Introductory Courses

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 page 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 2021

CSC-105-01 – Assistive/Accessible Technologies (with Dr. Paula Gabbert)
MWF @ 10:20 a.m., Lab R @ 3:00

This course surveys topics in computer science through the lens of persons with disabilities. Technology can both hinder and assist disabilities and this course will explore both perspectives while investigating the core concepts of computing including computer architecture, operating systems, data storage, networks, algorithms, and software development. Specific assistive technologies will be demonstrated during hands-on lab activities. The course is multidisciplinary, introducing key legal guidelines for accessible technology, social issues related to community and exclusion resulting from inaccessible technology, and global issues surrounding accessible technologies.

CSC-105-02 – The Making and Breaking of Ciphers (with Dr. Ken Abernethy)
TR @ 11:30 a.m., Lab M @ 3:00

Ciphers and secret codes have fascinated and intrigued humans for many centuries, and have had important impacts in our history from the simple ciphers used to deliver secret messages during Greek and Roman times, to the crucial role breaking the German Enigma machine had in World War II,  to the latest ciphers that enable e-commerce over the Internet.

This course explores cryptography, the art and science of enciphering and deciphering messages using secret codes and ciphers, and the important role of computer software in devising and breaking modern ciphers. Utilizing a simple programming language, students will create programs for algorithms that implement several historically important ciphers, and devise corresponding computer programs that break these ciphers.

CSC-105-03 – Information Security for Future Leaders (with Prof. Bryan Catron)
MWF @ 11:30 a.m., Lab W @ 3:00

This course takes a broad overview on issues related to security in today’s society.  The course will explore important concepts and ideas necessary for all “digital citizens” including encryption, social engineering, networking, as well as defense strategies.

SPRING 2022

CSC-105-01 – Assistive/Accessible Technologies (with Dr. Paula Gabbert)
MWF @ 9:30 a.m., Lab R @ 2:30

This course surveys topics in computer science through the lens of persons with disabilities. Technology can both hinder and assist disabilities and this course will explore both perspectives while investigating the core concepts of computing including computer architecture, operating systems, data storage, networks, algorithms, and software development. Specific assistive technologies will be demonstrated during hands-on lab activities. The course is multidisciplinary, introducing key legal guidelines for accessible technology, social issues related to community and exclusion resulting from inaccessible technology, and global issues surrounding accessible technologies.

CSC-105-02 – Secret Communication (with Dr. Chris Healy)
MWF @ 10:30 a.m., Lab M @ 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.