Course Syllabus
Introduction to Computers and Software
Summer, 2000

Course Information

Instructor:Rich Maclin
Office:319 Heller Hall
Office Hours:13:00-14:00 MTWRF and by appointment
Teaching Assistant:Hariprasad Bommaganti (Hari)
Office:330 Heller Hall
Office Hours:12:00-13:00 MTWRF and by appointment
Texts:Shelly, Cashman and Vermaat, Discovering Computers 2000: Concepts for a Connected World, Course Technology
Parsons et al., New Perspectives on Microsoft Office 97 Professional: Millenium Edition, Course Technology
Lecture:8:15 am - 9:55 am MTWRF, HH 302
Lab:10:00 am - 11:40 am MTWRF


1 year of high school algebra, Comp 1110 or 1120 or approval of instructor.

Bulletin Description:

Introduction to computing systems. Survey of widely used software: operating systems, database systems, spreadsheets, graphics, programming languages. Brief introduction to computer hardware organization, microprocessors, networks.

Course Objectives:

General introduction to computers and computing. Experience with popular applications used on microcomputers (spreadsheets, database management systems, internet) The purpose of this course is to present a very general introduction to these software packages and to the important historical events, hardware and software advancements, persons and institutions behind today's world of computers. You probably will not be an 'expert' in any of these applications when you have finished this course, but you will have had first-hand experience with them. The primary course objective is for you to become familiar with the capabilities of these resources. It is hoped that you can later apply your knowledge, using computers profitably in your chosen field of endeavor.

Liberal Education Objectives

This course satisfies a Liberal Education requirement under Category 3 - Communication, Computer Science, and Foreign Languages. Courses in this category should develop the ability to use and analyze human and computer languages. Emphasis should be on the theory and/or development of skills in the methods of human and computer languages, and rhetoric.

Specifically, the goals and objectives of this course that contribute to this liberal education requirement are as follows: to understand the basic concepts in the field of Computer Science, to develop competency in computer-related skills, and to provide students with the skills necessary to use computer systems as an effective tool for electronic communication, knowledge acquisition, and personal productivity.

Grading Procedures

Final grades are based on total points distributed as follows:

Grades are assigned on a percentage basis.

These percentages may be lowered but will not be raised.



Lab assignments make up a significant portion of the course. Policies governing lab assignments are found on the lab policies document.

Missed Classes

You are responsible for what goes on in class, including lecture material, handouts, and turning in assignments. If you are unable to attend class it is your responsibility to obtain copies of class notes and any materials distributed in class. You may turn in copies of assignments early or have other members of the class turn in an assignment for you.

Missing the Final

The final will not be given early. The final can be made up only in the case of emergencies such as severe illness or death in the immediate family. You must contact me 24 hours in advance in order to arrange a makeup.

Due Dates

Labs: are due by the start of lab the day after they are assigned (e.g., a lab assigned on Tuesday is due at the start of lab on Wednesday). A lab may be handed in up to one day late (e.g., a lab assigned on Tuesday could be handed in at the start of lab on Thursday) with a 25\% penalty.

Homework: is due by the start of lecture the day after they are assigned (e.g., homework assigned on Friday is due at the start of lecture on Monday). Homework may NOT be handed in late.


Lab assignments and homework must be your own work. You may discuss general ideas with other students, but should not discuss actual solutions with others. If you are having problems with an assignment, please come and see me, the TA or send one of us email.

Equal Opportunity

As instructor I shall make every attempt to treat all students equally, without regard to race, religion, color, sex, handicap, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation. I encourage you to talk to me about your concerns of equal opportunity in the classroom. To inquire further about the University's policy on equal opportunity, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (6827), 255 DAdB.

Students With Disabilities

If you have any disability (either permanent or temporary) that might affect your ability to perform in this class, please inform me at the start of the quarter. I may adapt methods, materials, or testing so that you can participate equitably. To learn about the services that UMD provides to students with disabilities, contact the Access Center (8727), 104 Cina Hall, or the Office of Equal Opportunity (6827), 255 DAdB.