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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings - Fall 2008

COMP 121 Computing in the Arts and Sciences
(4 credits)
Saks, Nancy

Prerequisite: Math Placement Level 22 or higher

This introductory course is intended for non-majors, and assumes little computer experience beyond using word processing software. COMP 121 is designed to help students become familiar with microcomputers and their use in problem-solving and their impact on society. Students will create spreadsheets, databases, and will also learn a subset of an object-oriented programming language.

The course meets for four hours each week, and includes extensive time for hands-on practice. The final grade will be based on labs, homework, and exams. Mathematical-reasoning intensive.

COMP 150 Computer Programming I
(5 credits)
Bogaerts, Steven and Shelburne, Brian

Prerequisite: Math Placement Level 22 or higher

Introduction to computer science through the use of programming in the Python language. Designed primarily for the student who expects to take further courses in computer science. Also very valuable for any student who expects to do programming that is related to another discipline (e.g., in the sciences). This course is required for the Computer Science major and minor, the Mathematics major and minor, and the new Computational Science minor. It is also recommended or required by certain science programs.

The course stresses the development of algorithms and data abstraction to solve problems. It begins with basic algorithm design, progresses through imperative programming and finishes with most of the features of object-oriented programming. Students write 10-12 programs. The class has three 1-hour lecture/demonstrations plus a 2-hour lab per week. Much of the work for the course is done outside of class using the laboratory computers to write, debug and run programs.

The course grade is based on programming assignments, lab exercises, in class tests, and a final. Mathematical-reasoning intensive.

COMP 255 Principles of Computer Organization
(5 credits)
Shelburne, Brian

Prerequisite: COMP 150

Considers the organization and architecture of the computer from various "levels" digital logic, microprogramming, conventional machine level and the operating system level. Programming assignments in assembler languages will be used to demonstrate and reinforce the various architectural structures and techniques studied. Grades will be based on in-class tests, programming and written assignments, and a final exam. The course will meet for three one-hour lectures and a two-hour lab each week. Mathematical-reasoning intensive.

COMP 275 Sequential and Parallel Algorithms
(4 credits)
Bogaerts, Steven

Prerequisites: MATH 271 and COMP 250 or permission from instructor

Systematic study involving the properties and complexity of several types of algorithms implemented on both sequential and parallel processing computers. The algorithms studied are designed to solve problems in both symbolic and numeric processing. Symbolic methods include string manipulation, pattern-matching, searching, and sorting algorithms. Numeric methods include vector and matrix algorithms, as well as data processing and simulation/optimization algorithms. The issues of algorithm efficiency will be examined. Grades will be based upon theoretical and programming assignments and exams. This course will assume a C/C++ background. Programming assignments will use both Windows-based workstations and the Linux-based WARP parallel computing cluster. Programming will be done in C, C++, and Mathematicas.

Grades will be based on assignments, projects, reports and exams. Mathematical-reasoning intensive.

COMP 290 Databases and Web-Based Computing
(4 credits)
Saks, Nancy

Prerequisite: COMP 150

The primary topic of this course is databases and how they are used in database-driven web sites. We will cover some theoretical aspects of the field, but the primary emphasis will be on practical applications. Topics include design and use of databases through common software, the ER and Relational Data models, PHP, MySQL, and development a web-based database. Assignments will be both theoretical and applied. Mathematical-reasoning intensive.

COMP 345 Optimization
(4 credits)
Stahlberg, Eric

Prerequisite: COMP 150 and MATH 201. Co-requisite: MATH 205 or permission of instructor

Optimization has become an essential part of many disciplines, as the need to identify optimal and improved combinations using available options increases rapidly. This topics course examines several methods for finding optimal and near optimal solutions in use in several important application areas such as engineering, drug discovery, data analysis, nutrition, manufacturing, chemistry, finance and interacting systems. Methods for finding optimal combinations in linear and non-linear systems will be covered, as well as techniques for large scale and empirical optimization of complex systems. The course will be driven by practical applications employing the use of computer solutions. Familiarity with one of Mathematica, Python, C/C++, Fortran or Java is desirable.

This course will be given for mathematics credit (MATH 345) or computer science credit (COMP 345) and should be of special interest to students in sciences and computational science, in particular. This course will satisfy an elective for the computational science minor. Mathematical-reasoning intensive.

Grades will be based upon assignments and exams.

COMP 460 Senior Seminar - Topic: Software Engineering
(2 credits)
Bogaerts, Steven

This course will address the area of software engineering through the presentation, discussion and use of recognized software engineering principles. The primary emphasis is on the design, development, and documentation of a group project, but outside readings, presentations, and discussions may be required. This course is required of a senior majoring in computer science. The grade is based upon a combination of independent and group activities. WRITING INTENSIVE. Mathematical-reasoning intensive.

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