75969 - Basic Informatics (1) (A-D)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, the student will have a basic knowledge of computer science, having learned the working principles of software systems, and understanding the technical lexicon of the discipline. The student will also grasp the fundamental concepts about design and implementation of multimedia systems, especially in World Wide Web environment.

Course contents

This course is organized as a series of 10 lessons, where historical context and key characters are introduced for each subject topic. The topics are:

  • Computer and rational thought (historical characters: Charles Babbage, Ramon Llull, Gottfried Leibniz):

- What is computational thinking

- Abstraction

- Data structures

  • Algorithms and computability (historical characters: Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing):

  - What is an algorithm

  - Conditional constructs

  - Instruction loops

  - Flow charts

  • Programming languages (historical character: Grace Hopper):

  - Programming language vs natural language

  - Low and high level languages

  - Programming principles through gaming

  - Main programming languages structures

  • The World Wide Web (historical characters: Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson):

  - What is an hypertext

  - The World Wide Web invention

  - How is an URL made

  - What is a browser and what are its uses

  • Communication protocols and web servers (historical character: Tim Berners-Lee):

  - What is a communication protocol

  - How HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) works

  - What is a Web Server

  - How is an IP address made

  • The Internet (historical characters: Vincent Cerf and Bob Kahn):

  - The birth of the Internet

  - Information packets

  - What is Internet Protocol

  - Routers and Domain Name Servers

  • Information transfer via Internet (historical characters: Ray Tomlinson, Claude Shannon):

  - Bits and Bytes: the information units

  - What is Transmission Control Protocol

  - Other protocols used on Internet (SMTP, POP, IMAP)

  - Complete scenario of a Web page request

  • Web Pages:

  - Markup languages

  - HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

  - The main HTML elements

  - Separating markup and presentation: the CSS

  • The Web from its origins to present times:

  - Web 1.0: the traditional Web

  - Web and multimedia

  - Web 2.0: the Social Web

  - Web 3.0: the Semantic Web

  • Computer technologies in humanities




The course readings, including slides and lecture notes, will be made available to students before the start of the course. All readings will be in italian. Studying the material provided is sufficient for passing the exam with full grades.

Teaching methods

This course is structured as a series of 10 frontal lessons that will introduce the various topics. The student will individually work on these topics on the e-learning platforms made available by the teacher. Each frontal lesson will handle one of the topics summarized above.

Assessment methods

The final exam consists of a test with multiple-choice questions.

Teaching tools

The teaching will take place in blended learning mode: part with frontal lessons, and part using one or more e-learning platforms. The teacher uses the collaboration of tutors.

The student can communicate with the teacher or the tutor using the university e-mail.

Office hours

See the website of Matteo Pascoli