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New Introductory Computer Science Sequence Offered


July 2007

The Department of Computer Science will offer a new introductory course sequence beginning in Fall 2007. Two courses will replace CSCI 1200 Introduction to Computing.

CSCI 1220. Virtual Worlds: An Introduction to Computer Science

Professor: John Bennett
Fall 2007

This course introduces the fundamental principles of computer science using an on-line virtual world called Second Life as the "laboratory" for the course. Second Life is distinguished from other MMPOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) in that everything about the virtual environment is entirely programmable. That is, a desired object is created in Second Life by learning how to program the appearance and behavior of that object as opposed to learning some trick or gimmick envisioned by game creators. Students in CSCI 1220 will learn how to program by creating objects of interest in Second Life. In-class and in-world discussions and readings will introduce the student to important ideas and concepts that shape the field of computer science. The course is open to all undergraduates and assumes no prerequisites.

CSCI 1220 is available now for enrollment Fall 2007.

CSCI 1240. The Computational World

Professor: Michael Eisenberg
Spring 2008

This course will be an introduction to computational ideas -- to the ways that computers have revolutionized thinking in the natural sciences, engineering, and the arts in the past half century. The course will not include a programming prerequisite or a programming lab, but it will stress the types of mathematical and algorithmic thinking that are essential to programming and to computer science more generally. The course is open to all undergraduates and assumes no prerequisites.

Topics and themes that will be discussed include

  • Algorithms and their design
  • Recursion and self-similarity
  • Computability
  • Emergent behavior
  • Intelligence: natural and artificial
  • Experimental mathematics
  • Physical computation: robotics, "smart" materials, and ubiquitous computing
  • Introduction to information theory
  • Introduction to quantum computing

CSCI 1240 will be available for enrollment Spring 2008.

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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