The course instructor for CSCI 107 is J Dean Brock. There are two sections of CSCI 107: Section 001 meets from 9:55 AM to 11:35 AM, and section 002 meets from 1:20 PM to 3:00 PM. Because there are no extra computers in the lab, you will need to attend the section in which you are enrolled.
When UNC Asheville is following the Late Start Schedule, Section 001 will meet from 11:30 AM to 12:50 PM, and section 002 will meet from 2:10 PM to 3:30 PM.
Class home page
All class handouts, including homework assignments, can be accessed through the following URL:
Fairly specific, though sometimes tentative, information about the topics covered in the course can be found on the class’ topics and schedule pages.
Catalog Course Description
A survey of computer hardware and software, networking and the Internet, the convergence of personal computers and consumer electronics, digital representation of sound and images, multimedia presentations and authoring. Includes formal labs to develop skills in useful computer applications such as spreadsheets, databases, Internet browsers and multimedia design tools.
Obviously, that catalog description was written in the days of PowerPoint and static web pages. At this time, we are requesting that CSCI 107 be designated to fulfill UNC Asheville’s Scientific Perspectives requirement. Our up-to-date learning objectives that align with this requirement are that students should be able to do the following:
- Talk intelligently about computer architecture and operating systems
- Appreciate the impact of computer gaming, social media and web search on the way we work and play
- Know what’s inside your smart phone, laptop, and thermostat
- Understand why computers can multiply numbers faster than 100,000,000,000 people but still can’t out-reason a three-year old
- Explain how computers are tools for intimidation: from cyber bullying to cyber warfare
- Say why they fear, accept or ignore the singularity or gray goo
- Explain why the scientific method is essential in understanding a program’s performance
The Department of Computer Science just purchased a 3-D printer and we want everyone to print an object this term.
Textbook and readings
Most of the readings of the course will be from on-line sources that will be embedded in the lecture and lab schedules. You will also be asked to view a few on-line videos, such as the Creating Computing with Semmy YouTube series.
The textbook for the course will be HTML5: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald (ISBN-13: 978-1449363260). We will use about 0.428571 of this book during about 0.285714 of the course. The UNC Asheville library has an on-line copy of this book that you can read so you don’t need to buy a copy.
We will use only open-source software applications in this course. These applications will include a few of the following:
We will be using a proprietary operating system called Windows 7 in the ITS-maintained computer lab. You are welcome to use your favorite laptop to the lab, but you must have the appropriate software installed before the lab using it begins.
The following weights are used in computing the course grade.
All three of the exams will consist of an ordinary exam and a practical. The distinction between the exams is explained on the Exams and Practicals page. The first two exams are in-class exams given on Monday in both the lecture and lab meeting times. The last exam will be given in the scheduled final exam time.
The ordinary exams will be closed book and closed notes. No electronic devices, including calculators, may be used during the exam. The practical exams will be completed using computers.
UNC Asheville’s Academic Policies and Procedures do provide excused absences for “travel on university-sanctioned business” and “up to two excused absences per semester for religious observances” when seven days notice is given. The instructor will announce exam times with at least ten days notice. This will allow the instructor to reschedule exams to avoid excused absences.
Providing the instructor with a list of planned university-sanctioned absences at the beginning of the course does not constitute adequate notice.
Students will complete near-weekly assignments to be turned in at class or submitted via the UNC Asheville moodle system.
Some homework assignments will require classroom presentations.
Students are required to cite any sources, including the work or advice of other students, used in completing their assignments. This rule implies that students must submit the names of any students with whom they have discussed a homework assignment. If this is not done, no credit will be given for the homework. Intensive use of other sources can result in adjustments to the homework grade.
All homework has a specific due time. Any late homework must be submitted to the late assignment bin as discussed in the policy on late assignments.
In general, the lab grade is based on participation and graded on a 10-point scale.
- Students who complete all the objectives of the lab receive a grade of 9, the boundary grade between an A and B.
- Students who sparkle and inspire will receive 10, the A+++.
- Students who don’t read lab instructions will receive a grade not far from 7.
- Students who TXT constantly during the lab will be lucky to receive a 4.
- Students who TXT each other during the lab will receive a 2.
The following numerical scale will be used in assigning grades based on Score, the score computed using the weights described above.
|Score ≥ 93||A|
|Score ≥ 90 & Score < 93||A-|
|Score ≥ 87 & Score < 90||B+|
|Score ≥ 83 & Score < 87||B|
|Score ≥ 80 & Score < 83||B-|
|Score ≥ 77 & Score < 80||C+|
|Score ≥ 73 & Score < 77||C|
|Score ≥ 70 & Score < 73||C-|
|Score ≥ 67 & Score < 70||D+|
|Score ≥ 60 & Score < 67||D|
|Score < 60||F|
The classroom is a place where students and faculty behave professionally. We are polite and attentive. We avoid talk of politics and religion. We do not use offensive language.
We all try to come to class on time. If students are late, they sit near the door. (A late instructor still must come to the front of the room.)
Electronics in the classroom
You are welcome to use your electronic devices to take notes. However, you should read the article Why students using laptops learn less in class even when they really are taking notes from the Washington Post before you give up on handwritten notes.
Electronic devices should not be used for gaming and social media during class. This distracts others in the class.
Sometimes you may need to discretely respond to a TXT message received during class. In these cases, it usually is best to leave the room. Do not use TXT messages to communicate to others in class. That is very impolite.
Some class activities, such as exams and labs, generate grades. You will receive a grade of 0 for those activities you miss. If you have an authorized excuse, you will be given an opportunity for a make-up.
Some class periods will be dedicated to student presentations. You are expected to attend all presentations by your fellow students. If you do not, your grade for own presentation will be adjusted.
It is never proper to claim another’s work as your own in graded work.
There are several impermissible actions that will result in the imposition of course or university sanctions. Impermissible actions in homework assignments include the following:
- Copying any portion of another student’s work by any method.
- Allowing another student to copy your work by any method.
- Incorporating program code, images, circuit diagrams, etc. into your homework solution that you did not create without citing the source.
Impermissible actions on exams include the following:
- Use of any unauthorized devices or sources of information.
- Giving and receiving information to another student by any method.
Sometimes these rules may be modified or clarified for specific assignments and exams. For example, ”pair“ programming may be allowed for an assignment, or simple scientific calculators may be allowed during an exam.
Course sanctions for impermissible actions
The first offense will result in a grade of 0 for the related assignment or exam. The second offense will result in a grade of F for the course.
University policy on academic misconduct
The UNC Asheville Student Handbook has a section devoted to Academic Misconduct. It states the following:
A student accused of academic dishonesty should talk with his or her instructor. In all situations where a student has been disciplined for plagiarism or cheating, the instructor is to submit to the VCAA a brief statement of the case; the student is to receive a copy of this document. Depending upon the severity and/or repetition of the offense, the VCAA may choose to impose a penalty of cancellation of graduation with honors; cancellation of scholarships; dismissal from the university; or any other penalty which he or she deems logical and deserved. A student has 10 class days to respond to this document, in writing; this response is to be sent to the VCAA for attachment to the document submitted by the instructor.
In practice, students who have been involved in academic misconduct in three courses will be suspended for a semester. However a single significant offense, such as the submission of a plagiarized paper in entirety, can result in immediate dismissal.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Statement from the Office of Academic Accessibility
University of North Carolina at Asheville is committed to making courses, programs and activities accessible to persons with documented disabilities. Students requiring reasonable accommodations must register with the Office of Academic Accessibility by providing supporting documentation. All information provided will remain confidential. For more information please contact the Office of Academic Accessibility at (828)232-5050 or email@example.com or visit them in the OneStop Student Services Center.
Specific clarifications for CSCI 107
Students who have been approved for extended time for exams by the Office of Academic Accessibility must have their exams administered by the Office of Academic Accessibility and must take their exams at a time overlapping the scheduled in-class exam.
Information protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act should only be sent to official university email addresses. Information related to recorded grades is clearly protected, as is any discussion that would allow a reader to draw conclusions about your performance or attendance in class.
Email sent to me, even if it does not involve the use of state-maintained computers, may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law and, as such, may be disclosed to third parties.
For more information and help
I have office hours from 3:15 to 4:15 PM on Tuesday and Thursday. The best way to get in touch with me quickly is to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I get lots of email, so please include CSCI 107 in the subject line.