INFO-T 100
The World of Computing
Fall 2020

Esfandiar Haghverdi
Luddy Hall 3154
Office Hours: By appointment only.


11:30 am - 12:45 pm, Online



Daily schedule

Description: In this course we will study some important algorithms that have become an integral and crucial part of our daily lives, such as PageRank and Public Key Cryptography. Systematic approaches to problem solving will be thoroughly covered using examples from mathematics, and computer science. The course also covers essential college survival skills required to make a smooth and successful transition from high school to college. You will learn strategies: 1) to define and achieve your academic, personal, and professional goals, and 2) to attain academic excellence throughout your college career.

Curiosity and diligence.

Learning Outcomes:

  • the ability to solve problems;
  • analytical and/or quantitative skills;
  • the ability to apply Polya's method to solve problems;
  • the ability to provide a suitable model to solve a problem;
  • the ability to clearly identify what a given problem is asking for and what data are provided that might lead towards a solution;
  • the ability to plan and execute a solution strategy based on a chosen model.

Topics covered:

  • Four phases of problem solving
  • Logic
  • Search engine indexing
  • PageRank algorithm
  • Public Key Cryptography
  • Pattern recognition
  • Understanding how to use the degree maps, AAR, Planner, etc.
  • Health and well-being; adjusting to the college environment
  • Identifying and using campus resources
  • Communicating with faculty

Required Textbooks:

  1. 9 algorithms that changed the future, John MacCormick, Princeton University Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-691-14714-7.
  2. How to solve it, second edition, George Polya, Ishi Press International, 2009.
    • Attendance: 10%
    • Homework assignments: 45%
    • Each homework will consist of the following parts:
      1. Regular problems: A set of problems chosen from several sources including the textbooks above.
      2. Reading assignment from the textbook or other handouts.
    • Solutions must be written LEGIBLY.
    • It is encouraged to discuss the problem sets with others, but everyone needs to turn in a unique personal write-up.
    • A list of projects will be posted on Canvas site for the course, at the end of this page.
    • Final project: 45%.
    • Final project will be due on the last day of class.

    Ground rules:

    • I strongly advise you to attend all the classes and take good notes.
    • Late homework will NOT be accepted. However, the lowest homework grade will be dropped.
    • The final grade will be calculated according to the evaluation scheme given above and these grades will then be curved to determine your letter grades. However if you get less that 25/100 on the final project or your total grade is less than 45/100 your final grade will automatically be an F.
    • NO Incomplete grades will be given under any condition.
    • NO extra work, extra credit or anything outside the regular homeworks and projects will be assigned. Please plan your study strategy during the term accordingly.
    • Grading mistakes:
      If during the semester you feel there has been a mistake made in your grading by the AIs, please contact them first. If after meeting with the AIs you still feel there is a problem with the marking, please contact me.
    • Collaborative work:
      One of the best ways to learn new material is to collaborate in groups. You may discuss the homework problems with your classmates, and in this way make the learning process more enjoyable. However, the homework you hand in must be your own work, in your own words and your own explanation.
    • Here is the link to The Code of Student Conduct.