Unit 1: Human Computer Interaction

Students are introduced to the major components of the computer, including: input, output, memory, storage, processing, software, and the operating system. Students consider how Internet elements (e.g. email, chat, WWW) are organized, engage in effective searching, and focus on productive use of email. Fundamental notions of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and ergonomics are introduced. Students learn that “intelligent” machine behavior is not “magic” but is based on algorithms applied to useful representations of information. Students learn the characteristics that make certain tasks easy or difficult for computers, and how these differ from those that humans characteristically find easy or difficult. Students gain an appreciation for the many ways (types of use) in which computers have had an impact across the range of human activity, as well as for the many different fields in which they are used. Examples illustrate the broad, interdisciplinary utility of computers and algorithmic problem solving in the modern world.


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