Category: Computer Science

01: What is special about C?

Evolution of programming languages first high level language was FORTRAN in 1954-1956 FORTRAN = “FORmula TRANslation”, created at IBM procedural languages (1960s) — FORTRAN, BASIC, COBOL, PL/I arithmetic and logical expressions, variables, assignment statements statements that define loops (repeated actions) statements that allow decisions (conditionally executed actions) short variable names (2 characters in early version…

Continue reading

Our Elevator Speech

Our students often hear advice about how to find opportunities. “You never know whom might meet and who might be able to help you,” teachers and parents and people in the college’s career office tell them. “Be ready to explain your ambitions clearly and concisely.” Those of us who teach and study computer science might…

Continue reading

Computability

For which problems do algorithms that generate a solution exist? This question defines the study of computability. A programmer can direct a computer to repeat a series of arithmetic operations until some logical condition is satisfied. If the programmer fails to specify the terminating condition correctly, the computer will continue executing the instructions forever. Will…

Continue reading

Complexity

For computer scientists, the word complexity denotes the amount of work required to solve a problem using a given algorithm. An algorithm is the sequence of arithmetic and logical operations that lead to the solution of a problem. Computer scientists measure the complexity of an algorithm by comparing the number of instructions that a computer…

Continue reading