Computer Science 010
Introduction to Computer Applications

Fall 2010, Siena College



Dr. James D. Teresco, Roger Bacon 332, (518) 783-4171
Electronic mail: jteresco AT (best contact method)
Class URL: [Link] and Blackboard
Class hour: Monday, Wednesday 9:20-10:15, Roger Bacon 302
Lab meetings: See Individual Schedules, Roger Bacon 304
Office hours: Monday 2-3, Thursday 1:30-3:30, Friday 2-4, by appointment


Everything on this syllabus is subject to change. Changes will be announced in class and updated in the online version of the syllabus.

Course Objectives

From the course catalog:

CSIS-010. Introduction to Computer Applications (2 hours lecture, 2 hours laboratory) 3 credits

An introduction to computers and applications using both character and graphical user interfaces. Topics will include hardware components; application software including word processing, spreadsheets, graphics, and database management; data communications; issues in information systems such as privacy and security; computer operations; and networking. This course should be a first course in computing for non-science majors. Computer Science majors cannot apply this course to the major. Laboratory fee. No prerequisites. (ATTR:ARTS)

Course Goals

  1. Develop technical proficiency in the use of features and functions of basic workstation applications such as word processor, spreadsheet, file system, web browser, email/communications, and routine system administration tools.
  2. Identify especially important relationships that determine the performance and effectiveness of workstations in a network environment. Particularly:
    1. Identify the major hardware components of a computer and network; discuss the function of each component
    2. Distinguish between the internet and the world wide web; describe how content is exchanged in each of them
    3. Identify peer to peer and client/server network service strategies; describe the benefits and drawbacks of each.
  3. Describe how a given application is facilitated or limited by hardware, other software, and especially the operating system and network environments.
  4. Discuss issues in information systems and their impact on various system components including people, data, hardware, software, and networking/communications. Particulary:
    1. Technological rights and responsibilities including technical etiquette and ethics, data ownership, licensing agreements, and copyright law
    2. Protecting personal information through informed and conscientious use of digital technology
    3. The role of government as related to the impact of digital technology on society, the digital divide, and the Internet.

Missions and Learning Goals

Please be sure you are familiar with the following statements of mission and learning goals by visiting these links:


The required text for the course is Technology in Action, Introductory 7th Edition (Prentice Hall, 2011, ISBN 10: 0-13-509631-6, ISBN 13: 978-0-13-509631-4) by Evans, Martin, and Poatsy. This is available from the Siena Bookstore (and elsewhere). If you buy elsewhere, be sure to get the correct edition.

The lab reference text is Excel 2007 All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies (ISBN 10: 0470037385, ISBN 13: 978-0470037386) by Harvey. This is also available from the Siena Bookstore and elsewhere.


Everyone is expected to attend class and participate in discussions. Supplemental readings are listed on the lecture and reading schedule. Of course you are encouraged to do the reading, but all important topics will be covered in class.

The notes used to guide in-class presentations are available as PDF files linked from the lecture and reading schedule.

Be prompt, prepared, and ready to focus on the day's topics. This should go without saying, but this means your phones and other devices not being used exclusively to follow along with class materials and/or to take notes must be powered off. You may bring food or drink to class, as long as you are not a distraction to your classmates or instructor.

Most lectures will include a small assignment due at the start of the next class. No late submissions of these assignments will be accepted, as they will often be discussed in class on the due date.


You will receive a separate document covering "Lab Policies and Procedures" that covers the laboratory portion of the course.


There will be two exams during the semester, plus one during finals period. Exams are tentatively scheduled to take place in early October and mid-November.

The final exam will take place as scheduled by the Registrar's Office. The final exam will be given in two parts:


Grades for individual assignments and exams are not scaled. Any scaling deemed appropriate will take place at the end of the semester by adjusting the above thresholds. The following thresholds may be adjusted downward (thereby raising grades) but will never be adjusted upward.


Lecture Assignments 10% A >= 93% A- >= 90%
Labs 40% B+ >= 87% B >= 83% B- >= 80%
Exam 1 15% C+ >= 77% C >= 73% C- >= 70%
Exam 2 15% D+ >= 67% D >= 63% D- >= 60%
Final Exam 20% F < 60%

Note: your grades for the laboratory component will be provided by your lab instructor. Your lecture instructor will assign your final course grade.

Please keep all lecture and lab assignments and exams so that any discrepancies in your recorded grades can be easily and fairly corrected.


In accordance with the Siena College Attendance Policy, the following attendance policy will apply.

While every college student should be motivated to attend every lecture and lab meeting for all the right reasons (e.g., desire for knowledge, desire to get the most out of every very expensive minute, an understanding that regular attendance is essential to your ability to master the course material, etc.), history tells us that some students need further motivation via a formal attendance policy.

The following applies for lecture attendance. The lab attendance policy is provided in the lab-specific documents.

There is no penalty for an excused absence. An excused absence may be any of the following:

  1. A documented athletic or academic event that conflicts with a class meeting. The required paperwork must be presented in person at least one week prior to the event.
  2. A family emergency. These must be documented through the Office of Academic Affairs (783-2307), who will then contact your instructors.
  3. Personal illness. These must be documented by the Office of Student Affairs (783-2328), who will then contact your instructors.

Other absences will considered unexcused and will result in the following (intentionally harsh) penalties being applied to your overall course grade (out of 100):


1 0
2 1
3 2
4 4
5 8
6 16
7 32
8 64

The first few unexcused absences are unlikely to make much difference. But note well that by accumulating 7 unexcused absences, you will very likely fail the course. Once you accumulate 8, you will have failed the course.

Academic Integrity

You are encouraged to discuss the concepts related to course assignments and exams with your classmates. This is an essential part of a healthy academic environment. However, work submitted for grading must be your own (or the combined work of group members, for group assignments). Any unauthorized copying or collaboration is considered a breach of academic integrity and will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty cases are unpleasant and uncomfortable for everyone involved. You are responsible for reading and understanding the College Catalog Statement on Academic Integrity and the Computer Science Department's Academic Integrity statement. The minimum penalties for a first violation will include failure (0 grade) for the assignment or exam in question and the filing of a Academic Integrity Violation Accusation Form. A second violation will result in failure of the course and a formal letter describing your misconduct will be sent to the head of the Computer Science Department and the Office of Academic Affairs.

If there is any doubt about the degree of collaboration allowed or the permitted sources for a particular assignment, please ask for clarification before collaborating or consulting the source. Any such collaborations or sources must be cited properly.

Additional College Policies

Please be sure you are familiar with the following College policies by visiting these links: