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CMSC-099 Lesson 2

Page history last edited by Justin Spratt 11 years, 4 months ago

Lesson Purpose


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce computers and the four major devisions of the computer diciplines: computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, and system administration.

 

 

Lesson Notes


  • Computer Science
    • Computer science is the study of algorithms.  Algorithms are (usually) sets of instructions that do useful work and complete within a finite amount of time.  Given the same inputs and conditions, every algorithm will always complete in an identical way.  Algorithms are independent of hardware and implementation, although computer scientists delve into both.  For example, computer scientists try to figure out how to generate a list of stops in the best order on a mail route so that the mailman can complete his route as fast as possible.
  • Software Engineering
    • Software engineering is the profession of applying computer science and software design and implementation principles (documentation, coding practices, etc.) to the "production" arena.  Software engineers (also called developers or programmers, although these titles detract from the administrative role that software engineers often have to play) write applications that users use to solve real problems.  In general software engineers are required for larger software applications.  For example, software engineers at Mozilla wrote the Firefox browser that you are (hopefully) viewing this webpage with.
  • Computer Engineering
    • Computer engineers design the physical components of computers and write low level software for those systems.
  • System/Network Administration
    • System administrators manage large computing systems.  They are responsible for ensuring that core services are available to users and developers.

 

In this course, we will look at aspects of all of these different computing departments, but we will concentrate on the last one.

 

What is a Computer?


 

 

Homework


See the assignments page.

 


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