Introduction

We will be studying Programming in this class.  Programming is the process of creating a program.  A program is a set of commands which instruct a computer to perform  tasks or to solve problems.

On television or in movies, a computer can solve any type of difficult problem by the second, but in reality this isn’t the case.  A computer can in fact execute commands so fast that it’s  impossible for humans to follow, but even so a computer can’t solve problems on its own.  So who teaches a computer how to solve a problem?  The answer is humans.  A computer can solve a problem only after a human instructs how and what to calculate.  The instructions given are converted into commands and data that can be processed by a computer, then executed , and finally a problem can be solved.

If humans have to give orders to computers, then why do we use them?  The size and speed of data that can be processed by a computer is far beyond what can be done by humans.  A calculation done by humans that would take thousands of years, can be done by a super computer in a second.  Knowledge far beyond what a human can memorize in a lifetime can be obtained by searching the web.  If a machine is an enhancement of the body, a computer can be called as a enhancement of the brain.

In SFC, we want every student to enhance their knowledge by using computers.  We will learn how to transmit or process information on the internet with “Fundamentals of Information Technology 1” and “Fundamentals of Information Technology 2”.  We will hope that what we learn in this class can be used as a common base of knowledge, for research in different fields.

Another reason we study programming is to obtain the ability to think logically.  You may never use programming outside SFC or even this class, and you may think of this class of a waste of time.  This is partly true, and programming may not effect your life directly.  However, the ability to think logically is indespensable in the society. Because a computer is so inflexible, commands with logical contradictions can result in interrupting the program, and the smallest mistakes we make end up as fatal errors.  As a result, learning how to write programs with a computer will naturally train the ability to think logically.


(President Obama kicks off the Hour of Code 2014 – Code.org)