Invitation to Computer Science

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Cengage Learning, Jan 12, 2012 - Computers - 744 pages
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INVITATION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE is a well-respected text that provides an overview of the computer science field. Using a flexible, non-language specific model, INVITATION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE offers a solid foundation for the first course in a Computer Science curriculum. INVITATION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE, 6TH EDITION maintains its bestselling, algorithm-driven approach and includes expanded chapter exercises and practice problems, new material on topics such as multicore and parallel systems, cloud computing, wireless communications, embedded computing, agile software development, emerging programming languages (Go and F#), and new models of e-commerce, as well as boxes dedicated to current issues throughout. Online language modules are available in C++, Java, Python, C#, and Ada, allowing the option of incorporating a programming language to expand concepts from the text. INVITATION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE offers an optional CourseMate with study tools such as flashcards, quizzing, and games. CourseMate Activities speak to and engage students while developing abstract thinking and problem solving skills. Also available with INVITATION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE, an optional online Lab Manual containing 20 laboratory projects that map directly to the main text. The Lab Manual and accompanying software provide both visual and hands-on activities, allowing students to experience the fundamentals of computer science.
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1- An Introduction to Computer Science
1.1- Introduction
There are branches of computer science quite distinct from study of "real" machines. In theoretical computer science , for example, researchers study logic and mathematical problems and their solutions. Frequently, these researchers investigate problems not with actual computers but rather with formal computation, which are easier to study and analyze mathematically.
Programming is extremely important to the discipline-researchers use it to the study of new ideas and build and test his solutions - but like the computer itself, it is a tool.
A wide range of people use computer software, but it is the computer scientist who is responsible for specifying, designing, building, and testing software packages as well as computer systems on which they run.
1.2- The Definition of Computer Science
According to the definition proposed by professors Norman Gibbs and Allan Tucker, the central concept in computer science is algorithm.
Three types of instructions used to make algorithms are : sequential, conditional, and iterative.
If we can specify an algorithm to a problem, th en we can automate it's solution.
Once we have formally specified and algorithm, we can build a machine to carry out the steps contained in the algorithm. In computer science terminology the machine, robot, person, or thing carrying out the steps of the algorithm is called computing agent.
Computer science can be viewed as science of algorithmic problem solving.


An Introduction to Computer Science
The Algorithmic Foundations of Computer Science
The Hardware World
The Virtual Machine
The Software World
Social Issues in Computing
Answers to Practice Problems

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About the author (2012)

G. Michael Schneider is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Computer Science at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also served as a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University in New York. His professional interests include parallel processing, computer networks, programming methodology, and computer science education. He has written many successful textbooks on software development, data structures, computer organization, and a breadth-first overview of computer science. Dr. Schneider was a member of the committee that authored the ACM/IEEE Computing Curriculum 2001. He has received Fulbright Grants to teach computer science and applied mathematics in Mauritius, Malaysia, Nepal, and Mongolia. He received his B.S. from Michigan University and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gersting received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University. She is a professor of computer science at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

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