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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: CISS 176
Course Title: Introduction to Computer Science
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

This course provides a broad overview of computer science. It is designed to provide students with an appreciation for and an understanding of the many different aspects of computer science. G.E.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Fall and Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Invitation to Computer Science, Course Technology
By M. Schneider and J.L. Gersting
Course Objectives
  • To understand central concepts in computer science.
  • To provide an introduction to algorithms.
  • To provide an overview of the hardware architecture of a computer.
  • To provide an overview of the computer network.
  • To understand the issues in information security.
  • To provide an introduction to high level language programming and compilers.
  • To provide an introduction to computational models.
  • To understand societal issues in computing.
Measurable Learning
  • Execute basic algorithms.
  • Design basic algorithms.
  • Compare efficiency of basic algorithms.
  • Compute with binary numbers.
  • Compute outputs of logic networks.
  • Design basic logic networks.
  • Explain the von Neumann architecture.
  • Explain the role of system software.
  • Explain communication protocols at various layers in a computer network.
  • Encrypt and decrypt using various simple ciphers.
  • Explain various forms of malware.
  • Explain the role of encryption in information security.
  • Write basic programs in a high level language.
  • Explain the role of a compiler in language transition.
  • Compute with Turing machines.
  • Design Turing machines.
  • Explain the relationship between Turing machines and algorithms.
  • Explain the benefits of using a relational database for data storage.
  • Design a basic relational database.
  • Write basic SQL statements.
  • Represent knowledge.
  • Perform knowledge inference.
  • Compute with artificial neural networks.
  • Explain various AI search algorithms.
  • Describe and explain how math is used in computer graphics.
  • Make well-informed and well-reasoned decisions in societal issues related to computer science.
Topical Outline:
  • Algorithms
  • Binary numbers and boolean logic
  • Computer system organization
  • System software and virtual machines
  • Computer networks, the internet and the world wide web
  • Information security
  • High-level language programming
  • Compilers
  • Models of computation
  • Simulation and modeling
  • Databases
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer graphics
  • Societal issues in computing

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Yihsiang Liow Date: October 18, 2011
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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