CSC-105: Introductory Computer Science at Furman

At Furman, every student’s ability to find, manipulate, analyze and produce information using a variety of sophisticated problem-solving techniques and computing technologies is a high priority. You have several options for initiating such a study – through different themes of the course CSC-105: Introduction to Computer Science. Each section of the course applies fundamental principles of computing to a different real world problem. This document gives a brief overview of the themes for upcoming offerings of CSC-105. For more information, consult the Furman University Catalogue or contact the Department of Computer Science at 294-2097.

FALL 2017
CSC-105-01 – The Making and Breaking of Ciphers (with Prof. William Sims) TR @ 1:00 p.m., Lab R @ 2:30
Ciphers and secret codes have fascinated and intrigued humans for many centuries, and have had important impacts in our history from the simple ciphers used to deliver secret messages during Greek and Roman times to the latest ciphers that enable e-commerce over the Internet.

This course explores cryptography, the art and science of enciphering and deciphering messages using secret codes and ciphers, and the important role of computer software in devising and breaking modern ciphers. Utilizing a simple programming language, students will create programs for algorithms that implement several historically important ciphers, and devise corresponding computer programs that break these ciphers.

CSC-105-02 – DIY Digital Media (with Prof. Bryan Catron) – MWF @ 12:30 p.m., Lab M @ 2:30

An exploration of Digital Media including creation, editing, and manipulation of audio and video in the digital world.

CSC-105-03 – Secret Communication (with Dr. Chris Healy) MWF @ 8:30 a.m., Lab T @ 2:30

For centuries, people have sought ways to keep their messages hidden or unreadable by eavesdroppers. We will study the various means by which many state secrets, war plans, and credit card numbers have been encrypted.

Today, communication is automated by computer and information technology. To understand how secret communications work, we will delve into how information itself such as text is represented inside the computer. Then, we will discover how this digital information can be manipulated into different forms. Along the way, we will learn basic problem solving techniques on the computer.



CSC-105-01 – Assistive/Accessible Technologies (with Dr. Paula Gabbert) –
MWF @ 11:30 p.m., Lab M @ 2:30

This course surveys topics in computer science through the lens of persons with disabilities. Technology can both hinder and assist disabilities and this course will explore both perspectives while investigating the core concepts of computing including computer architecture, operating systems, data storage, networks, algorithms, and software development. Specific assistive technologies will be demonstrated during hands-on lab activities. The course is multidisciplinary, introducing key legal guidelines for accessible technology, social issues related to community and exclusion resulting from inaccessible technology, and global issues surrounding accessible technologies.

CSC-105-02 – Social Media (with Dr. Kevin Treu) – MWF @ 9:30 p.m., Lab T @ 2:30

This course will undertake the study of computer science in the context of implementing and effectively using social media tools. We will consider significant questions such as how does social media impact our society in general, and our lives in particular? What are the opportunities and dangers? How do we fully participate and contribute in the social media landscape? How do the computer science topics of programming and algorithmic problem-solving enable social media? (Specifically, how do we implement the social media apps that are so pervasive?) What analytical tools can be applied to social media data to uncover important facts and trends, and predict future trends?

CSC-105-03 – Creativity and Computers (with Dr. Andrea Tartaro)
TR @ 1:00 p.m., Lab M @ 2:30

This course will introduce the field of computer science by looking at how computers can be used as tools for creative expression. What do we need to know about computer science to support creativity? Can technology inspire creativity? Can a computer itself be creative? We will look at various modes of creative expression such as images, sound, creative writing, crafts/diy and the maker movement, games and social interaction.



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