Introduction to Computing


Lecture 1


1.1. Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

Creator of the Analytical Engine - the first general-purpose digital computer (1833) The Analytical Engine was not built until 1943 (in the form of the Harvard Mark I)

1.2. The Analytical Engine

A programmable, mechanical, digital machine Could carryout any calculation Could make decisions based upon the results of the previous calculation Components: input; memory; processor; output

1.3. Ada, Countess of Lovelace(1815-52)

Babbage: the father of computing Ada: the mother? Wrote a program for computing the Bernoulli’s sequence on the Analytical Engine - world’s 1st computer program Ada: A programming language specifically designed by the US Dept of Defense for developing military applications was named Ada to honor her contributions towards computing

A lesson that we all can learn from Babbage’s Life

Charles Babbage had huge difficulties raising money to fund his research As a last resort, he designed a clever mathematical scheme along with Ada, the Countess of Lovelace It was designed to increase their odds while gambling. They bet money on horse races to raise enough money to support their research experiments Guess what happened at the end? The lost every penny that they had. Fast Bored Storage Here is a fact: In 1997 Deep Blue, a supercomputer designed by IBM, beat Gary Kasparov, the World Chess Champion That computer was exceptionally fast, did not get tired or bored. It just kept on analyzing the situation and kept on searching until it found the perfect move from its list of possible moves …

Goals for Today:

To develop an appreciation about the capabilities of computing To find about the structure & policies of this course It could analyze up to 300 billion chess moves in three minutes

1.4 Course Contents & Structure

Course Objectives
To build an appreciation for the fundamental concepts in computing To achieve a beginners proficiency in Web page development To become familiar with popular PC productivity software
Fundamental concepts

Intro to computing
Evolution of computing
Computer organization
Building a PC
Binary numbers & logic
Computer software
Operating systems
Application software
Programming languages
Development methodology
Design heuristics
Web design for usability
Computer networks
Intro to the Internet
Internet services
Graphics & animation
Intelligent systems
Data management
Cyber crime
Social implications
The computing profession
The future of computing

Web page development

Web Development

The World Wide Web
Making a Web page
Lists & tables
Interactive forms
Objective & methods
Data types & operators
Flow control & loops Arrays
Built-in functions
User-defined functions
Events handling
String manipulation
Images & graphics
Programming methodology

Productivity Applications

Word processor
Presentation software
Instructor: Altaf Khan
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Course Web Books: 1.UC - Understanding Computers (2000 ed.)
2.JS - Learn JavaScript in a Weekend

Reading Assignments

Please make sure to read the assigned material for each week before the commencement of the corresponding week Reading that material beforehand will help you greatly in absorbing with ease the matter discussed during the lecture Check your e-mail often for announcements related to this and other VU courses Marks distribution …

Assignments (15%)

Almost one every week, 13 in all
No credit for late submissions
The lowest 2 assignment grades will be dropped

Midterm Exam (35%)

During the 8th week
Duration: One hour
Will cover all material covered during the first seven weeks

Final Exam (50%)

During the 16th week
Will cover the whole of the course with a slight emphasis on the material covered after
the midterm exam
Duration: 2 hours

First Assignment

Send an email message to me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the subject “Assignment 1” giving me some information (in around 50 words) about what you see yourself doing ten years from now Go to the CS101 message board and post a message (consisting of approx. 50 words) about how we could make the contents of this course more suitable for your individual needs. The subject for this message should be “Assignment 1” Consult the CS101 syllabus for the submission deadline


A suggestion about unfamiliar terms

We try not to use any new terms without explaining them first However, it is not possible to do that all the time If you encounter any unfamiliar terms during the lectures, please note them down and consult the GLOSSARY provided at the end of the “Understanding Computers” text book for their meaning Let’s summarize the things that we have covered today? A few things about: the very first digital computer & its inventor the capability of modern computers the structure and contents of CS101 In the Next Lecture … We’ll continue the story of the evolution of digital computers form the Analytical Engine onwards. We’ll discuss many of the key inventions and developments that he lead to the shape of the current field of computing.