Introduction to Computer Science

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This class focuses on designing and writing computer programs. No prior experience with computer programming is assumed. Students are taught to analyze a problem, describe a solution, and implement their solution in a computer-programming language. Currently, the class uses the Python programming language. Students use functions and classes to organize their programs.  Programming projects include graphics (2D and 3D) in addition to data processing. Throughout the course, the emphasis is on the careful, elegant design of a computer program. Before taking the course, students are expected to be comfortable using a computer and to be familiar with variables from algebra.


Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources
1. Introduction to Computer Science
  • What is a computer program?
  • How are computer programs designed?
  • Syntax of the Python programming language
  • Defining functions
  • Using arithmetic
  • Designing, documenting,
  • Document a function
  • Write a function in the Python language
  • Test a function
  • Programming assignments
  • Tests and quizzes
  • Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, Allen B. Downey
  • IDLE Python development environment