Balanced Introduction to Computer Science, A

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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This carefully written, balanced book teaches the most important concepts in computing and computer science while providing enough programming depth to enable understanding about how people work with computers. Taking advantage of today's interest in and familiarity with the Web, the book contains experimental problems using Web-based tools; enabling readers to learn the fundamentals of programming by developing their own interactive Web pages. Beginning with an introduction, overview, and the basics of computers, the book proceeds with comprehensive chapters on HTML and Web pages, the Internet, JavaScript and Web page creation, the history of computers, abstraction and user-defined functions, algorithms and programming languages, event-driven programming, conditional execution, data representation, conditional repetition, JavaScript strings, and transistors and integrated circuits. This book can serve as an excellent reference resource for those entering the computer job market: programmers, Web site and Web page designers, and technical support staff.

Author Biography

David Reed is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Overview
Computer Basics
HTML and Web Pages
The Internet and the World Wide Web
JavaScript and Dynamic Web Pages
JavaScript Numbers and Expressions
The History of Computers
Abstraction and User-Defined Functions
Algorithms and Programming Languages
Event-Driven Programming
Computer Science as a Discipline
Conditional Execution
Data Representation
Conditional Repetition
Inside the Computer
The von Neumann Architecture
JavaScript Strings
Inside the Computer
Transistors and Integrated Circuits
JavaScript Arrays
Computers and Society
HTML Reference
JavaScript Reference
Browser Basics
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Welcome toA Balanced Introduction to Computer Science.There are a number of reasons why you might be reading this text. Perhaps you have had limited experience with computers and would like to know more about how they work and how to control them. Or perhaps you recognize the marketability of programming and computer literacy, and would like to expand your skills for the future job market. Or perhaps you are just curious about the World Wide Web and want to know what all the hype is really about. In any case, you are embarking on what I hope will be an exciting, challenging, and rewarding experience. Balancing Breadth and Depth This text is different from most introductory computing texts in that it attempts to maintain a balance between computing breadth and programming depth. Traditionally, introductory texts have focused almost exclusively on one approach or the other. Breadth-based texts have emphasized a broad understanding of computers and computer science. By surveying a wide range of topics such as computer organization, graphics, networking, and technology in society, the intent is for students to experience the breadth of the field and develop a perspective to later understand and appreciate the role of technology in their lives. Alternatively, depth-based texts have focused more deeply on the role of programming in computing. The discipline of programming not only develops problem-solving skills, but also is central to many areas of computer science and thus important to appreciating their significance. While each of these approaches has merit, there are potential weaknesses to either extreme. A breadth-based survey of computing can be too superficial, presenting a broad perspective to students who lack the context or experience to fully comprehend it. And while programming depth can provide experience with many computing concepts, developing proficiency as a programmer and problem-solver requires extensive hands-on experience (especially when learning a complex language such as C++ or Java), and may not be directly relevant to all students. The approach taken by this text is to balance breadth and depth. Chapters are included on concepts and issues in computing that are most relevant to the beginning student, including computer terminology, the Internet and World Wide Web, the history of computing, the organization and manufacture of computer technology, and technology's impact on society. Mixed among these breadth topics are chapters that introduce fundamental programming concepts and skills in a hands-on, tutorial format. Using the programming language JavaScript, students will develop skills in designing and implementing interactive Web pages. JavaScript's simplicity, natural interfaces, and seamless integration with the Web make it possible for novices to develop interesting and engaging programs quickly. In addition, JavaScript is always available (for free!) for anyone with a Web browser, making it easy to apply programming skills learned from this text to everyday problems. In striking a balance between breadth and depth, the intent of this text is not to be a complete and exhaustive survey of computing or a reference on JavaScript. Breadth chapters focus on key ideas and concepts that are relevant to beginning students as they attempt to understand computing technology and the field of computer science. Likewise, programming chapters focus on JavaScript features that demonstrate fundamental programming concepts while also allowing for interesting and engaging applications. Links to other sources are provided for the interested reader, including supplemental material and exercises at the end of each programming chapter. This provides a broad perspective on computing as well as enough problem solving and programming depth to appreciate the significance of computer science. Text Goals There are three main goals to this text and its accompanying resources.

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