Information for computer science classes at Perimeter College at Georgia State University
Introduction to Computing
History of Computing
An outline of the history of computing from 3000 B.C. to present. Shows dates and important events, with hyperlinks to additional information on the World Wide Web.
Portable Apps List
How to set up and use portable applications programs to run independently from a USB drive, including lists of required/recommended programs to install.
Portable Apps, a suite of software tools that run from a USB drive without the need for installation on a computer.
Algorithm: Informally, an ordered sequence of instructions that is guaranteed to solve a problem; formally, a well ordered collection of unambiguous and effectively computable operations that, when executed, produces a result and halts in a finite amount of time.
Analytic Engine: A machine designed by Charles Babbage in the 1830s. Many consider it to be the first computer, although he never completed it.
Computer science: The study of algorithms, including their mathematical properties, hardware and linguistic realizations, and their applications.
Computing agent: The entity (machine, robot, person, or thing) that executes the steps of an algorithm.
Conditional operations: Algorithmic operations that ask a question and select the next step based on the answer to that question.
Difference Engine: A mechanical calculator that could do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to six significant digits and could solve polynomial equations and other complex mathematical problems as well.
Effectively computable: There exists a method for actually carrying out the intent of the operation.
ENIAC: The first fully electronic general-purpose programmable computer, completed in 1946; it contained 18,000 vacuum tubes and nearly filled a building.
High-level programming language: A programming language that uses both natural language constructs and mathematical notation.
Infinite loop: The repetitive execution of a block of operations that will never end. This is a fatal error when it occurs in an algorithm.
Iterative operations: Algorithmic operations that repeat a block of instructions.
Luddites: People who fear and are opposed to the use of new technologies.
Microcomputer: Desktop computer that uses integrated circuit technology, developed in the mid-1970s, smaller than a minicomputer.
Minicomputer: Smaller than mainframe computer, less expensive, developed in the mid-1960s.
Primitive: When an operation is unambiguous for the agent carrying out the algorithm.
Sequential operation: An algorithmic operation that carries out a single task and then moves on to the next operation in sequence.
Stored program computer: A model of computation in which the instructions to be executed are represented as binary strings and stored in the memory of the computer.
Unambiguous operation: An operation is unambiguous if it can be understood by the computing agent without having to be further defined or simplified.
Virtual machine (virtual environment): The computer system as perceived by the user as opposed to the hardware that actually exists; the set of services and resources created by the software and seen by the user.
Von Neumann architecture: The computational model designed by John Von Neumann and first implemented in the EDSAC computer of 1947; the structure and organization of virtually all modern computers.
Well-ordered collection: Upon completion of an operation we always know which operation to do next.