ECS 015: Introduction to Computers

ECS 015
Introduction to Computers
Effective Term
2013 Fall Quarter
Learning Activities
Lecture - 3.0 hours
Laboratory - 3.0 hours
Computer uses in modern society. Emphasis on uses in non-scientific disciplines. Includes word processing, spreadsheets, web-page creation, elementary programming, basic computer organization, the Internet, the uses of computers and their influence on society. Not intended for Computer Science or Computer Science & Engineering majors. Only 2 units of credit allowed to students who have completed PLS 021; not open for credit to students who have completed ECS 030. GE Prior to Fall 2011: SciEng, Wrt. GE: SE, QL, WE.
Credit Limitation
Only 2 units of credit allowed to students who have completed PLS 021; not open for credit to students who have completed ECS 030.
  1. Introduction and Course Overview
  2. Computers
    1. Hardware
    2. Software
    3. Computer Operating Systems
    4. Principles of computer operation
    5. Auxiliary storage systems
    6. Applications
    7. History of computers
  3. Internet
    1. Applications
    2. TCP/IP
    3. Network security
  4. Programming Computers
    1. Computer programs
    2. Program design
    3. Interactive programming
    4. Developing and testing programs
  5. Computer Effects on Society
  6. Ethical Issues Affecting Computer Uses

Students have written assignments involving (1) Interacting with Personal Computers; E-mail, Network Utilities; (2) Word processing (1 exercise); (3) Spreadsheet operations (2 exercises); (4) Designing a web page (1 exercise); and (5) Programming (4 exercises). Students write a term paper on the use of computers in a field of interest to them. This paper will go through several iterations, including submission of a prospectus that defines the topic as well as the thesis, a progress report, a complete draft of the final paper, and the final revised paper.

Illustrative reading

  • M. Dawson. Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner, 2nd edition. Thomson Course Technology PTR, 2006.
  • Selected review papers and technical papers and class notes will be used. A primer on Python is provided.

Science & Engineering
Scientific Literacy

ABET Category Content
Engineering Science: 0 unit
Engineering Design: 0 unit

To prepare non-science majors to take advantage of computers in their respective majors by understanding their uses, limitations, and potential.

Program Outcomes
This course is for non-majors.

ECS 15 overlaps with PLS 21 in the introduction to microcomputers and basic office tools. ECS 15 covers a significant amount of material on the computer networks and basic programming skills, which are not included in PLS 21.


Course Category