CSC 100: The Beauty and Joy of Computing
Computer Science faculty at the UNCG are excited to be offering a new class, CSC 100 (The Beauty and Joy of Computing), as part of a nationwide effort to re-think how we introduce computing concepts to students.
This course is designed for students who are just beginning as computer science majors, and for non-majors who want to learn more about computing. This class does not replace our first course for majors (CSC 130), but rather adds a new option leading in to CSC 130. The goals and design of this class has several important aspects:
- CSC 100 has no prerequisites — previously, most students could not jump right into computer science classes because of mathematics prerequisites for CSC 130. This class allows students to get started right away.
- CSC 100 gives a high-level overview of the field of computer science, touching on topics as diverse as graphics and video games, concurrency, distributed computing, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and security and privacy. By not being so focused on building a specific set of programming skills, a broad range of topics can be covered — ideal for students wanting to see what computer science is all about.
- CSC 100 reflects a conscious focus on student creativity — programming is done using Snap!, an easy-to-learn visual programming environment designed for making interactive animations and simple games while covering key computing concepts.
- CSC 100 is designed to increase student success in later computer science classes — students are gently introduced to some of the topics that have traditionally been difficult in CSC 130, building skills that are valuable if they decide to take more computer science classes. This class also makes connections to vital topics that students see outside computer science classes, including mathematics topics from MAT 150.
- CSC 100 paints a broad picture beyond technical skills, with discussions based on readings from Blown to Bits, an outstanding free book that addresses many ways in which computing is changing the world.
CSC 100 will be offered for the first time in Fall 2012 — classes will meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with lectures Monday and Wednesday 10:00-10:50, and a combined lecture/lab Fridays 10:00-11:50. For more details on this class, please see the detailed syllabus, or feel free to contact the instructor (Prof. Tate, firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-256-1033).
CSC 100 is based on a course developed at the University of California at Berkeley (see their class web page).