CS 107: Computational Systems


What is computing? Where can it take place?  Does computing occur in natural systems like the cell and the brain?

Why do both cells and PCs become infected by viruses?

How can we recognize computation in settings as different as a PC and a cell?  Are there common principles that lie behind computation in both systems, or even in all computational systems?  Are there limitations to what can be computed in all such systems?

By the end of the CS107, you will have a sound understanding of the answers to all of these questions. 

CS 107 is centered on the idea that computation is a general phenomenon that occurs in many places and settings.  CS 107 presents a modern view of information and computation, and examines how computation takes place in electronic computers, DNA, and neurons.

Readings for the course are nontechnical, and no computer programming is required.  This course carries divisional study credit for "Mathematics and Computer Science."  Grading is based on midterm and final (70%) and homeworks (30%).

Instructor: Professor Mark Crovella