CSCE 190: Computing in the Modern World (Fall 2014)
Bulletin Description: An introduction to the
field of computing; trends in computing technology, the profession,
and careers; subdisciplines in computing; the nature of research and
Corequisites: CSCE 145, 204, 205, 206, or equivalent
Meeting time and venue: Tuesday 1800-1850 in Amoco Hall
Instructor: Marco Valtorta
Office: Swearingen 3A55, 777-4641
MWF 11-noon, or by previous appointment.
- There is no required textbook for this course.
- This course will be taught with materials provided to you during
In addition, there are a number of books and papers that are
worth reading about computing, its past, and its future.
Some will be described or linked to this website.
This course is intended to provide you with the bigger picture of how computing
fits into the modern world and why there is more to "computing" than just
"programming." Unlike nearly everything else taught in the department, this
will not be a highly technical course. We encourage you to participate in the
discussions and ask questions. The course will involve several other faculty
members at the department and external professionals working in the fields of
computer science, computer engineering, and computer information systems.
- An understanding of the big picture of computing
- Knowledge of milestone events in the history of computing and what the
future of computing may look like
- Knowledge of some advanced directions in computing research
- A familiarity with career trends in computing
Link to the Google CS First Program,
with information used in Taylor Green's presentation and Q&A session
Computing Curricula at USC; slide 15
used on 2014-08-26.
The Value of Experiential Learning,
slides used by Ms. Jennifer Whetstone-Jackson of the USC Career
Center (CEC Satellite Office) on 2014-09-02.
Science Career Prospects, poster used by Prof. Manton Matthews on
Computing from an
Electric and Gas Utility Perspective,
presentation used by Mr. Chris Pierson of SCANA Corp. on 2014-09-09.
Unsafe for any Ballot Count:
South Carolina's voting machines and their analysis,
slides used by Prof. Duncan Buell on 2014-09-16.
Life as a Web Developer,
slides used by Mr. Richard Baldwin of cyberwoven.com on 14-09-23.
Computing and Research Infrastructure at the University of South
slides used by Mr. Paul Sagona and Mr. Ben Tarkien of
the University of South Carolina on 14-09-30.
Careers in the real world, or, "I have my degree, now what?",
slides used by Dr. Jerrold Heyman of EMC on 14-10-14.
Enabling Autonomy in Challenging Environments,
slides used by Dr. Ioannis Rekleitis on 14-10-21.
Scientific Computing---Where Have We Been and Where We Are Going!"
Slides used by Dr. Mary K. Harris, Chief Information Office or Savannah
River National Laboratory on 2014-11-11.
slides used on 14-11-25.
Professor Judea Pearl,
2011 ACM A.M.Turing Award Winner,
slides used on 14-12-02.
Homework and Projects
Points per assignment.
- (HW1, due Tuesday, September 2, 2014)
Write an essay about definitions of Computer Science.
Search for several of them. Choose at least three of them.
a 3-page essay, double-spaced, in 12-point font, in which you describe the
definitions you chose, compare them, and conclude with an argument for one of
the three definitions and, if you like, your own improvements to that
References must be listed after the conclusion and cited in the main text.
Quote appropriately. Do not plagiarize!
- (HW2, due Tuesday, September 23, 2014)
Choose a company where you would like to apply for a position. Write:
In total, your document should be four pages long.
- A one-page overview of the company
- A one-page overview of the position that you would apply for
- A one-page resume geared towards that position
- A half-page essay on what you need to learn or do to be competitive for the
- Attend the SET Career Fair on Tuesday, September 16, and write a half-page
essay describing your experience
- Register on Jobmate at the USC Career Center. Write a statement that you
registered on the first page of your homework submission document.
The USC Blackboard
has a site for this course.
Some Useful Links
In this class, we write dates according to
ISO Standard 8601.
- Society of Women
Engineers at USC Website
- John Backus's Obituary from the New York
- An Interview with Maurice Wilkes,
by David P. Anderson. Communications of the ACM, 52, 9 (September 2009),
Maurice Wilkes, the designer and builder of the early stored-program computer
EDSAC, passed away on Nov. 29, 2010, at age 97.
- Obituary of Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment
Corporation, from the New York Times
(February 7, 2011)
John McCarthy's Obituary from the _New York Times_, 2011-10-25
Dennis Ritchie's Obituary from the _New York Times_, 2011-10-13
- ACM Citation
Style and Reference Format.
IEEE Citation Style Guide
Another IEEE Citation Style Guide
``Computing Machinery and Intelligence,''
Mind, 49 (1950), pp.433-460
, in HTML format.
- A panel discussion
about Artificial Intelligence, from the Charlie Rose show
Amnon H. Eden. "Three Paradigms of Computer Science."
Minds and Machines
Special issue on the Philosophy
of Computer Science, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Jul. 2007),
London: Springer. DOI 10.1007/s11023-007-9060-8.
( Local copy)
- Career-related links
- Career Center at CEC
- SET Career
Fair, including a list of employees.
- Career Center at USC (main site)
- ACM Career and
- ACM CareerNews
- ACM Computing Degrees and
- The Gamecock
Toastmasters Club web site.
The club mission is to help students and other
members of the USC community develop communication skills.
- The IT-oLogy web site.
- What is the Internet?
A funny video from a 1994 NBC Today Show Episode.
- Research Methodology Links
- Thomas Dietterich.
"Editorial: Exploratory Research in Machine Learning."
Machine Learning 5, 5-9, 1990 (local copy).
- Thomas G. Dietterich, Pedro Domingos,
Lise Getoor, Stephen Muggleton, and Prasad Talelpalli.
"Structured Machine Learning: the Next ten Years."
Marchine Learning 73, 3-23, 2008 (local copy).
- Stephen Muggleton, Luc De Raedt, David Poole,
Ivan Bratko, Peter Flach, Katsumi Inoue, and Ashwin Srinivasan.
"ILP Turns 20: Biography and Future Challenges."
Machine Learning 86, 3-23, 2012 (local copy).