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Unformatted text preview: CSci 1001 — Spring 2010 Book Review Due Dates : • Book selection due 5pm, Friday, March 5. • Original version due by 5pm, Friday, April 9. • Final version due by 5pm, Friday, April 30. Purpose : One purpose of this class is to learn about computer science in general — what types of problems do computer scientists work on? How do they approach these problems? What are the societal effects of computers? What characteristics does the field of computer science have? What are the important things for people outside of computer science to know about it? Etc. One way to learn about a field is to read books that others have written in order to explain that field, or some subpart or characteristic of the field, to a non-expert audience. The purpose of this assignment is for you to read a popular book on computer science, reflect on what it teaches you about the field, and then write a review of the book. What is a review? : We often review books, musical works, movies, consumer products, etc. Sometimes this is done informally (“you’d really like this movie!”), sometimes formally (for example, an in-depth report on the pros and cons of a new office product a company is thinking of buying). For this assignment we’d like you to write a review of one of the books below. This review should be a popular review, similar to those found in newspapers and magazines. (In fact, a good way to start this assignments is to read a few reviews in the newspapers or magazines). There are many possible items a book review might emphasize. We’d like you to focus on what the book teaches readers about computer science. Specifically, your review should answer the following questions: is the book a good resource for a non-computer scientist to learn about some aspect of computer science? And why or why not? Note a good book review will provide some information about the book — its topic(s), important characters, plot, etc. — but just enough to inform readers (who presumably have not read the book) about the important points they need to know. One mistake many students make is spending too much time saying what’s in the book, and too little on other questions. Provide some summary, but devote the bulk of your review to whether the book is worth reading to learn about some part of computer science, and why. Book Selection : Select one of the books below, read it, and write a review. Here is the list of possible choices. We will discuss these in more detail during class to help you make your selection. Most of these are more than a decade old – one goal of this assignment is to balance some of the more recent material we’ll be exploring with more time-tested material from the history of computing. Many of these books are available from online bookstores such as Amazon.com and BN.com, or possibly at local used book stores. You may also find copies at local libraries....
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- Spring '08
- Computer Science