Computer Science 116
The Computational Universe
Spring 2010

Princeton University
Computer Science Department

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Course Summary

Computers have brought the world to our fingertips. We will try to understand at a basic level the science -- old and new -- underlying this new Computational Universe. Our quest takes us on a broad sweep of scientific knowledge and related technologies: propositional logic of the ancient Greeks (microprocessors); quantum mechanics (silicon chips); network and system phenomena (internet and search engines); computational intractability (secure encryption); and efficient algorithms (genomic sequencing). Ultimately, this study makes us look anew at ourselves -- our genome; language; music; "knowledge"; and, above all, the mystery of our intelligence. This course satisfies Princeton's Science and Technology (with Lab) distribution requirement.


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