CSC-105: Introductory Computer Science at Furman

At Furman, every student’s ability to find, manipulate, analyze and produce information using a variety of sophisticated problem-solving techniques and computing technologies is a high priority. You have several options for initiating such a study – through different themes of the course CSC-105: Introduction to Computer Science. Each section of the course applies fundamental principles of computing to a different real world problem. This document gives a brief overview of the themes for upcoming offerings of CSC-105. For more information, consult the Furman University Catalogue or contact the Department of Computer Science at 294-2097.

FALL 2014
CSC-105-01 – Business Analytics and Data Mining (with Prof. Peggy Batchelor) TR @ 8:30, Lab R @ 2:30
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to business analytics and data mining. Together these comprise business intelligence (BI) which refers to the use of the computer to analyze and visualize complex information for use in business planning and decision making. We will explore the analysis of new kinds of data such as social media, machine sensing and clickstream. In addition we will discuss how organizations use advanced analytics such as sentiment analysis, among other techniques to better understand their customers and products.

CSC-105-02 – The Power of Words (with Dr. Tom Allen) – MWF @ 10:30 a.m., Lab Wednesday @ 2:30

The written word is humanity's first and greatest information technology. Today, however, we are flooded with an overwhelming amount of information -- including textual. Fortunately, text and other symbol systems have properties that make them ideally suited for computer processing.
The course explores how humans and computers can exploit their unique talents and abilities to work together to solve a variety of problems involving text. Applications include intelligent searching, filtering structured information from unstructured text, building concordances, data compression, and cryptography.

CSC-105-03 – Social Media (with Dr. Kevin Treu) MWF @ 9:30, Lab T @ 2:30

There is almost no corner of modern society that social media has failed to reach. Tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and many others have re-defined and greatly transformed our idea of "place", and our very idea of social interactions.
This course goes behind the scenes of social media technology to explore how they are designed and implemented, with a close study of the algorithmic processes that make them work. It additionally delves into the history of such technology, and the societal implications.


CSC-105-01 – Secret Communication (with Dr. Chris Healy)
MWF @ 8:30 a.m., Lab T @ 2:30

For centuries, people have sought ways to keep their messages hidden or unreadable by eavesdroppers. We will study the various means by which many state secrets, war plans, and credit card numbers have been encrypted. Today, communication is automated by computer and information technology. To understand how secret communications work, we will delve into how information itself such as text is represented inside the computer. Then, we will discover how this digital information can be manipulated into different forms. Along the way, we will learn basic problem solving techniques on the computer.

CSC-105-02 – Introduction to Computer Science through Bioinformatics (with Dr. Andrea Tartaro and Dr. Renee Chosed) – TR @ 1 p.m., Lab R @ 2:30

Can Computer Science be used to help solve complex biological problems? Absolutely! This course will introduce you to the Computer Science discipline while you use bioinformatics tools and molecular biology techniques to represent and analyze genetic data. Specifically, we will analyze the evolution of various breeds of dogs, even your dog! This is a hands-on course, with time in the biology lab and the computer lab. You will learn some fundamentals of genetics and molecular biology as well as broad topics in computer science related to solving biological problems. Students with and without experience in Biology are welcome!

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