Professor of Computer Science
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
CSCI 0101 - The Computing Age
The Computing Age
In this course we will provide a broad introductory overview of the discipline of computer science, with no prerequisites or assumed prior knowledge of computers or programming. A significant component of the course is an introduction to algorithmic concepts and to programming using Python; programming assignments will explore algorithmic strategies such as selection, iteration, divide-and-conquer, and recursion, as well as introducing the Python programming language. Additional topics will include: the structure and organization of computers, the Internet and World Wide Web, abstraction as a means of managing complexity, social and ethical computing issues, and the question "What is computation?" 3 hr. lect./lab
CSCI 0190 - Computer Models & Simulation ▲
Computer Models and Multi-Agent Simulation
In this course we will explore agent-based computer models and simulations as a means of studying phenomena from both biological and social sciences. Agent-based simulation will then be used as a basis for introducing individual-based modeling and complex adaptive systems. A significant amount of time will be spent teaching the NetLogo programming language as a software tool for developing simulations. We will also introduce some of the important topics in the discipline of computer science, including algorithmic reasoning and data abstraction. No prior experience in programming is assumed. This course counts as an environmental studies lab science cognate. 3 hrs. lect./lab
Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2013
CSCI 0200 - Math Foundations of Computing ▹
Mathematical Foundations of Computing
In this course we will provide an introduction to the mathematical foundations of computer science, with an emphasis on formal reasoning. Topics will include propositional and predicate logic, sets, functions, and relations; basic number theory; mathematical induction and other proof methods; combinatorics, probability, and recurrence relations; graph theory; and models of computation. (One CSCI course at the 0100-level previously or concurrently; formerly CSCI 0102) 3 hrs. lect./lab
CSCI 0201 - Data Structures
In this course we will study the ideas and structures helpful in designing algorithms and writing programs for solving large, complex problems. The Java programming language and object-oriented paradigm are introduced in the context of important abstract data types (ADTs) such as stacks, queues, trees, and graphs. We will study efficient implementations of these ADTs, and learn classic algorithms to manipulate these structures for tasks such as sorting and searching. Prior programming experience is expected, but prior familiarity with the Java programming language is not assumed. (One CSCI course at the 0100-level) 3 hrs. lect./lab
CSCI 0301 - Theory of Computation ▲
Theory of Computation
This course explores the nature of computation and what it means to compute. We study important models of computation (finite automata, push-down automata, and Turing machines) and investigate their fundamental computational power. We examine various problems and try to determine the computational power needed to solve them. Topics include deterministic versus non-deterministic computation, and a theoretical basis for the study of NP-completeness. (CSCI 0200 and CSCI 0201) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
CSCI 0302 - Algorithms and Complexity ▹
Algorithms and Complexity
This course focuses on the development of correct and efficient algorithmic solutions to computational problems, and on the underlying data structures to support these algorithms. Topics include computational complexity, analysis of algorithms, proof of algorithm correctness, advanced data structures such as balanced search trees, and also important algorithmic techniques including greedy and dynamic programming. The course complements the treatment of NP-completeness in CSCI 0301. (CSCI 0200 and CSCI 0201) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2014
CSCI 0500 - Advanced Study ▲ ▹
Individual study for qualified students in more advanced topics in computer science theory, systems, or application areas. Particularly suited for students who enter with advanced standing. (Approval required) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014
CSCI 0702 - Senior Seminar
Each student will complete a major capstone project in this course. This project can take the form of either (1) a thesis on a topic chosen with the advice of a faculty member, or (2) a group programming project approved by the computer science faculty. All students will present their work at the end of the semester. In addition, during the academic year, all seniors are expected to attend a series of lectures designed to introduce and integrate ideas of computer science not covered in other coursework. 3 hrs. lect./disc
ENVS 0500 - Independent Study ▹
A one- or two-semester research project on a topic that relates to the relationship between humans and the environment. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty member with related expertise, must involve a significant amount of independent research and analysis. Students may enroll in ENVS 0500 no more than twice for a given project. (Approval only)
Winter 2010, Winter 2011, Winter 2012, Winter 2013, Winter 2014
FYSE 1302 - C.S. Lewis Phil/Imagination
C.S. Lewis: Ecology, Philosophy, and Imagination
In this seminar we will explore the writings of C.S. Lewis, with an eye to how important philosophical and theological ideas evident in his non-fiction essays and books find expression in his major works of fantastic fiction - The Chronicles of Narnia and the Ransom Trilogy. Particular emphasis will be given to the implications of his view of nature and ecology. We will focus on Lewis’s own writing, especially his fantasy novels, but will also read a small selection of writing about Lewis, such as Alan Jacobs’ The Narnian.
FYSE 1363 - Humans, Computers, & Souls
Humans, Computers, and Souls
In this seminar we will contrast two philosophies of human nature, known as physicalism and integrative dualism. The physicalist view, represented by noted figures such as philosopher Daniel Dennett and biologist Richard Dawkins, understands humans as complex biochemical computers whose minds are reducible to physical brains. A competing view, referred to by philosopher Charles Taliafero as “integrative dualism”, sees humans as both spiritual and physical beings. We will touch on philosophy of computation, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of soul, with readings from Dennett, Dawkins, Taliafero, and also Raymond Kurzweil, C.S.Lewis, and others. 3 hrs. sem.
INTD 1059 - Tolkien's Middle-Earth
Exploring Tolkien's Middle-Earth
In a long letter to his publisher describing his Middle-earth writings, J.R.R.Tolkien once wrote, “I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fair-story—the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backclothes.” In this course we will explore how Tolkien achieved this, looking at the ideas and relationships running between his romantic fairy-story (The Hobbit), his heroic romance (The Lord of the Rings), and his cosmogonic myth (The Silmarillion).
WRPR 0204 - Writing on Nature and Ecology