The demand and need for graduates with computing skills, regardless of their discipline, is now greater than ever, yet fewer students are electing to obtain such an education. According to Mark Guzdial, a professor at Georgia Tech University well respected for his innovative work in computer science education, there is a need for "people who know ‘computing technology + X, where X is business, biology, dance, Chinese History, and just about anything else’ on the order of 700,000 employees." (Here he was quoting a Microsoft representative.)
The Computer Systems Department here at Mercyhurst wishes to offer a full program of high quality computing courses to our majors. However, we would also like to extend an invitation to students in other majors and encourage them to take at least a few of our courses, courses that will enrich their experience in their own disciplines and help them to be competitive in the future. We of course encourage some of these students to consider a minor in computer systems.
Programming I is a course offered for students wishing to make an excellent start on their computing education, regardless of whether they are majors, minors, or students simply interested in taking a few courses from our program. There are no prerequisites for the course, and no previous programming experience is required, although it would be helpful.
Our primary goal is to begin to teach you the art and the skill of computer programming. But we also wish to give you experience dealing with digital drawing, and image, text, and sound processing programmatically and at a level that is much more fundamental than what you are probably used to. To this end, we will be using Processing, a programming language tailored especially to the production of computational art. Processing was developed at MIT by Casey Reas and Benjamin Fry.
Let's get started!