail.com , School Email:  vanetta@evergreen.edu
Web Site: 
Mondays and Wednesday Evenings, from 6-10pm, ACC (Adv. Comp Ctr, Library Bldg)
     Note: We will need to make up the July 4 session, preferably July 5 or 7, from 6-10pm
Prerequisites: Basic computer skills with Windows and Application  programs, Internet access and experience,  A high degree of self motivation and personal responsibility
CRN: 40041

Overview:  This class will cover the basics of what computers are, how they work, what they are used for, what they can understand, and the fundamentals of computer science and programming. We will then relate this information to the human condition and human reason.  How do computers compare to people in terms of the types of problems they can solve and the process they use for solving these problems?   What are the possibilities and limitations of computer technology?  Are computers currently being underused or misused?  How is computer technology affecting the way we live and how we will live? 

What you will need:

Book: (We WILL use the text extensively)A Balanced Introduction to Computer Science,  by David Reed Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-046709-x  This book needs to be purchased within a day or two of the first class. Please let me know if you are having trouble getting the textbook.

Internet Access and PC: This class will be a hybrid  distance/classroom course. You will need reliable Internet access at home for  email, discussion groups, web content, and chat sessions. You must have a PC with enough system resources to run JavaScript. You will also need at least 4  floppy or 2 zip disks.

Self-Motivation and Responsibility: You will be doing many assignments on your own computer in your own time frame. You will have a large  amount of time freedom and will need some time management skills. You will need  to monitor your email, group discussions and web content at regular intervals.  We also will meet via chat rooms.

Evaluation: Evaluations will use the following criteria,  (and the methods used for evaluation)

Competency: ( read/write code tests, book review tests, lecture content, tests)
Completeness: ( class assignments finished on time and within guidelines )
Collegiality: ( willingness to seek help from classmates and offer help to classmates)
Participation (attendance and  contribution to in-class and online activities)
Quality ( neatness,  organization, and rigor of documents and communications



Demonstrate knowledge of how a computer works, its uses, potential and limits
Demonstrate mastery of the basics terms and tools of procedural programming
Demonstrate the ability to read and write code using nested control structures and arrays
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the potential and limits of computers vs. people
Demonstate skill with various computer technologies, including JavaScript, Databases, ASP, XML, DHTML


Paper examinations on Reading and Writing code as well as book knowledge
Portfolio (program listings, exercises, assignments, peer/self evals)
Online activities

Lecture/Seminar Schedule:

Date   Topics                         Assignment

Week 1

June 20-22

Intro, Syllabus, Computers and Programming, Basic XHTML, What is a computer and what can it do? HTML editors, Intro to JavaScript,  The Internet, I/O

Study Ch 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6
Setup, HTML website
JavaScript Form Letter

Week 2

June 27-29

JavaScript Store and Add, How computer work. Transistors and gates, bits and bytes,  Databases,  Normalization, Access, ASP, Adders, Machine lang.

Study Ch 5, 12, 14, 16
Book examples, Change Program,  Database development,  ASP access

Week 3

July ?-6

If and While in JavaScript,  The programming process,  Read and Write code, Subroutines, the runtime stack,  parameters,  OOP,  Algorithms, Big O

Study Ch 7, 8, 9, 11, 13
Craps program, Movie Program, Read and Write Code practice

Week 4

July 11-13

Read and Write code with arrays in JavaScript,  XML,  DHTML, How arrays work, Array programming examples,  ASP and arrays, Computers vs People

Study Ch 15, 17, 18, Handout readings,  Array programs,  XML/DOM resume, 
Pong program,  Read and Write code

Week 5

July 18-20

Reading and Read/Write Examinations, Computer Science as a Disipline,  Social Concerns,  Neurons vs the Brain, Artificial Intelligence, Goedel,  What distinguishes thought from calculations? Future

Study Ch 10, Handouts
Prepare to Demo work, 
Study for examinations

Evaluation Week: July 25


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