Syllabus for CS-1110
Computer Science Seminar

Course Information
CS 1110-090 and 091 -
CS Seminar
CP 201 11:00 am - 11:50 a.m.
CS 1110-090 M
CS 1110-091 W

Course webpage:

There is no formal prerequisite for this course.

Dr. Michael Sobolewski
Room: CP-310
Office hours: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday, or by appointment

[1] A Gift of Fire, 2nd ed.  Sara Baase, Prentice Hall, 2003.

[1] The Universal Computer, Martin Davis, W. W. Norton & Co., 2000.

Course Overview

This class exists for two main reasons: To expose you to some of the ethical situations that you may encounter in your careers (and to discuss possible ways of dealing with them), and to give you a chance to practice and refine your oral and written communications skills. Also, as time allows, we'll discuss trends in computing and computer science that we often don't have time to discuss in other classes.

Coverage Outline
We will be covering pretty darn close to all of the text. As the semester progresses, I'll make available refined versions of a week-by-week schedule. Typically, a class meeting will have multiple student presentations, a student presentation and a guest speaker, or just a guest speaker. Student presentations will be of two forms: The first will cover a section or sections of the book, with the goal being to present the issues while leading the rest of the class in discussions about those issues; the second will involve the selection of a topic (or related topics) from recent events reported in the media, give the class background on the topic(s), and explain how the topic(s) are relevant to computer science professionals, all while encouraging class participation.

See the Grading section, below.


Point Distribution:
Your grade will be based on your performance on the assigned work, which I expect to include the following activities:

Leading a discussion of a section of the text25%
Book report 15%
Term Paper 20%
Quizzes 20%
Class preparedness / participation 20%

Grading Scale:
Grades may be curved as necessary. Obviously, the grading in this class will be more subjective than in most CS classes. There will be no opportunities for extra credit. Use your time to concentrate on doing well on the assigned work. If your grade in this class is important to you, start taking this class seriously now, not just during the last week of class.

90 guarantees at least an A-
80 guarantees at least a B-
70 guarantees at least a C-
60 guarantees at least a D-
59 or less is F

Late Policy:
Late work will not be accepted. Each assignment will have a posted deadline. Deadlines are absolute. Failure to submit an assignment by the deadline will result in a grade of 0. There are no exceptions. A written excuse from the dean or health office is the only acceptable form of excuse. This will result a minimum extension to the deadline to complete the assignment.

Questions about grades:
After each graded assignment is returned students will have one week following the return of the assignment to question the grade assigned with either the course instructor or TA. After one week has passed the grade becomes final and will not change. This applies to all assignments and quizzes.

The purpose of these different instruments is to have a positive learning experience, critical thinking about Computer Science, and some sound grasp of social, legal, and ethical issues for computers and the Internet. If you feel any of these instruments is not working for any reason, please send me email and I will consider a change in the format of delivery.

Student-teacher relationships are based on trust. Acts, which violate this trust, undermine the educational process. Your classmates and the instructor will not tolerate violations of academic integrity.

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