Informatics 41 * Fall 2011 * David G. Kay *
Final Exam Details
As originally scheduled and announced on the
syllabus, our final exam will be on Tuesday, December 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
in our regular classroom. It will cover the whole
course (emphasizing topics from class, from the assignments, and from the
quizzes, and not emphasizing other material from the textbook).
You may bring with you to the exam one page
of notes (8 1/2 by 11 inches, both sides), on which you may place any information
you think will help you on the exam. Computer-printed pages are fine.
You may not bring any electronic devices aside from a conventional digital
One excellent way to review, as we've mentioned
before, is to go back and retake the quizzes.
They're all available on line, or will be shortly. You should also
go back, read, and make sure you can do all the problems from the homework and lab assignments,
especially the ones that don't come from the textbook. (You're
not responsible for knowing how to do file handling in
Scheme or for knowing how to use the Picturing Programs teachpack.)
There is also a set of additional questions,
including some longer ones of the sort that couldn't fit on a quiz but
might show up on the final. There are also answers
available in a separate document, but once more we urge you to work out
the problems as fully as you can before you consult the answers.
We will have a review session on Monday, December 5, from 1:00 to 2:50 p.m. in
room 1300 Donald Bren Hall.
The price of admission is (at least) one
written question about the course material. The best strategy would be
to go through all the materials suggested on this page before the review
session, so you can bring any unresolved questions to the review session
itself. We also recommend a good night's sleep before the exam.
Finally, below is a tentative, rough list of the topics
we covered apart from the Picturing Programs textbook and other programming topics. Approximately 25% of the final
will address these topics. The questions will tend towards larger concepts
and away from small detail-level memorization. We will supply a copy of
the Deus X instruction set with the final exam, as we did with one of the
quizzes, so you don't have to devote any of your page of notes to that.
Hardware, software, data, algorithm, program
Source code (human-prepared, e.g., Scheme or
HTML) vs. interpreted code (e.g., rendered web page) or object (executable,
machine language) code; the idea of open-source software distribution vs. conventional distribution of object code only
- Program performance: Efficiency (of human time and of computational resources) and O-notation (recognizing processes that require time or space that is O(1) constant, O(log n) logarithmic, O(n) linear, or O(n-squared) quadratic).
The reasons that underlie the design choices
Forms of information
Models, abstraction, and abstraction hierarchies
(levels of abstraction)
Hierarchical (tree) organization
Representing information in computers
Bits and bytes; ASCII; numbers as ASCII, binary
numbers, BCD; size and scale (KB, MB, GB, TB, ...)
Digitizing pictures (and other real-world information)
Sampling, quantization, color; resolution and
Compression and redundancy
Lossless vs. lossy; syntactic vs. semantic
Delta encoding, run-length encoding
Services: World-Wide Web, Email, file transfer/ftp,
telnet (remote login), chat/IM
Client machines, server machines, network backbone;
what contributes to delays
Decentralized design; packet switching vs.
Web browsers, concept of HTML, URLs, domain
Computer characteristics and organization (including
the Deus X)
Memory, registers, instruction format
Sequential execution of instructions (fetch,
Storage hierarchy (registers, RAM, secondary
storage, e.g., disks); relative capacity vs. access time of various media; direct
or random access storage (e.g., disks or CDs) vs. sequential access (e.g.,
Operating systems: managing computational
process control (multitasking/timesharing),
security/authentication (what you know/have/are), memory management (virtual
User interface: GUI vs. command-line
Machine-level vs. high-level programming languages:
Going from a problem description to an executable program, how much is
done automatically? Procedural (how) vs. non-procedural (what)
- Parallelism (concurrency): Splitting tasks among multiple processors, the inherent sequentiality of some tasks (e.g., elephant gestation) that prevents parallelism, how functional programming makes it easier to identify parallelizable segments of code automatically.
Human-computer interaction, user interfaces
(ease of learning vs. ease of use, recognition vs. recall)
Pattern recognition and less-than-perfect matching
Social and legal impact of computing
- People time is more expensive than computer
- Electronic components are faster, cheaper,
and more reliable than mechanical ones
David G. Kay, email@example.com
Monday, November 28, 2011 10:05 AM