Computer Science: The Canon

Fall 2000 Class Home Page

Mike Eisenberg

Class meets MWF 1:00-1:50 in HUMN 335

Class email address:

Latest Update: 8/27/00

What this course is about

This will be a "great works" lecture-and-discussion course, focusing on readings that constitute the historical core of computer science. Authors will include Turing, Von Neumann, Goedel, Lovelace, Babbage, Boole, Leibniz, and Shannon; we will also look at more recent works by Karp, Wiener, Brooks, Papert, and Feynman, among others. These readings will be wide-ranging, and a high level of academic curiosity and mathematical fearlessness will be assumed. Students will also have the chance to suggest their own candidates for "classic" status. You should think of this course as an opportunity to encounter, think about, and discuss the ideas that have collectively formed the tradition in which you are working.

Assignments and grading

Assignments will include two short papers and a final exam. Grading will be based upon these assignments and active participation in class discussions and presentations.


For CSCI 7000: Graduate standing.
For CSCI 4830: Permission of instructor

Reading List