Fall 2014 Syllabus

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Computer Science 104: The Internet Course

Fall 2014

Meeting Times: TR, 6:00 PM – 7:15pm

Room: duPont 215

Professors: Jim Groom and Paul Bond

Office hours: duPont 310 from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM or by appointment

E-mail: jimgroom@gmail.com and phb256@gmail.com

Twitter: @jimgroom and @phb256

Course Description

A survey of the technology and issues underlying the use of the Internet for communication, resource discovery, research, and dissemination of information in multimedia formats. Topics include an introduction to Internet protocols, Internet history and development, electronic mail, use and functions of a Web browser, accessing Internet services and resources, using the Internet for research, Website design and implementation, and social, legal, and ethical issues related to using the Internet.

This course will take an approach of exploration rather than instruction. As a group, with instructor guidance, the class will decide on various aspects of the internet to investigate, and then collect, digest and synthesize relevant readings. In the process, we will visualize the readings with concept maps, tying together concepts and ideas from the readings.

The class will use Cmap Tools (download: http://cmap.ihmc.us/download/index.php, documentation: http://cmap.ihmc.us/Documentation/, help: http://cmap.ihmc.us/Support/Help/) to build concept maps. Cmap Tools is free open source software produced by the Florida University System’s Institute for Human & Machine Cognition. They have a tutorial on using the program (http://learn.cmappers.net/resource) with videos for people who like that kind of stuff.

In the first half of the semester, the class will cover several broad topics related to the internet. Groups of students will lead discussions on the topics and produce videos summarizing the results. Student groups will select specialized topics to cover in the second half.

Course Policies


Attendance is mandatory. You will be allowed no more than 3 absences. Your grade will be lowered one full letter after each additional absence, unless you have a documented medical excuse. Since your participation is essential, if you are absent more than 3 times, even with a medical excuse, you will need to withdraw from the course. Be sure to come to class on time. Late arrivals are disruptive and distracting.


We expect everyone to have completed ALL of the assigned reading by the start of each class session, and to be prepared to discuss it in class. The weekly readings will be compiled by you (as a class) and available in the course calendar below shortly.


Plagiarism is defined as using the ideas or writings of others and passing them off as your own. Such practice will result in an F for the course and possible disciplinary action from the University. Familiarize yourself with methods of avoiding unintentional plagiarism when quoting or paraphrasing another’s work. We will discuss these in class.

Requirements and Grades

  • 15 points 6 readings, summarized and tagged: summary should make clear what reading is about and what is its significance. tags should relate article to applicable themes
  • 10 points 2 concept maps: maps should break down each reading logically and tie all three together coherently. Summaries & maps must be done on time, but can be improved following feedback
  • 10 points Panel discussions: each panel member comes up with at least one good discussion question, and actively contributes to class discussion. Each person will be a member of two panels, so there will be 5 potential points for each discussion.
  • 20 points Video projects: each panel collaborates on a video that summarizes the panel’s readings and discussion. Each person will be a member of two panels, so there will be 10 potential points for each video.
  • 10 points Midterm
  • 20 Points: Group Presentation: lead a class discussion on some aspect of the internet. Discussion stays on track, involves the class, reaches a satisfactory conclusion
  • 10 Points Blogging: blog regularly, reflect on contributions, comment on each other’s blogs
  • 5 Points: Participation: attend class, contribute to discussions

Course Calendar

Week 1: Introduction/Research

  • Tues 8/26: Introductions, syllabus
  • Thurs 8/28: Assign topics, build reading list/brainstorm subtopics

List & summaries due 9/4

Week 2: CMAP

  • Tues 9/2: CMAP Tools
  • Thurs 9/4: Review readings/summaries. Instructors may assign additional readings at this point. Discuss class wiki

Cmaps due 9/9

Week 3: How It Has Evolved panel

  • Tues 9/9: How it has evolved
  • Thurs 9/11: How it has evolved

Week 4: How It Works panel

  • Tues 9/16: How it works
  • Thurs 9/18: How it works

Week 5: Creation/Consumption panel

  • Tues 9/23: Creation/Consumption - how does the internet impact how we consume content
  • Thurs 9/25: Creation/Consumption - how does the internet impact how we consume content

Week 6: Intellectual Property/Fair Use panel

  • Tues 9/30: Intellectual Property/Fair Use
  • Thurs 10/2: Intellectual Property/Fair Use

Week 7: Privacy/Openness panel

  • Tues 10/7: Privacy/Openness
  • Thurs 10/9: Privacy/Openness

Week 8: Digital Identity panel

  • Tues 10/14: Fall Break 10/11-10/14
  • Thurs 10/16: Digital Identity

Week 9: Social/Economic/Cultural Impacts panel

  • Tues 10/21: Social/Economic/Cultural Impacts
  • Thurs 10/23: Social/Economic/Cultural Impacts

Week 10: Where It’s Going panel

  • Tues 10/28: Where It’s Going
  • Thurs 10/30: Where It’s Going

Week 11: Midterm

  • Tues 11/4: Midterm
  • Thurs 11/6: Group Meetings

Week 12: Group Presentations

  • Tues 11/11:
  • Thurs 11/13:

Week 13: Group Presentations

  • Tues 11/18:
  • Thurs 11/20:

Week 14: Group Presentations

  • Tues 11/25:
  • Thurs 11/27: Thanksgiving Break 11/26-11/30

Week 15: Group Presentations

  • Tues 12/2:
  • Thurs 12/4:

Week 16

  • Final Exam Week