Welcome to the Class!

Congratulations! You are making a very smart decision to take a course in computer science. Here's why:

Why Study Computer Science?

1. Studying Computer Science will make you smarter.
  • You will learn a whole new way of thinking and solving problems.
  • Computer science is challenging and will help you exercise your brain.
  • Salman Khan, of the Khan Academy:
    • Wrote an article called "The Learning Myth: Why I Will Never Tell My Son He Is Smart
    • No one is born knowing how to do anything. We get smarter as we learn.
    • "The brain is like a muscle; the more you use it, the more it grows."
    • "[N]eural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones."
    • "Our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail."
    • You can learn anything! (as long as you are prepared to try, struggle and sometimes to fail).
    • ***This is the philosophy with which I would like us to approach this class!***
Partner Activity (3 minutes)
  • With the person next to you, discuss the following question:
    • Do you think that intelligence is fixed or that you get smarter as you learn?

2. Studying Computer Science is FUN!

  • Computer science is a lot of fun if you are the type of person who enjoys creating things and solving puzzles.
  • If you don't enjoy those kinds of things now, maybe you will by the end of the class.
  • From the first day: Lots of hands on activities.
  • Every class you will be creating your own programs.

3. You Can Get a Good Job

Statistics for software engineers:

Plus, many job perks such as free snacks and food, free laundry, flexible schedules, telecommuting opportunities and more!

4. Computer Science Is Important In Any Career Path

  • Learning how to program is an important skill for any field.
  • You don't have to be a software engineer to use your programming skills.
  • Some examples, based on possible student interests:
Medical Field
  • New York Times Article by David Patterson, a CS Prof at UC Berkeley: "Computer scientists may have the best skills to fight cancer in the next decade — and they should be signing up in droves." Computer programs can sequence the genes of a patient's tumor to determine which medications will be most effective. Programmers are changing the way cancer is treated.
  • Another NYT Article, this time by Austin Frakht entitled Your New Medical Team: Algorithms and Physicians: Doctors assisted by computers can provide more accurate diagnosis of patient conditions.
Professional Sports
  • Sports statisticians using programming skills to help them analyze data about professional sports and make recommendations to coaches.
  • Software engineers at NASA program space shuttles and design algorithms for air traffic control to make flights safer.
The Environment
  • Modeling Climate Change, monitoring ecosystems, designing programs to help homes and businesses conserve energy and water.
  • National Academy of Sciences report: "Information technology and computer science hold the key to puzzling out some of the world's top sustainability challenges" (link to article for more information)
Art and Literature
  • Artists and writers can create interactive works of art and fiction using programming skills. Here is an example of interactive fiction by famous author Emily Short.
  • Important fields that combine knowledge of psychology and computer science:
  •  Human Computer Interaction (HCI) - the study, planning, design and uses of interfaces between humans and computers.
  • Cognitive Science - the interdisciplinary study of the human mind and its processes. In this field, computers are used to simulate the human brain, enhance its thinking powers or to help scientists test their theories about human thinking. Cognitive scientists often take many programming classes. (More information)
  • E-agriculture is an emerging field focused on enhancing agriculture through the use of technology. For example, designing programs to help model ways of increasing crop yields.
Video games
  • Learn how to design and program your own games!

Learning how to program will open up a lot of opportunities for you!: Video

5. Coding = Your New Super Power

Introduction to the Course

1. Roll Call 

2. The Syllabus

3. Final Exam Information

4. How to approach this class

  • This class will be unlike anything you have ever taken before!
  • Expect it to be similar in difficulty to a math class - a lot of logical thinking required!
  • Attending the class is important, but it will not be enough to pass. Instead you must be willing to work hard both inside and outside the class.
  • Do ALL your homework. If you get stuck, ask for help right away!
  • Be prepared to spend 9-12 hours a week (or more) on your homework for this class.
  • Expect to get stuck sometimes and to need to ask for help, as much of what you will be doing will be problem solving.
  • Thus, the number one tip I can give you is don't procrastinate!

5. Tips for Success

Commonalities Activity (8 minutes)
  • Since one of the most important components of this class is pair programming (which we will discuss next week), we are going to spend some time getting to know each other. The goal of this activity is for you to get to know other students in this class.
  • Each person will receive a sheet of paper
  • Divide your paper into 8 squares by folding it 3 times as demonstrated by the instructor.
  • Write the following categories on your paper, one category per square: movies, sports, outdoors/indoors, food, social, De Anza, family, hobby
  • Now, on the front of the paper, answer the following questions about YOU:
    • movies card: What is your favorite movie genre (i.e. romcom, drama, horror, suspense, etc)?
    • sports card: What is your favorite sport (i.e. football, baseball, basketball, I don't like sports, etc)?
    • outdoors/indoors card: Do you prefer indoor or outdoor activities?
    • food card: What is your favorite type of food (i.e. Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, American, etc)?
    • social card: Would you describe yourself as more of an extrovert or introvert?
    • De Anza card: How long have you been at De Anza (i.e. first quarter, 2 years, etc)?
    • family card: Are you an only child or are you the oldest, youngest, middle child, etc among your siblings?
    • hobby card: This is the bonus card. List 3 of your favorite hobbies.
  • When you finish filling out your paper, you are going to mingle with your classmates and share information.
  • Your goal for this activity is to find someone who wrote the same answer down as you in each category.
  • Important: You should have a DIFFERENT name for EACH category
  • For each person that you find, you should write their name inside the box for the category where you share a commonality.
  • You should also write down an email address, phone number or other means of contacting that person.
  • Once you have found 8 people and exchanged contact information, you are finished and can return to your seat.
  • You will have only 10 minutes so work fast!

Logging In

You need to create a unique account to use the computers in this building:

  • Turn on the computer at your workstation
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete
  • Read the legal notice and click "Ok"
  • The Business/CIS Account Request will be displayed.
  • Type "hello" and leave the password section blank.
  • Follow the directions to enter your 8-digit ID, Birth Month, Birth Day and 4-digit Birth Year.
  • Click on "Submit for Account Creation"
  • The computer will now check to see if you are enrolled.
  • Read the lab rules and click the check box in the lower left bottom corner to indicate that you accept and will participate.
  • Choose a Login Name -- suggested first initial followed by your last name.
  • Enter a password or your choice.
  • You will need to wait 5-10 minutes to use your new account.

Preview of Lab 1 due Friday at Midnight

First: What is Hour of Code?

Second: Write your first program! Start here.

Wrap Up!

  • Everyone: What is one thing you learned today?

~ See You Thursday! ~