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Office: Haberlin 308
Office Hours: Monday 3 - 4 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., or by appointment.
Mon, Wed, Fri, 10:00 - 10:50 a.m.
Computers are ubiquitous in society today and are integral to our
lives. Websites such as Facebook and WikiLeaks are changing how we interact
with one another and gather information. Many every-day activities are
dependent on computers and computer networks. Communication, transportation,
electrical grids, manufacturing, education and many other fields of endeavor
increasingly rely on computer technology. In this course we will examine the
uses of computers in societies in the U.S. and throughout the world and discuss
how this technology affects our lives and how we interact with one-another. In
addition, students will learn to write simple computer programs in order to
begin to understand the subtleties of how computers work.
There are several course goals: (1) to give a fuller, richer, deeper understanding
of the social impact of computers and how human activities are
affected by computers, (2) to prepare the student for living in a computerized
world, (3) to learn how to write simple computer programs, and (3) to
improve presentation, debating and writing skills.
There are three required textbooks in this class.
1. Understanding Digital Culture, by Vincent Miller.
2. Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other,
by Sherry Turkle.
3. They Say/I Say, The moves that matter in academic writing, 2nd edition,
by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein
4. Tattoos on the Heart, by Gregory Boyle
In addition, other readings will be assigned throughout the semester.
There will be one midterm exam, on Wednesday, November 9, from 6 - 8 p.m. (NOTE CHANGE)
There will be no regular lecture on this date.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!
There will be no final exam in this course.
There will be two types of homework in this class:
(1) Homework for the Computers and Society piece will consist of readings, essays and written responses to questions
about the readings. All written homework must be typed. No handwritten work will be
(2) Homework for the programming piece will consist of short computer programs that you will
write to solve simple problems on the computer.
There will be two 5 page essays assigned during the semester on topics related to computers
The participation grade will be based on four components:
- Attendance: You are expected to attend all classes.
- Participation in class discussions, including presenting a topic and/or leading a discussion.
- Attendance at and write up of extra-curricular activities
- In class reading/review questions.
Essay 1: 20%
Essay 2: 20%
Midterm exam: 20%
Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date.
Late assignments will be marked down 10% for each day late. That is, assignments
turned in after the time they are due will be marked down 10%, assignments turned
between 24 and 48 hours after the due date will be marked down 20%, and so on. The
penalty will be determined when the assignment is physically transferred to the
instructor or signed in by any Math/CS faculty member or the department secretary.
Late work will not be accepted after the graded assignment is returned to the class.
In this course you are encouraged to discuss the material and issues
addressed in the course inside and outside of class. You may even discuss the
topics of essay assignments or presentations with members of the class or with
others. However, when it comes to writing up the essays, responses to homework
questions or presentations, you must do the work yourself. You may not collaborate
on any exams, including any take home exams.
You may consult public literature (books, articles, etc) for information,
but you must cite each source of ideas you adopt. Citing your sources will
have the added benefit of showing me that you took the effort to research the
topic and are justifying your arguments from published literature.
Please familiarize yourself with the department's policy on
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Montserrat 112G--Computers and Society
Date Created: August 22, 2011
Last Modified: August 22, 2011
Page Expires: August 22, 2012