CIS105 Exploring Computer Science

Fulfills General Education Science Requirement

Schedule – TBD
Location – TBD
Professor Stephen Fickas

The Internet of Things refers to the proliferation of computers into every nook and cranny of daily life.  Your car and home have them.  Buildings and factories, airplanes and medical devices make heavy use of computers; your mobile phone is more computer than phone.  Your pet, your watch, even your clothes may have built-in computers.

These devices live on the Internet, the same Internet where you find youtube, amazon, and so many other products we have come to rely on.  This course will explore what this means in a hands-on fashion.

Each student will be given access to a small Raspberry Pi computer to program.  Working in groups, students will link their computers to form their own Internet of Things.  You will research some of the ways small and inexpensive computers can come together to solve problems. On the dark side, recent headlines document the types of cyber-attacks made against big companies. In class, we will explore how the Internet of Things is similarly vulnerable to cyber-attacks and explore ways your group can fend off such attacks.

This course assumes that students have no prior programming experience.  The programming language we will use is Python, a widely used, beginner-friendly but powerful language that you can use in this class and beyond.

Students are expected to bring a laptop to class. All other computer hardware will be given out on loan for the quarter.