Quiz 3 will be held as scheduled in class on Wednesday (26 October). It covers the course book through Chapter 10 and The Information
through the end of Chapter 8. The style and format will be similar to the first two quizzes, although I will aim to make the questions less tricky than quiz 2. If you’ve done the reading, you should be able to do well on the quiz Wednesday.
Here is the page with instructions on using ElevenLearning: http://www.cs.virginia.edu/cs1120/on-line-version-of-course-book. Please post your comments/suggestions on it there.
If you have comments/solutions/questions on the book exercises, you can post them directly as comments to this post.
The original course syllabus has a quiz scheduled for September 28. We will not have quiz then.
Chapters 5-7 of The Information relate to things we do in class. Some of the things we have seen already, and others we will go into more depth on later in the class. It is not required for you to read these until October 26 (when I do plan to have a quiz to provide some added encouragement for everyone to read them), but you may find it more useful to read them earlier. In particular, Chapter 5 includes Boolean logic and encoding the alphabet (which we also do in Problem Set 4). Chapter 6 includes Claude Shannon and his work on using electricity to perform logical functions (it also mentions Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, which we’ll talk about in more detail later in the course). Chapter 7 talks about Alan Turing and the Turing Machine model, as well as how he used it to prove a fundamental limit on what can be computed (we haven’t talked about this in class yet, but we will later and in Chapter 12 of the course book). It also covers Turing and Shannon’s work on encryption.
I do hope everyone reads these chapters and gets a lot out of them, but prefer to give you more time to do this than having to do it under the pressure of an upcoming quiz. So, you have more than a month to finish reading these chapters at your own pace (but please don’t wait until October 25 to start reading them!)
There is a new and much better way to read the course book on line! ElevenLearning is a startup company in Cambridge, MA, that is creating a new model for textbook publishing that is open-source, collaborative, and does not extort the extravagant charges from students that keep traditional textbook publishers obscenely profitable.
To read the book:
You will be able to read the book much more easily on-line using their system than you can using the PDFs. It should also work well on other devices such as iPads and Android tablets. You can also add notes to yourself, and even share notes with other people reading the book. I still encourage you to do most of your reading using a printed copy of the book, but to take advantage of the on-line system for quick access as well as recording and sharing notes.
This is a new system underdevelopment, so the ElevenLearning developers and I will be happy to hear any comments you have about the system.
The solutions for the exercises from Chapter 5 are now available here: http://www.computingbook.org/exercises/chapter5.pdf.