CSC 103: How Computers Work

Homework 2: Parts of a Computer

Due: Monday April 4 before class (on Moodle as a PDF)


For this homework we will be creating a collaborative vocabulary list. Each person is only responsible for one term, then I'll collect everything and make it available to everyone. Your definition should satisfy these requirements:
  • Your definition must be in your own words. You may use any sources you like, but make sure to include them as references and do not copy the words verbatim.

  • Your definition should make sense to someone who is not taking this class and has never taken computer science (imagine explaining this to an elementary school student).

  • Your definition should address some historical aspect unless it seems inappropriate.

  • Relate your definition as much as possible to what we have been talking about in class.

  • Limit your definition to between 3-5 sentences. If you feel a picture would be helpful for explaining the concept, you may include that as well (with attribution).

  • Submit this on Moodle as a PDF document (you can convert Word files to PDF).

One more thing to keep in mind. Here are the "specs" of a computer on the market today. If any of this applies to your term, include an interpretation in your definition.


Encoded Names

The first step is to find your word, using the encoding below. Here are a few hints:

  1. All first names are written in lowercase letters.

  2. If your name has a space, it's been removed.

  3. If there are two people with the same name, the last initial has been added.

  4. The letters a-z have been encoded as 0,1,2,3,...25, except in binary.

  5. The encoding is fixed-length, so each letter is encoded as a string of the same length.
Good luck!

Encoded Name Term
011000000010111010000110100100 Boolean algebra
00100000100011101110 CPU
000010101111000100110011100100 Charles Babbage
0100101000101100111001101 Claude Shannon
010011010001011 GPU
0001100000100010001100000010110100000100 George Boole
1100100111001000110100110 Moore's Law
1001100000100100011100000 RAM
01100000000001100011010000010010110 byte
00000010110101101000100100111001101 computer
0100110100010110100000100 computer cooling
000000101100100101110100010010 computing
000001010100000 data buffer
1001000000100010000000111 floating point
01100001000000000110001110000001101 hard disk drive
00010010110000010100000110100000000 integrated circuit
001000110001000010111100001001 logic gate
010010111000000011010110100000 monitor
0000100100100111001111000 motherboard
1000100000011110011101000 operating system
001000110001000010111100001100 power supply
01011010000110100000 semiconductor
001110000001101011010000000111 transistor
01100000000001100011010000010000110 truth table


If you can't find your word, let me know (should be based on your preferred first name from your notecard). Save your definition as a PDF and submit it on Moodle before class on Monday.