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here follows the old website (this will gradually be phased out). please visit the new site instead.


Introduction to Informatics

Fall 2000
Name Email Office Office Hours
Professor  Gregory J. E. Rawlins Lindley 301D Mon 4:30-5:30 PM
Edward Fox Memorial 401 Wed 4-6 PM
Lecture  Wylie 115, Tuesday & Thursday, 4:00-5:15 PM
Newsgroup  ac.informatics.i101.6946 (be sure to read this every few days)
Texts  Gregory J. E. Rawlins, Moths to the Flame: The Seductions of Computer Technology
Gregory J. E. Rawlins, Slaves of the Machine: The Quickening of Computer Technology
Larry Gonick and Mark Wheelis, The Cartoon Guide to Genetics
Tom Standage, The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-line Pioneers
Policies on:
Assignments Exams Cheating Evaluation


This course will help you become more aware of the information ocean that we all swim in, and it will help you think critically about its meaning. Informatics is a field still in the process of becoming, so although this course is an introduction to the field it will not attempt to cover each of the field's currently recognized subparts.

For alternate views, see Kenneth Davis' IUPUI Informatics 101 homepage and Memo Dalkilic's Informatics 101 homepage.

Topic areas may include:


Course grades will be divided as follows: final 35%, midterm 25%, assignments 40%. There will be about 6 assignments, and each may be weighted differently.

Students may submit electronic versions of their notes after each class to potentially earn up to 5% of each week's assignment course credit by being chosen to be the best note-taker for each class session (evaluation decisions are final and are made by the AI). The best notes will be posted to the newsgroup and to this website.

Students may gain an automatic 'A' in the course by producing the best overall essay that links the various topics covered in class. Depending on the quality of the essays, students failing to gain such an 'A' might still receive bonus course credit.

Students may submit questions for potential inclusion in the midterm (and possibly the final, although we haven't decided that yet). Students receive no credit for that but they then have the chance of answering a question on the exam that they themselves made up.


Note: This calendar is approximate and subject to change.
Dates Topic Reading
Aug 29 - Aug 31 The information ocean Moths to the Flame, chapters 3 & 4
Sep 5 - Sep 7 The computer and information manipulation Slaves of the Machine, chapters 1 & 2
Sep 12 - Sep 14 The definitions of information -no readings-
Sep 19 - Sep 21 Manipulating information in programs Slaves of the Machine, chapters 3 & 4
Sep 26 - Sep 28 Information in social decision making -no readings-
Oct 3 - Oct 5 Programming and design Slaves of the Machine, chapters 5 & 6
Oct 10 - Oct 12
Oct 17 - Oct 19 Midterm (Thursday october 19th)
Oct 24 - Oct 26
Oct 31 - Nov 2
Nov 7 - Nov 9
Nov 14 - Nov 16
Nov 21 - Nov 23 No class (Thanksgiving)
Nov 28 - Nov 30
Dec 5 - Dec 7
Dec 12, 5-7pm Final Exam

assignment one

assignment two

assignment three

Last modified: Tue Oct 3 2000