15292 History of Computing

History of Computing




Jump Image Fast Links: Readings | Computing Assignments | Term Paper

There are three types of assignments you will complete in this course. Readings will give you the basic background information you need for lecture and will help you prepare for the weekly quizzes and final exam. Programming Assignments will allow you to implement some of the early computing ideas and work with simulators for classic computers. Term Paper is a larger assignment to test deeper understanding in a specific area of the history of computing.

Academic Integrity

Remember that all work you submit must be your own work. You may ask others general questions about the assignments or course material, but you cannot share your answers to assignments or use all or part of another's solution. If you use material from another source, such as a quotation or code fragment, you should cite your source and check with the instructors to be sure you are not plagiarizing or committing academic dishonesty.

REQUIRED FOR ALL STUDENTS: Academic Integrity Form - Print out this web page, read it carefully, fill in the required information, sign it, and hand this in at the start of class on Friday, January 20. This form is not graded, but you must hand this in to receive grades for all course assignments and tests.


Generally, you should complete the assigned reading BEFORE the corresponding lecture so you can participate fully in the lecture. Note that the readings sometimes skip around in time so you may read about a topic we have already covered or a topic that will be covered later in the semester. Quizzes will test your understanding of material given in lecture, videos and the corresponding readings.

This table will be updated as the semester proceeds so check back regularly.

Wed, Jan 18 Computing Before Computers , Chapter 1
Bit By Bit , Chapter 1
Fri, Jan 20 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 1 (all), Chapter 3 (pages 41-46)
Bit By Bit , Chapter 2 (all), Chapter 3 (3.1-3.2)
Supplementary (Optional): Computing Before Computers , Chapter 2 (pages 59-81, 87-97), Chapter 4 (pages 122-135)
Wed, Jan 25 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 2 (all), Chapter 3 (pages 46-59)
Bit By Bit , Chapter 3 (3.3-3.4), Chapter 4 (4.1-4.2)
Computing Before Computers , Chapter 5 (pages 163-185)
Fri, Jan 27 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 3 (pages 59-61), Chapter 4 (pages 65-71)
Bit By Bit , Chapter 3 (3.5), Chapter 4 (4.5-4.6), Chapter 5 (5.3-5.4)
Supplementary (Optional): Computing Before Computers , Chapter 3 (pages 104-119), Chapter 6 (pages 204-207)
Wed, Feb 1 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 4 (pages 71-85)
Bit By Bit , Chapter 3 (3.6-3.7), Chapter 4 (4.3-4.4, 4.7-4.9), Chapter 5 (5.1-5.2, 5.5-5.8)
Supplementary (Optional): Computing Before Computers , Chapter 7 (all)
Fri, Feb 3 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 5 (all), Chapter 8 (pages 167-175)
Bit By Bit , Chapter 5 (5.9-5.10), Chapter 6 (all)
Wed, Feb 8 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 6 (all), Chapter 8 (pages 175-188)
Bit By Bit , Chapter 7 (all)
Fri, Feb 10 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 7 (all)
Bit By Bit , Chapter 8 (all)
Wed, Feb 15 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 9 (all)
Bit By Bit , Chapter 9 (9.1-9.4)
Fri, Feb 17 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 10 (all)
Bit By Bit , Chapter 9 (9.5-9.9)
Wed, Feb 22 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 11 (all)
A History of the GUI by Jeremy Reimer (arstechnica.com, 2005)
Fri, Feb 24 None
(term paper due)
Wed, Mar 1 Computer [course textbook], Chapter 12 (all)
A (Very) Brief History of Artificial Intelligence - AI Magazine
Fri, Mar 3 Search Engine History - Aaron Wall
History of Social Networking - Digital Trends

Computing Assignments

Hand in all computing assignments via Autolab (on andrew).

Assignment 1 - The Difference Engine (due: Friday, January 27 by 10:30AM)

Assignment 2 - The Enigma Machine (due: Friday, February 10)

Assignment 3 - Programming the CARDIAC - A View of the 1960s (due: Friday, February 17)

Assignment 4 - BASIC Programming on an IBM-PC using PC-DOS 1.1 (due: Friday, March 3)

Term Paper

Term Paper (and In-Class Presentation) - History of Programming Languages (due: Friday, February 24)