Course Offerings

Computer Science (2016 - 2018)

Nonmajor Courses

Computers in Society
CSCI-UA 1 No prior computing experience is assumed. Not intended for computer science majors. Offered in the spring. 4 points.
Addresses the impact of the digital computer on individuals, organizations, and modern society as a whole, and the social, political, and ethical issues involved in the computer industry. Topics change to reflect changes in technology and current events. Features guest lecturers from various fields.

Introduction to Computer Programming
CSCI-UA 2 Prerequisite: three years of high school mathematics or equivalent. No prior computing experience is assumed. Students with any programming experience should consult with the department before registering. Students who have taken or are taking Introduction to Computer Science (CSCI-UA 101) will not receive credit for this course. Does not count toward the computer science major; serves as the prerequisite for students with no previous programming experience who want to continue into CSCI-UA 101 and pursue the major. Offered every semester. 4 points.
A gentle introduction to the fundamentals of computer programming, which is the foundation of computer science. Students design, write, and debug computer programs. No knowledge of programming is assumed.

Introduction to Web Design and Computer Principles
CSCI-UA 4 Prerequisite: three years of high school mathematics or equivalent. No prior computing experience is assumed. Students with computing experience should consult with the department before registering. Offered every semester. 4 points.
Introduces students to both the practice of web design and the basic principles of computer science. The practice component covers not only web design but also current graphics and software tools. The principles section includes an overview of hardware and software, the history of computers, and a discussion of the impact of computers and the Internet

Database Design and Web Implementation
CSCI-UA 60 Prerequisites: Introduction to Computer Programming (CSCI-UA 2) and Introduction to Web Design and Computer Principles (CSCI-UA 4). Offered in the spring. 4 points.
Introduces principles and applications of database design. Students learn to use a relational database system, learn web implementations of database designs, and write programs in SQL. Students explore principles of database design and apply those principles to computer systems in general and in their respective fields of interest.

Web Development and Programming
CSCI-UA 61 Prerequisites: Introduction to Computer Programming (CSCI-UA 2) and Introduction to Web Design and Computer Principles (CSCI-UA 4). Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points.
Provides a practical approach to web technologies and programming. Students build interactive, secure, and powerful web programs. Covers client and server side technologies for the web.

Topics of General Computing Interest
CSCI-UA 380 Topics determine prerequisites. 4 points.
Detailed descriptions available when topics are announced. Typical offerings include Computing in the Humanities and Arts and Introduction to Flash Programming. Does not count toward the computer science major.

Major Courses

Introduction to Computer Science
CSCI-UA 101 Prerequisite: Introduction to Computer Programming (CSCI-UA 2) or departmental permission assessed by placement exam. Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points.
How to design algorithms to solve problems and how to translate these algorithms into working computer programs. Experience is acquired through projects in a high-level programming language. Intended primarily for computer science majors but also suitable for students of other scientific disciplines. Programming assignments.

Data Structures
CSCI-UA 102 Prerequisite: Introduction to Computer Science (CSCI-UA 101). Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points.
Use and design of data structures, which organize information in computer memory. Stacks, queues, linked lists, binary trees: how to implement them in a high-level language, how to analyze their effect on algorithm efficiency, and how to modify them. Programming assignments.

Computer Systems Organization
CSCI-UA 201 Prerequisite: Data Structures (CSCI-UA 102). Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points.
Covers the internal structure of computers, machine (assembly) language programming, and the use of pointers in high-level languages. Topics include the logical design of computers, computer architecture, the internal representation of data, instruction sets, and addressing logic, as well as pointers, structures, and other features of high-level languages that relate to assembly language. Programming assignments are in both assembly language and other languages.

Operating Systems
CSCI-UA 202 Prerequisite: Computer Systems Organization (CSCI-UA 201). Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points.
Covers the principles and design of operating systems. Topics include process scheduling and synchronization, deadlocks, memory management (including virtual memory), input/output, and file systems. Programming assignments.

Basic Algorithms
CSCI-UA 310 Prerequisites: Data Structures (CSCI-UA 102) and Discrete Mathematics (MATH-UA 120). Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points.
Introduction to the study of algorithms. Presents two main themes: designing appropriate data structures and analyzing the efficiency of the algorithms that use them. Algorithms studied include sorting, searching, graph algorithms, and maintaining dynamic data structures. Homework assignments, not necessarily involving programming.

Numerical Computing
CSCI-UA 421 Prerequisites: Computer Systems Organization (CSCI-UA 201), either Calculus I (MATH-UA 121) or both of Mathematics for Economics I and II (MATH-UA 211 and 212), and Linear Algebra (MATH-UA 140), or permission of instructor. Offered in the spring. 4 points.
The need for floating-point arithmetic, the IEEE floating-point standard, and the importance of numerical computing in a wide variety of scientific applications. Fundamental types of numerical algorithms: direct methods (e.g., for systems of linear equations), iterative methods (e.g., for a nonlinear equation), and discretization methods (e.g., for a differential equation). Numerical errors: can you trust your answers? Uses graphics and software packages such as Matlab. Programming assignments.

Computer Architecture
CSCI-UA 436 Prerequisites: Computer Systems Organization (CSCI-UA 201) and Discrete Mathematics (MATH-UA 120). Offered in the fall. 4 points.
The structure and design of computer systems. Basic logic modules and arithmetic circuits. Control unit design and structure of a simple processor; speed-up techniques. Storage technologies and structure of memory hierarchies; error detection and correction. Input/output structures, busses, programmed data transfer, interrupts, DMA, and microprocessors. Discussion of various computer architectures; stack, pipeline, and parallel machines; and multiple functional units.

Theory of Computation
CSCI-UA 453 Prerequisite: Basic Algorithms (CSCI-UA 310). Offered in the fall. 4 points.
A mathematical approach to studying topics in computer science, such as regular languages and some of their representations (deterministic finite automata, nondeterministic finite automata, regular expressions) and proof of nonregularity. Context-free languages and pushdown automata; proofs that languages are not context-free. Elements of computability theory. Brief introduction to NP-completeness.

Introduction to Robotics
CSCI-UA 465 Prerequisites: Operating Systems (CSCI-UA 202), Calculus I (MATH-UA 121), and Linear Algebra (MATH-UA 140). Offered in the spring. 4 points.
Examines basic algorithmic tasks that robots must solve: collision detection, motion planning, coordination, and the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem. Introduces elements of computational geometry, kinematics, dynamics, and control theory. Requires a final project. Programming in Matlab (including Simulink) and C++/OpenGL.

UNIX Tools
CSCI-UA 468 Prerequisite: Computer Systems Organization (CSCI-UA 201). 4 points.
Examines UNIX as an operating system and covers the sophisticated UNIX programming tools available to users and programmers. Shell and Perl scripting are studied in detail. Other topics include networking, system administration, security, and UNIX internals.

Object-Oriented Programming
CSCI-UA 470 Prerequisite: Computer Systems Organization (CSCI-UA 201). Offered in the fall. 4 points.
Introduces the important concepts of objectoriented design and languages, including code reuse, data abstraction, inheritance, and dynamic overloading. Covers in depth those features of Java and C++ that support object-oriented programming and gives an overview of other object-oriented languages of interest. Significant programming assignments stressing object-oriented design.

Artificial Intelligence
CSCI-UA 472 Prerequisites: Computer Systems Organization (CSCI-UA 201) and Basic Algorithms (CSCI-UA 310). 4 points.
Many cognitive tasks that people can do easily and almost unconsciously have proven extremely difficult to program on a computer. Artificial intelligence tackles the problem of developing computer systems that can carry out these tasks. Focus is on three central areas in AI: representation and reasoning, machine learning, and natural language processing.

Introduction to Machine Learning
CSCI-UA 473 Prerequisites: Computer Systems Organization (CSCI-UA 201) and Linear Algebra (MATH-UA 140); corequisite: Basic Algorithms (CSCI-UA 310). 4 points.
This exciting and fast-evolving field of computer science has many recent consumer applications (e.g., Microsoft Kinect, Google Translate, IPhone's Siri, digital camera face detection, Netflix recommendations, Google news) and applications within the sciences and medicine (e.g., predicting protein-protein interactions, species modeling, detecting tumors, personalized medicine). Students learn the theoretical foundations and how to apply machine learning to solve new problems.

Introduction to Cryptography
CSCI-UA 478 Identical to MATH-UA 243. Prerequisite: Basic Algorithms (CSCI-UA 310). 4 points.
An introduction to the principles and practice of cryptography and its application to network security. Topics include symmetric-key encryption (block ciphers, modes of operations, AES), message authentication (pseudorandom functions, CBC-MAC), public-key encryption (RSA, ElGamal), digital signatures (RSA, Fiat-Shamir), and authentication applications (identification, zero-knowledge).

Special Topics in Computer Science
CSCI-UA 480 Topics determine prerequisites. May be repeated for major credit when different topics are covered. Offered in the fall and spring. 4 points.
Detailed course descriptions are available when advanced topics are announced each semester. Typical offerings include, but are not limited to, Bioinformatics, Building Robots, Computer Graphics, Machine Learning, Network Programming, Computer Vision, and Multimedia for Majors.

Research, Internship, and Independent Study

Undergraduate Research
CSCI-UA 520, 521 Prerequisite: permission of the department. 4 points per term.
The student is supervised by a faculty member actively engaged in research, possibly leading to results publishable in the computer science literature. A substantial commitment to this work is expected. The research project may be one or two semesters, to be determined in consultation with the faculty supervisor. Students taking this course for honors in computer science are required to write an honors thesis. All other students must submit a write-up of the research results at the conclusion of the project.

Internship in Computer Science
CSCI-UA 897, 898 Restricted to declared computer science majors. Internship credit does not count toward major requirements, but does apply toward completion of the CAS degree. CSCI-UA 897 is offered in the fall and CSCI-UA 898 in the spring. 1 to 4 points per term.
An internship in computer science is an excellent complement to formal course work. We strongly recommend that students have some practical training along with their classroom experience, so they can explore different career options and gain hands-on experience. An internship is for majors only, and students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 and a computer science GPA of 3.5. The internship is graded.

Independent Study
CSCI-UA 997, 998 Prerequisite: permission of the department. Does not satisfy the major elective requirement. 2 to 4 points per term.
Students majoring in the department are permitted to work on an individual basis under the supervision of a full-time faculty member in the department if they have maintained an overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.5 in computer science and have a study proposal that is approved by the director of undergraduate studies. Students are expected to spend about three to six hours a week on their project.

Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates

A limited number of graduate courses are open to undergraduate students who have maintained a GPA of 3.5 or better in computer science, subject to permission of the director of undergraduate studies. These may be substituted for undergraduate elective credit, or reserved for graduate credit if the student is pursuing the accelerated master's program. Consult the department's website for details.