UNIV 103 [Computer Science]

Complete Syllabus is on Course D2L Portal

Catalog Description:

The intent of the course is to examine, identify, and comprehend computer science in a broader context than the process of programming. Students will examine seminal papers that both explore the philosophical foundations of computer science and provide an appreciation of the wide scope of the field. Along with exploring the roots of computer science, the future of the field will also be investigated so that students may comprehend the wide variety of applications and implications of computer science. The seminar format will allow students to actively discuss and investigate the material along with their classmates and professor. Students will acquire and utilize problem-solving strategies in a variety of assignments. Students will be expected to read computer science journal articles, reflect on the content, and participate in peer group and class discussions. As a community of computer science majors, working collaboratively in small groups and with their professor, the course will also support students’ transitions into the college experience as computer science majors academically, socially, and personally.

3 credit hours

Prerequisites:  a sincere interest in learning.

Course Outcomes:  Following successful completion of this course, the competent student will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast various problem-solving strategies for real-world problems
  2. Develop, critique and incrementally improve solutions to problems
  3. List and describe key contributions of computer scientists critical to the advancement of the field
  4. List and describe careers in the field of computer science
  5. Demonstrate an ability to work in teams
  6. Demonstrate an ability to synthesize the results of a group discussion on a technical topic and articulate them in written form
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical issues as they relate to the field of computer science
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of CS Department culture

Required Textbook:  None. All material/ handouts will be provided to students

Course Outline: Tentative

CSCI Topic 1: Introduction & Learning Preferences 

CSCI Topic 2: Impact of Computing/ Technology in the Changing World/ Pandemic 

Freshman Topic 1: Introduction to Department, Resources, Scholarships etc. 

CSCI Topic 3: Careers in Computing/ Technology/ Assign Groups 

CSCI Topic 4: 

Freshman Topic 2: Effective Online Research

CSCI Topic 5: HTML 

Freshman Topic 3: Interpersonal Communications and Professionalism 

CSCI Topic 6: Computational Thinking & Algorithms 

Freshman Topic 4: Success Coach

CSCI Topic 7: Software Development Life Cycle 

Freshman Topic 5: Time/ Stress Management 

CSCI Topic 8: The Networked World incl Cloud Computing & CDN 

CSCI Topic 9: Information & Ethics (Case Study: Cambridge Analytics) 

CSCI Topic 10: Security Landscape/ Data Breach and Impact 

Freshman Topic 6: Team Work 

Freshman Topic 7: Understanding the General Education Curriculum, Interpreting DARS 

Topic 11: Using Technology Effectively/ Protecting your Digital Blueprint 

Freshman Topic 8: Learning Styles and Study Habits and Exam Preparation

Freshman Topic 9/ 10: Values/ True Colors 

CSCI Topic 11: Automated Planning and Scheduling 

Freshman Topic 12: Inclusion and Equity in STEM: the advantage of greater scope in input 

CSCI Topic 12: Envisioning Intelligent Cities 

CSCI Topic 13: Data Analysis 

[Nov (3rd week) Thanksgiving Break]

Computer Scientists and their Contributions (group work/ entire semester/ webpage presentation) 


The syllabus is subject to any necessary/ unavoidable changes so be sure to check in occasionally.

All work must be submitted on the assigned date or it will not be graded – barring acceptable emergencies. Check D2L for important dates.


Exam 1:  25% Oct

Exam 2:  25% Nov

Exam 3 (Final): 25% Dec 

Group Assignment:  15%

Attendance and Participation: 10%


Final Letter Grades are based on the following weighted scale:

93 – 100:  A      90-92.9:  A-   86 – 89.9:  B+  82 – 85.9  B  79 – 81.9: B-

76 – 78.9:  C+   73 – 75.9:  C  70 – 72.9 C-

66 – 68.9:  D+   63 -65.9:  D    60 – 62.9  D-      <59.9:  Fail

Keep Up With the Work Do not wait last minute to complete labs or to study for exams

Technology Help

IT Help Desk: 717-871-7777



Desire2Learn is our course management system. On this website, you will find electronic resources related to this class, take exams, and view your grades. You can find the website at https://millersville.desire2learn.com/, and will need to log in using your Millersville credentials.

Zoom is the software through which all of our class meetings will take. You can download zoom from http://millersville.zoom.us. It is also possible to run this through your web browser without installing the client, but please download it because it will work better.

Graded Work and Academic Honesty:

The exams cover material from class lectures, assignments, and labs – and they are cumulative by nature.  There are NO make-up exams, so if you miss an exam you will receive zero credit, barring extenuating circumstances.

Copying or extensive collaboration on assignments is not permitted and may result in failure of the course and expulsion from the university. You may discuss approaches to solving a problem. However, if someone else types on your keyboard or you copy code or paragraphs from someone else or somewhere else, you are committing academic dishonesty. Finding or purchasing a solution on the Internet or elsewhere and submitting it as your own work is plagiarism and may result in expulsion from the university.

Being caught committing academic dishonesty requires a report to the Associate Provost and can have very serious consequences, including possible expulsion from the university.

It would also be an academic honesty violation to look up information or communicate with anyone about an exam or try to circumvent the systems set up to ensure that everyone has fair and equal conditions for taking exams. Consult MU’s Academic Policies for more details.

Sharing:  It is the premise in this course that students learn three different ways: (1) by attentive listening during lectures; (2) by doing things themselves; and (3) by sharing information and ideas with other students. This last item is important to the learning process, but it cannot be allowed to overshadow the importance of the other two items. Students are encouraged to share ideas and to discuss common problems. Much of this course is founded on the principle of cooperative learning, meaning that you will learn from each other, generally in a team format. You are expected to be responsible to your teammates and shoulder your fair portion of the workload. This will be enforced in two ways: (1) team members will evaluate each other’s efforts with each project, and (2) students who shirk their responsibility to the team will be removed from the team and given no credit for the team’s work.

Plagiarism:  The preceding policy should not in any way be taken as approval of the act of plagiarism. Plagiarism shall be treated as the serious offense that it is. Acts of plagiarism shall be dealt with as severely as is permissible by university policy, including possible failure in the course. Multiple acts of plagiarism may result in expulsion from the university.

Plagiarism shall be regarded as any copying, in whole or in part, of material from any source, without explicit credit to the source. In addition, any copying from another student’s assignments, past or present, shall be treated as plagiarism. All students involved in an act of plagiarism shall be treated the same as concerns this policy, including any student who knowingly allows his or her work to be copied.

Attendance:  All students are expected to regularly attend classes, be prepared for class by doing the assigned readings, and having completed any assignments. Only previously approved and university-recognized absences are excusable. Excessive (>3) unexcused absences may result in your course grade being lowered one letter grade. Contact me prior to any absence (if possible) in order to obtain clearance. In addition, all students are required to take exams during assigned times. The university attendance policy is found here:


Deadlines:  No late assignments will be accepted. If your assignment is incomplete, turn it in for possible partial credit. Programs must cleanly compile for any credit. Developing your program incrementally will assure that you always have something for which you can receive some credit.

Exams:  There are no make-up exams – if you miss a test, you will receive a zero. Exam make-ups will only be permitted due to extraordinary circumstances, and require written documentation.

Special Needs:  Anyone requiring special accommodations should contact me as soon as possible before any exams or assignments are due. Additionally, students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Office of Learning Services at 352 Lyle Hall (717-871-5554) as soon as possible to enhance the likelihood that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Title IX: Millersville University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to comply with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the University’s commitment to offering supportive measures in accordance with the new regulations issued under title IX, the University re- quires faculty members to report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator incidents of sexual violence shared by students. The only exceptions to the faculty member’s reporting obligation are when incidents of sexual violence are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a University-approved research project. Faculty members are obligated to report to the person designated in the University Protection of Minors policy incidents of sexual violence or any other abuse of a student who was, or is, a child (a person under 18 years of age) when the abuse allegedly occurred. Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence, and the resources that are available to victims of sexual violence, is set forth at www.millersville.edu/titleix

Counseling Reminder: Students sometimes face mental health or drug/alcohol challenges in their academic careers that interfere with their academic performance and goals. Millersville University is a caring community and resources are available to assist students who are dealing with problems. The Counseling Center (717-871-7821) is an important resource for both mental health and substance abuse issues. Additional resources include: Health Services (871-5250), Center for Health Education & Promotion (871-4141), Campus Ministries, and Learning Services (717-871-5554).

Email Etiquette & Professionalism Your communication reflects on you, and I expect all class communication to be professional. During Mon-Fri, I respond to email within 24 hours. Please resend your email if you do not hear back during any weekday.

Email Format

Dear Dr. Hardy [address recipient]

  1. q1
  2. q2
  3. ….


Name of student [sign off with your name]


My “4 Cents for Students” on professionalism can be found here: https://blogs.millersville.edu/nmollah/professionalism/


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