12355 - Basic Computer Science (H-Z)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

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

The course is structured in a series of 10 lessons, which are contextualised historically and presented by introducing the characters relevant to the subject. The topics of the lessons of the course are:

  • Computers, computational thinking and data structures [historical figure: Charles Babbage]:
    - What is a computer?
    - Computational Thinking
    - Data Structure
  • Algorithms and computability [historical figures: Ada Lovelace e Alan Turing]:
    - Possible uses of the Analytical Engine
    - What is an algorithm?
    - Flowcharts
    - Our first algorithm
    - Are there limits to computation?
  • Programming Languages [historical figures: Noam Chomsky e Grace Hopper]:
    - What is the language?
    - Programming languages
    - Visual languages
  • What happens when you click a link: The World Wide Web [historical figures: Vannevar Bush, Ted Nelson, Douglas Engelbart, e Tim Berners-Lee]:
    - Introduction
    - The birth of hypertexts
    - The invention of the World Wide Web
    - Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
    - Browsers:what they are and what they are for
  • What happens when you click a link: The communication protocols [historical figure: Tim Berners-Lee]:
    - Introduction
    - What is a communication protocol
    - How the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) works
    - What is a web server
  • What happens when you click a link: Internet [historical figure Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider]:
    - Introduction
    - The birth of Internet
    - Communication packages
    - What is the Internet Protocol (IP)
    - Domain Name Server (DNS) and router
  • What happens when you click a link: Transfert information on the Internet [historical figures: Claude Shannon, Vinton Cerf, e Robert Kahn]:
    - Introduction
    - Byte and bits: information unit
    - What is the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
    - Other protocols uses on the Internet
    - Complete scenario of request for a web page
  • What happens when you click a link:  The web pages:
    - Markup languages
    - Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): historical outline
    - Mail HTML elements
    - Separation between markup and presentation: CSS
  • Information technology in the digital humanities
    - Digital projectd related to digital humanities
    - Markup and digital editions
    - Data collections
    - Conclusion


The lesson material, included the notes written by the teacher and the slides, will be made available to students on the IOL University platform [https://iol.unibo.it/ ] before the course starts. All the material supplied will be in Italian language. The study of only the material supplied is sufficient for passing the full marks with the exam.

Teaching methods

The course is organized in 10 lessons in the presence of introduction of the various topics of the course, which will be deepened through individual work on e-learning environments (IOL University platform) made available by the teacher. Each presence lesson will focus on one of the topics listed in the program.

Assessment methods

The final verification is organized in a test that includes a test with questions. The test consists of 33 multiple choice questions. Each question answered correctly is worth 1 point, while a question not answered or answered incorrectly is worth 0 points.

Each exam session consists of several shifts of one hour each. Within one shift, the student has 45 minutes to complete the exam.

Teaching tools

The teaching will take place in a blended learning mode: partly in presence (10 lessons in the classroom) and partly through the use of an e-learning environment (University IOL platform). The teacher uses the collaboration of tutors.

It is possible to communicate directly with the teacher or tutor via e-mail.

Office hours

See the website of Damiana Luzzi