[SIGCIS-Members] history of history of computing courses

Brian L. Stuart blstuart at bellsouth.net
Mon Jan 29 09:13:57 PST 2018


I can speak to the Rhodes College course since that one was
mine.  We only ran it once, but I thought it was a lot of fun.
I can probably find my old syllabus if it would help, but there
wasn't a huge amount of detail in it.  Like the Purdue course
I mentioned in another message, I used Williams book as
my primary text.

More recently, I've run a similar course here at Drexel University.
I'm hoping to eventually make that one a regular offering.

In both cases, the the primary focus was on the hardware,
architecture, and similar technical factors.  Software got
about 10-20% of the time, and a similar amount of time
was devoted to the development of theory.  The cultural/
societal aspects only really appeared in the context of my
lectures as background to the technical developments.  For
the more recent version, the assignments that I found the
most fun to assign were writing a little bit of PDP-8 machine
code (and I let them run it on an 8/M I've restored), "writing"
a simple task on the ENIAC which they ran on my simulator,
and writing a simulator for some early machine, with the
Manchester Baby probably being the most popular choice.

BLS


--------------------------------------------
On Mon, 1/29/18, Janet Abbate <abbate at vt.edu> wrote:

 Also, he has a website last updated in 1998 (http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/courses.html)
 that lists these courses at various universities:
 - University of Warwick CS330: History of Computing
 - University of Calgary, CPSC 509
 - American University, CSIS 64.550 History of Computing 
 - Stanford University STS 161 -- History of Computers.
 - Virginia Tech, CS 3604 Professionalism in Computing (contains a
 section on history).  [J.A.N.’s own course]
- Rhodes  College, CS 465: Topics in Computer Science Computer
 History


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