COMPUTER SCIENCE SKILLS
The course is taught in Italian, while the exam can be taken in English.
-- Knowledge and understanding:
the student should be familiar with the fundamental IT concepts and should be able to realize
in what amount, at what speed and thanks to which technologies computers are continuously expanding their domain;
he should also understand what is the basic functioning of modern computers and of the Internet.
-- Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
the student should be able to use and to create a simple spreadsheet containing data, formulae, functions and simple graphs.
-- Autonomous judgement:
the student should be able to recognize the studied concepts in the world surrounding him and should be prepared to
adapt more easily to the forthcoming technological innovations.
No previous knowledge is assumed.
General purpose machines; universality principle; hardware and software; software classification (system, utility, applicative).
Main peripherals devices and their classifications (input/output, internal/external); structure, operation, typology and main parameters of some peripherals (*): hard disk, monitor, printers, optical disks, scanner; resolution: Pixel vs DPI (*); random, sequential and (*) semi-random access.
The byte and its multiples; memory features: costs, speed, capacity, volatility, technology (magnetic, optic, electronic) (*) ; ROM memory and embedded systems; bootstrap.
The hertz and its multiples; speed and clock frequency of a processor; improvement factors; evolution of technology: from tubes to silicon; Moore's law.
Structure and operation of Von Neumann machine; instruction set of a processor (outline); Fetch-Decode-Execute cycle; addition in assembly; the program counter and the instruction register.
Operating System, main functions; kernel and shell; time slice and multitasking management; scheduler (*); dispatcher (*).
User licenses, most common types: Copyright, Open Source, Freeware, Shareware.
Communication types: PTP, Broadcast, Multicast, synchronous and asynchronous; computer networks; LAN, MAN and WAN; network topology (Star, Bus, Ring) (*); Ethernet; Internet Bridges; Routers; TCP/IP protocol; IPv4 and IPv6 addresses; URL and its components; DNS; domain hierarchies, TLD; Client/Server scheme; Internet services; World Wide Web.
Basic operations of a spreadsheet: cell formatting; automatic generation of series; list management: ordering and filtering; absolute and relative references; IF, SUM, MEAN, and ROUND functions; nested functions; graph generation.
Calculation of the improvement factor; equivalence between the Byte multiples; equivalence between the Hertz multiples.
The course synthesizes the rudiments of various Computer Science fields:
history of Computer Science (4h); Computer architecture (6h); Operating Systems (3h); Computer networks (6h), use of spreadsheet (5h).
While the tone of the lessons is not overly technical, the essential jargon is kept and explained.
Taught classes with blackboard and chalk and examples of practical exercises in class.
There are no slides and active participation of students is encouraged.
L. Snyder. Fluency With Information Technology. Pearson; 6th edition (March 10, 2014)
The book give access to supplementary resources as videolessons and questions that are helpful for the exam and whose study is recommended.
From the book, only the topics listed in the detailed program have to be covered. Topics marked with (*) in the detailed program should be expanded on Wikipedia.
Further educational material, i.e. videolessons of the whole course on the use of the spreadsheet, is available on the e-learning platform. http://e-scienzemotorie.uniparthenope.it/moodle/
The exam is organized in 9 closed-form questions concerning both theory than exercises and practice (how to use the spreadsheet).
All questions have the same weight and wrong answers do not reduce the final score, obtained as the sum of the right answers.
The final score is then compared with a percentile based threshold. There are no grades, but a binary outcome (passed/failed). The exam is combined with English and lasts 45 minutes. The oral exam is optional.