Concepts in Computing
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
-- Thomas Watson, IBM chairman, 1943
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
-- Popular Mechanics, 1949
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
-- Ken Olson, DEC chairman, 1977

Course description

This course provides an overview of computing and computer science. To get a taste of how computers represent and process information, we will learn to create static web pages using html, and to develop interactive and dynamic pages using javascript. We will also cut a broad swath through topics in computer science, from how the world-wide web works all the way down to how a computer manipulates individual zeros and ones, along with how we can put computers to use in making movies, deciphering the genome, and so forth.

Administrative info

Chris Bailey-Kellogg | 250 Sudikoff | office hour: Tue 1-2, Wed 3-4, Thu 3-4
Teaching assistants
Andrei Furtuna (Th 3-4); Lu He (F 3-4); Paritosh Kavathekar (W 3-4);
Ranganath Kondapally (M 3-4); Shaohan Hu (Tu 1-2); Xiaoyu (Sarah) Zhao (W 1-2)
(Office hours in parentheses.)
Course staff email
cs4 -at- cs -dot- dartmouth -dot- edu
11-hour | MWF 11:15-12:20 | 008 Kemeny
Sudikoff 005 (Mac lab). TA available in lab: Sun 3-9; Tue 7-9; Thu 7-9 (subject to change).
To get your ID card enabled, complete and return the Sudikoff Access form posted on the course Blackboard site.
None. Course notes and pointers to on-line material will be provided on the schedule page.


Coursework will include homeworks (30% total), along with a midterm (35%) and final (35%).

There will be weekly homeworks, assigned one Monday and due before class the following Monday. Ample time is provided for each assignment, so in general, late submissions will not be accepted for credit. Under extenuating circumstances (prolonged illness, death in the family, etc.), arrangements must be made with the instructor before the due date.

Assignments are to be turned in via Blackboard. Acceptable formats for written questions are HTML, PDF, plain text, rich text format (RTF), and Word. Some homework questions will require the creation of web pages; web pages are also acceptable for standard written questions. For web pages, you must:

Web pages will be graded according to how they work with the Firefox 3 web browser. Since there are differences between the various browsers, you should install Firefox or use a lab computer, in order to ensure that the TAs will see you what you want them to. To help find errors in your pages, you might find the firebug add-on quite helpful.

The exams will test your comprehension of what you have done on the homeworks. They will be closed-book / closed-computer.

Honor code

Please read this part carefully and make sure that you understand it. If there is even the remotest uncertainty of what does and does not constitute a violation of the honor code, ask me.

You cannot collaborate or copy in any way on exams.

On the computer programming portion of homeworks, you may discuss general approaches with other students before you sit down at the computer to write code. Once you are writing code, however, your code must be written by you: any copying (electronic or otherwise) of another person's code or code fragments is a violation of the honor code — this includes code from any web page (other than our class web page) that you find on the web. In addition, you may not use software that generates web code for you (e.g., MS Word).

On the written portion of homeworks, you may discuss general approaches with other students before you sit down to write out your solutions. Once you are writing your solutions, however, your work must be your own: any copying of another person's solution, or portions of their solution, is a violation of the honor code — this includes solutions from any web page (other than our class web page) that you find on the web.

You must reference all sources of help and collaboration on each homework. For example, if you talked with Jane Smith about your homework (in any way), you must note this on your homework. If you used a source outside of one provided by me or the class web page, you must cite it on your homework. Not doing so is a violation of the honor code.


Students with disabilities enrolled in this course and who may need disability-related classroom accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment to see the instructor before the end of the second week of the term. All discussions will remain confidential, although the Student Accessibility Services office may be consulted to discuss appropriate implementation of any accommodation requested.