COMPFOR 111 - Computing's Impact on Justice: From Text to the Web
Fall 2023, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: LSA Computation for Arts and Sciences (COMPFOR)
Department: LSA Program in Computing for the Arts & Sciences
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
ID, QR/1
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Computing has had a significant global impact.  To study and critique that impact, students need to understand the fundamentals of computing, framed in this course as manipulation of text, creation of algorithms, and generation and analysis of Web pages.  Students learn computational concepts, write programs with a focus on purpose (not memorizing syntax), and develop the skills to understand and communicate with software developers.  Students will explore the justice implications of computing concepts, algorithms, participants, programs, and skills.

Students program in this course.  Some of the programming is in special-purpose languages (called teaspoon languages) designed to be easy to learn and conceptually focused.  Most student programming is in Snap, a programming language in which many common programming errors are impossible.  No prior computing background is expected, and no additional mathematics knowledge besides basic high school algebra is necessary.  Lecture/lab sessions will be structured around active learning, including peer instruction (which will be used to determine participation), live coding, and group-based practice in programming activities.  There are bi-weekly on-line, open-book/note/Web quizzes, with no exams.  Most weeks will include a reading (or video) with a written reflection. Most weeks will have a homework activity that will involve some kind of programming activity in a scaffolded programming environment, like generating computational poetry, building a chatbot, training a gesture recognizer, and downloading a log file and detecting trends in it.  There are three projects, such as: Building a game in Twine, generating a website from a database using a template, and visualizing data.  There are several ebook-based homeworks where students transfer knowledge from in-class scaffolded programming to professional text programming (e.g., in Python).

Course Requirements:

No prior computing background is expected, and no additional mathematics knowledge besides basic algebra is necessary.  Students are expected to have a laptop (Chromebook is sufficient, iPad or Tablet is not) which they can bring to class.  If you do not have a laptop, consider the U-M Laptop Loaner program: 

Intended Audience:

Aimed at students with an interest in how the computation that influences our daily lives works.  Particularly aimed at students interested in humanities and social sciences.

Class Format:

The course follows an active learning format with frequent peer instruction and collaborative learning activities.  Collaboration is strongly encouraged on all aspects of the course except the quizzes.  At several points in the semester, students work through an online ebook in which they map from Snap into traditional textual programming languages (Python), to promote transfer and the applicability of the course in new contexts.  There are no exams, but there is a final project.


COMPFOR 111 - Computing's Impact on Justice: From Text to the Web
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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