The Computer as an Intellectual Tool
Fall 1998

Instructor:    Prof. Janice T. Searleman
                    Science Center 375       268-2377
                    E-mail: jets@clarkson.edu

Office Hours:   Monday, Friday   10:00 am -- 12:00 pm
                      Wednesday           1:00 pm --   2:00 pm
                      and by appointment

Texts & Software:

     Internet 101: A Beginner's Guide to the Internet and the World Wide Web, by Wendy G. Lehnert, Addison-Wesley, 1998.
    Engineer's Toolkit: Microsoft Excel, Maple V, Select Edition, Addison-Wesley, 1997.
    Select Lab Series: Projects for Microsoft PowerPoint 97, by Toliver & Johnson,
         Addison-Wesle y, 1997.

The software we will be using for the course includes Netscape Communicator, Microsoft Office '97 (Word, Excel and Powerpoint), MAPLE V, and JAVA. All of this software is available on the Clarkson network.

Course Policies:

   As students in HP100 you are encouraged to learn from each other and help each other understand the course material.  Teach each other and exchange ideas, but be ethical -- don't copy or modify an assignment or project which isn't yours, or allow another student to copy your work.

   Attendance is required, and you are responsible for all material discussed in class and in the reading assignments.  Class participation is highly encouraged.

   Some assignments will be designated as team assignments; however each member of the team will be assessed individually.  ; An assignment which is not specifically stated to be a team assignment is expected to be your own work.

Course Goals:

  • To explore how the computer as a tool directs the acquisition and flow of knowledge,
  • to heighten awareness of the computer as a tool for problem-solvin g in the student's career at Clarkson and beyond, and
  • to provide information that would serve as a foundation for future computer applications
This course is intended to provide a broad understanding of computer technology and the impact of computers on our lives. Students will acquire competence in using computer tools in a hands-on, team-oriented setting, and use these tools for solving problems relevant to their major.

Course topics are subdivided into six semi-autonomous modules. For each module, teams of two to three students each will be formed. Each team is expected to complete a project for the module, and to give a presentation of their project in class. In addition, individual work will be required in some modules. Throughout the course, students will be assigned outside readings, and are expected to be prepared for class discussions.