CS 1120: Media Computation

Spring 2017

Assignment 0: Intro to Computer Science and Digital Media

Due: Friday, January 20, 11:59 PM

Read Chapter 1 of the textbook. Provide short answers to the following questions.

1. Your future and computer science

Every profession uses computers today. Use a search engine like Google to find sites that relate your field of study and/or your future career with computer science or computing or computation. For example, search for “art computer science” or “management computing” (you don’t need the quotes unless you want to search for these exact phrases).

1.1. Why are you taking this class?

1.2. How do you think computer science relates to your field of study and/or your career, and how your ability to program might be useful to you in the future?

2. Bytes and pixels

Consider the representation for pictures described in Section 1.4, where each dot (pixel) in the picture is represented by three bytes, for the red, green, and blue components of the color at that dot.

2.1. How many bytes does it take to represent a 640 by 480 picture, a common picture size on the Web?

2.2. How many bytes does it take to represent a 1920 by 1200 picture, a common desktop screen size?

2.3. What do you think is meant now by a “three megapixel” camera?

3. People who have influenced computer science

As you’ve learned from Chapter 1, computer science is about people. Start your exploration of computer science by exploring the people who are computer scientists and influence computer science. As you do, find Web sites that you believe are credible for your information. For EACH answer you must include (1) the URL with (2) your reasons for believing that source is credible.

3.1. Look up Alan Kay, object-oriented programming, and the Dynabook on the Web. Alan Kay is one of the inspirations for the media computation approach that is used in your textbook. Can you figure out what he has to do with media computation?

3.2. Look up Grace Hopper on the Web. How did she contribute to programming languages?

3.3. Look up Andrea Lawrence on the Web. What computer science department did she chair?

3.4. Look up Alan Turing on the Web. What does he have to do with our notion of what a computer can do and how encodings work?

3.5. Look up Ada Lovelace on the Web. What amazing things did she do before the first mechanical computer was built?

3.6. Look up Tim Berners-Lee on the Web. What did he invent?



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