Course Syllabus

Most of this is standard, boiler-plate language for University of Iowa Courses

22C:002:002 First-Year Seminar (Fall 2012)

Meeting Time: Wednesday 2:30-3:20

Meeting Location: MacLean Hall, room B11 (basement, middle of building)

Course Website:

College Home: This course is administered, and regulated by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 120 Schaeffer Hall.

Adds and Drops: Drops will be handled at the Department of Computer Science Office, room 14 MacLean Hall. Important deadlines for dropping a class are 24 August (last day without $12 charge), 31 August (last day to drop without W & to reduce tuition), 29 October (undergrad last day for dropping a course).

Instructors, Prerequisites, Textbooks

Professor: Ted Herman, 201M MacLean Hall, Telephone: 335-2833, Email: ted-herman AT (replace AT by "@" and remove spaces), Office Hours: 10:30-11:30 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). The office hours may change during the semester, and the place for office hours may move from my office to computer labs or other larger spaces, so that I can help more students and see problems interactively at the keyboard.

Course Prerequisites: Only first-year undergraduates are admitted to this course.

Textbooks: The small book '''Introducing Time: A Graphic Guide''', ISBN: 9781848311206 will be our guide for part of the seminar. Other readings and videos that we use are available online.

Computing Facilities: There might be some experiments related to the course; if computing is needed, the department has facilities we can use.

General Information

Goals and Objectives of the Course

See Course Description

Effort Level

This is a one-credit course (one fifty-minute session per week). The official university policy is to expect about two hours of work, outside of class, for each credit unit. Thus a typical expected workload would be about two hours per week outside of class.

Grading Procedures and Policy

Grading will be based on students contributing to blogs (on this website). Each student will have a number, so that blogs do not have any personal information.

No Final Exam!

No Class Days

There will be no class 19-23 November (Thanksgiving Recess); the last day of class is 5 December.

Attendance, Tardiness, Late Policy

Students should attend the seminar and contribute to discussions as well as writing course blog notes.

Cheating and Plagiarism

The consequences and procedures for suspected cheating are described below, under the College of Liberal Arts policies.

Additional Resources

Most of the additional resources are online or in libraries. They will be announced on the course web page.

Miscellaneous Announcements: The University of Iowa Policies

This course is given by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). This means that course policies on matters such as requirements, grading, and sanctions for academic dishonesty are governed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students wishing to add or drop this course after the official deadline must receive the approval of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Details of the University policy of cross enrollments may be found at: Cross Enrollments Document.

See the student academic handbook for administrative procedures, your rights and responsibilities, and other topics. The official classroom procedures for faculty includes policies on cheating and plagiarism, students with disabilities, and other topics. In particular, we are required to state the following: I would like to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require seating modifications or testing accommodations or accommodations of other class requirements, so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Please contact me during my office hours. More information is found below.

Also, we are required to specify the following information. The name of the department, location of the departmental office, and information on how to contact the Department Chair (DEO) or his/her designee: Department of Computer Science, 14 MacLean Hall, Professor Alberto Segre, DEO

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Policies and Procedures

Administrative Home of the Course

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of this course and governs such academic matters as the add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option, issues concerning academic fraud or academic probation, and how credits are applied for various graduation requirements. Different colleges may have different policies. Students with questions about these or other CLAS policies should speak with an academic advisor or with the staff in 120 Schaeffer Hall. Also see the CLAS Academic Handbook.

Academic Fraud

Plagiarism and any other activities that result in a student presenting work that is not his or her own are academic fraud. Academic fraud is reported to the departmental DEO and then to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Services in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who deals with academic fraud according to these guidelines: Code of Academic Honesty. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences expects all students to do their own work, as stated in the CLAS Code of Academic Honesty. Instructors fail any assignment that shows evidence of plagiarism or other forms of cheating, also reporting the student's name to the College. A student reported to the College for cheating is placed on disciplinary probation; a student reported twice is suspended or expelled.

Making a Suggestion or a Complaint

Students have the right to make suggestions or complaints and should first visit with the instructor, then with the course supervisor if appropriate, and next with the departmental DEO. All complaints must be made within six months of the incident. See Student Rights.

Accommodations for Disabilities

A student seeking academic accommodations should first register with Student Disability Services and then meet with a SDS counselor who determines eligibility for services. A student approved for accommodations should meet privately with the course instructor to arrange particular accommodations. See Student Disability Services Website and complete the SAAR form with appropriate information.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. See University Policies on Sexual Harassment.

Reacting Safely to Severe Weather

If severe weather is indicated by the UI outdoor warning system, class members will seek shelter in the innermost part of the building, if possible at the lowest level, staying clear of windows and of free-standing expanses which might prove unstable. The class will resume after the severe weather has ended. Some severe weather may result in classes being cancelled as noted in the University Operations Manual.

College of Liberal Arts Resources

There are several other programs and resources available to you.

Student Classroom Behavior

The ability to learn is lessened when students engage in inappropriate classroom behavior, distracting others; such behaviors are a violation of the Code of Student Life. When disruptive activity occurs, a University instructor has the authority to determine classroom seating patterns and to request that a student exit immediately for the remainder of the period. One-day suspensions are reported to appropriate departmental, collegiate, and Student Services personnel (Office of the Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Students). Please control your phones. Texting during quizzes and exams is prohibited, of course.

University Examination Policies

Missed exam policy. University policy requires that students be permitted to make up examinations missed because of illness, mandatory religious obligations, certain University activities, or unavoidable circumstances. Excused absence forms are available at the Registrar web site: Registrar Forms.

Recently, the Student Health Services changed the policy on class excuses, please read here: Student Health Forms and Reports.

Final Examinations

An undergraduate student who has two final examinations scheduled for the same period or more than three examinations scheduled for the same day may file a request for a change of schedule before the published deadline at the Registrar's Service Center, 17 Calvin Hall, 8-4:30 M-F, (384-4300).

Electronic Communication

University policy specifies that students are responsible for all official correspondences sent to their standard University of Iowa e-mail address ( Students should check their account frequently. (See Operations Manual on technology use.) In case of any official grading or other official information, I will not be able to email to destinations outside of

Course Topics

  1. Subjective Time. How the view of time is distinguished in non-computing, non-physicist ways. Sources for learning about subjective time come from psychology, anthropology, literature and history. Subjective time impacts computing in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

  2. Physical Properties of Time. These properties are described in the textbook, ranging from classical physics to quantum theory to strange new interpretations of temporal properties.

  3. Logic and Time. We take a small detour to consider the structure of logical arguments, so as to ask how time can be incorporated into logic.

  4. The nature of causality. Is time travel possible? What about contradictions caused by time travel?

  5. The history of clocks. We consider the development of clocks, the ingenious mechanisms and quest for ever more accuracy.

  6. Time in computation. This is the real goal of the seminar, to understand how time can be treated in computing. We will mostly look at computer simulations, used in many scientific explorations and also in computer games. What are the properties of time and causality in computing?

Syllabus (last edited 2014-05-25 19:10:26 by localhost)