Syllabus contents:

Course Description


Required Readings

Collaboration: The Gilliganís Island Rule


Fluency With Information Technology
CSE100/IMT100, Autumn 1999


Course Description

Students will learn the knowledge and acquire the experience necessary to become fluent with information technology. Fluency with information technology implies a level of understanding about Information Technology in which a person can effectively apply computers, communications and information resources to solve personally relevant problems. (See Vision or Being Fluent With Information Technology, National Academy Press, 1999.) The class will cover the three types of knowledge required for fluency Ė skills, concepts and capabilities.

The class will be project based and will use information technology extensively. All lab sessions are on-line. Students will work both individually and in teams.

The topics to be introduced are --

Skills -- Email with Pine, Web browsing with Netscape, word processing with MS Word, spreadsheets with MS Excel, database use with MS Access, campus databases, graphics editing with Adobe Photoshop and general MS Windows utilities

Concepts -- operation of a computer, operation and organization of networks, structure and organization of data, databases and archives, digital representation of information, encryption, privacy, copyright, algorithmic thinking, computer modeling, limitations and universality of computers. Programming in VB6 includes variables, data types, expressions, assignment, conditionals, procedures, parameters and iteration.

Capabilites -- managing complexity, sustained logical reasoning, debugging, testing, thinking abstractly about one's use of information technology, communicating about IT, and possibly dealing with unexpected consequences.




It is recommended that students who expect to use personal (off campus) computers for "100" homework purchase the UW Internet Connectivity Kit (UWICK) suite.



Required Readings

Two books will be used in the class:

Lawrence Snyder, Fluency With Information Technology, 1999, course notes available at Professional Copy 'N' Print, 4200 University Way, NE

Alan Eliason and Ryan Malarkey, Visual Basic 6: Environment, Programming and Applications, Que E&T, 1999 available at the University Book Store



Collaboration Ė The Gilliganís Island Rule

Students are encouraged to study and learn together. Another student is often the best resource for working out a complex computation or understanding a difficult concept. However, in CSE100 all documents turned in to fulfill assignments must be the exclusive work of the person submitting them, unless otherwise stated. In order to allow students to work together, yet submit assignments that represent their own thought, the Gilliganís Island and the Freedom of Information rules are adopted.

The Gilligan's Island Rule: You are free to meet with fellow students(s) and discuss an assignment with them. Writing on a board or shared piece of paper during the meeting is acceptable; however, you should not take any written (electronic or otherwise) record away from the meeting. Everything that you derive from the collaboration should be in your head. After the meeting, engage in at least a half-hour of mind-numbing activity (like watching an episode of Gilligan's Island*), before starting to work on the assignment. This will assure that you are able to reconstruct what you learned from the meeting by yourself.

The Freedom of Information Rule: To assure that all collaboration is on the level, you must always write the name(s) of your collaborators on your assignment.

* Gilliganís Island was a 1960s sitcom that set the standard for dim-witted TV. Seinfeld or anything more intelligent, e.g. some PBS programming, also works for this purpose.



 Last Updated:
September 26, 1999

Contact the instructor at: snyder@cs.washington.edu