Computer appreciation class highlights technology’s impact on daily life

Students across majors can learn how computer scientists think and create

Ever wonder how everyday technology works? Your phone? Gaming systems? Search? 

A new University of Cincinnati course offered this fall, ‘CS-CA1001: Computer Appreciation: Thinking and Creating Like a Computer Scientist,’ is designed to give students of all majors an introduction into the field of computer science. The goal of the course is to demystify various aspects of computer science, including how computing machines are harnessed to solve problems in game playing, discover information, and control simple robots. The course will also cover the implications of computing technologies on safety, security, and ethics.

Throughout the course, students will also develop an appreciation of how computer scientists approach their work, the tools they use and the way they think while working to solve issues and create innovative solutions. 

John Gallagher headshot

John Gallagher

John Gallagher, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science, created the class with the hope of offering students of any major a greater understanding of how the technology they use impacts the actions and outcomes of everyday life.

“Technology is everywhere and touches all of us. We make personal decisions and decisions in our workplace all the time in which technology impinges on us. I think having an understanding of what the technologies are doing and what they are capable of can better inform those decisions,” Gallagher said.

“I want to make sure when students walk out of the class, they will be able to have meaningful discussions on how things work, why they work and why they might fail, and to have some appreciation of how an engineer or computer scientist sits down and reasons through a problem and turns that into a computational machine that offers a solution,” he said.

The Computer Appreciation course was created with support from a generous gift to UC from College of Engineering and Applied Science alumnus Jim Goetz, with a goal to grow students’ computing knowledge across colleges. The gift also supported the expansion of the computer science program at UC with a newly established Department of Computer Science and provided scholarship support at UC, including the creation of the Marian Spencer Scholars Program

Enrolled students can find the full course description on Catalyst. For questions, email Prof. John Gallagher

Featured image at top: Two people working on laptops. Photo/Unsplash.

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