Course Overview Why take this course?

Welcome to CS110

We think this is a wonderfully exciting course that will introduce you to some of the cool things that computers can do and put some of that power in your hands!


  • Big Ideas
  • Course Overview
  • Course Administration
  • Introduction to HTML

Big Ideas

  • Digital Representation of Information: numbers, text, images, video, sound, web pages, programs, encryption, compression.
  • Impact of the Digital Revolution: information access, publishing, organizing, security, privacy, copyright.
  • Problem Solving: divide/conquer/glue, abstraction, modularity/reusability, programming, debugging.
  • Project Development Lifecycle: requirements, design, implementation, testing.

Course Overview

  • HTML = HyperText Markup Language: specify the structure/content of a web page.
  • CSS = Cascading Style Sheets: specify the appearance of a web page.
  • JavaScript (not Java): specify the behavior of a web page.
  • Concepts and tools for graphics, sound, forms, animation, and movies.
  • Social, legal, ethical implications of the digital revolution (Blown to Bits topics).
  • Designing a website and implementing it using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Why Programming?

  • Computer Science is about computation as a tool for understanding the world: building models, experimenting, and finding implications
  • Programming is a formal notation for specifying algorithms = computational recipes = procedures for doing things

Term Project

  • Form teams of two students and an advisor.
  • Find a client in need of a website, or choose a project of your own.
  • Specify client's requirements.
  • Design, implement, and test web pages.
  • Deliver final product.
  • Present your website in class.

See the Project Hall of Fame for examples.

Course Administration

The course administration and course schedule pages provide important information about course organization and policies, and links to materials for lectures, labs and assignments.

To Do

The CS110 To-Do List lists some things to do during the first weeks of the semester. There are a few items to do today, which we'll talk about.

How this Course Works

Technical material is not fully absorbed in just one reading; you will probably have to read things several times. Full command of the material requires practice.

  • Please read the online material before class (but not the class activities). We will keep the online readings short, but you should allocate an hour or more for it, because they can be dense.
  • The book readings are optional but encouraged. Sometimes a second and distinctly different presentation of the material will really help things click.
  • Ask questions in class. We will usually review some of the material in class, but we won't say everything that is in the reading. If there's something that confused you, please ask!
  • We will do clicker questions and in-class exercises (the flipped classroom). There is a lot of pedagogical research to show that that is the most effective way to learn, but it won't work if you haven't read the material.

Supplemental Instruction

Maggie Jennings is our Supplemental Instructor. I'll give her a few minutes to talk about that.

What's New?

We've made some changes to CS 110 this year:

  • Clients for the project are optional; you can be your own client. Partners are still required.
  • A list of pre-approved JavaScript applications, which we'll learn in class and practice in lab and on assignments.
  • More homework assignments to practice concepts (but each is less intense).
  • Reduced content for greater comprehension.

© Wellesley College Computer Science Staff. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Date Modified: Tuesday, 26-Jan-2016 09:28:20 EST