Session 1

An Introduction to an Introduction to Computing

Computer Science I: Media Computation

Computer Science Camouflage

... give talk from Camouflage conference. Stress computing side, with some discussion of camouflage ideas for context. [Link to slides to follow soon.]

Welcome to the Course

Welcome to 810:061, formally titled "Computer Science I". I will usually just call it "CS I" or "061". Another name for the course might be "Media Computation", for reasons that will be obvious by the time you leave today, if not already.

This is a great time to study computer science. ...

I hope that this course is a lot of fun for you, helps you to see just why CS is such a cool discipline, and prepares you well for the rest of your computer science studies. You should find the course challenging -- but I also hope that you find it fascinating.

Details of the Course

I am Eugene Wallingford, and I'll be your instructor for CS I. (Everyone say, "Eugene"!) I've been at UNI for fourteen years and am currently serving as head of the department.

I have passed out a short "vital statistics" page (page 1 of the syllabus) containing basic contact information for me and the course. It lists the URL of the course web page, which includes pointers to a full syllabus and links to all our class activities, including notes on session notes, programming assignments, and code. Use this sheet to set a bookmark to the course web page in your favorite web browser. You never know when a strong urge to compute will strike you!

Study the syllabus carefully. It lists the policies by which we will run this course. You will need to know these policies and when they apply.

Be sure to review the last item in the syllabus, which gives a tentative schedule of our activities for the semester, including reading assignments and exam dates. Some points that you should pay special attention to include:

Now, back to the course...

What is Computer Science

What did my talk on camouflage have to do with CS?

Computer science is about processes, and building models of processes. But these models aren't dead -- they are alive, because we can "execute" them.

We do three different kinds of thinking in CS:

Design is about trade-offs. Example: colors as RGB or HSV. What are the effects of different choices? What does each allow, make harder?

Programs ... programming language

Dr. Java will be our tool of choice. It is an "IDE" -- and integrated development environment. We will use Dr. Java to create programs and to execute them. We will use one tool to do both. There are other ways to create programs, and other ways to execute them.

Java is but one of many, many languages for expressing programs. Can you name another?

These days, everyone uses computer-based tools. We in CS make tools to help us and others do our jobs better. To do this, we find ways to represent and manipulate data.

The reason is to understand the universe better, both the abstract nature of computation and the nature of the things we model. The reason is to solve problems, make the world better. When we are struggling with a tough idea or challenging program, it is good to remember the effect of what we do on the world. Media computation as a theme will help.

That is why we are here. Let's get busy.

Eugene Wallingford ..... ..... August 22, 2006