| Formal Description |
(.dvi format / postscript / pdf format )
| Schedule |
( .dvi format / postscript / pdf format )
This tutorial provides a balanced perspective of computing, including discussions of several areas of contemporary computing research and considerations of both theoretical and practical applications of computers and technology. A formal description of this tutorial is available in dvi, postscript, and pdf formats.
While some details are expected to evolve through the semester, a tentative schedule for this course and statements of the various paper assignments are available via links from this page. Students should check these course pages regularly for updated information.
This tutorial will consider three promising areas of current research in computer science: artificial intelligence (especially expert systems and neural networks), parallel algorithms, and distributed computing (including the World Wide Web). Each of these research areas provides perspectives on problem-solving, and this tutorial will explore each of these perspectives in some detail. Artificial intelligence studies both how the human mind might function and approaches for solving problems often associated with intelligent decision making; parallel algorithms involve problem-solving approaches which take advantage of multiple processors; and distributed computing utilizes networks of machines for the storage and processing of data. For each of these topics, discussion will cover basic concepts, sample applications, and directions of current research. In addition, the tutorial will identify factors that limit how computers may be used. Results from the theory of computation show that some problems are inherently not solvable, while practical considerations restrict the nature of the solutions that may be found for other problems.
Study of each theme will include consideration of basic concepts and approaches, directions of current research, and, whenever possible, some first hand experiences. In addition, the following goals are common to all tutorials:
Henry M. Walker
Office: Science 2420
Telephone: extension 4208
Office hours are posted weekly on the bulletin board outside my office.
Additional hours can be scheduled by appointment.
If you wish, you may reserve a half hour meeting by signing up on the weekly schedule.
Jack Copeland, Artificial Intelligence: A Philosophical Introduction, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford England and Cambridge MA, 1993.
Toby Fulwiler and Alan R. Hayakawa, The College Writer's Reference, Third Edition, Prentice Hall, 2002. Henry M. Walker, The Limits of Computing, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Boston MA, 1994.
In addition, numerous articles and references will be assigned. In most cases, these will be distributed in class or available at Burling Library's Reserve Desk.
The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from August 30 through October 18 and from October 30 through December 13. Depending on the plans for a particular day, the class will begin at 8:00 or 8:30 am; all classes will finish by 10:00 am.
While the schedule for this course may evolve somewhat, a Tentative Class Schedule is available in dvi, postscript, and pdf formats.
Also, if you are logged into the departmental network and want a copy printed, click duerer to have a copy printed on the printer duerer, and click pacioli to have a copy printed on the printer pacioli .
Course work will involve a combination of the following activities.
To expand on the use of this third copy, Grinnell College develops portfolios of student work spanning all four years of college, as part of efforts related to its periodic re-accreditation. The idea is to compare papers written the first year with those written during the senior year to determine something of the education that has resulted from study at Grinnell College. To support this work, the College collects some papers of tutorial students, so that this material can be compared with work done later on. Any such comparisons do not affect one's grades or academic progress in any way. Further, no names involved in any comparisons are identified or released in any way to anyone outside of Grinnell College.
In addition to general computer accounts which are assigned when they students register at the College, all students in this class will receive accounts on the departmental Linux computers. Some class activities will involve the use of these departmental machines.
The final grade in this course will be based on both the quality of the submitted papers and the student's participation in class discussions.
Note: I would be very happy to discuss any part of the course with anyone at any mutually convenient time. Do not hesitate to ask questions or to make comments.
This document is available on the World Wide Web as
created August 12, 1997|
last revised Setpember 17, 2001
|For more information, please contact Henry M. Walker at (firstname.lastname@example.org)|