Computer Science II
This is the English Version; there is also a French Version
Computer Science II for Life Scientists
This is not a programming course, but a course
where computer science is presented as
a science, i.e., the science of computing and information.
In this course we will focus on four questions:
What happens in a computer? What is computation?
What is information? What is intelligence?
During the discussion of these questions
we will touch on different disciplines of computer science
such as algorithmics, processor architecture, logic systems,
compilation, information theory, artificial intelligence.
- What happens in a computer?
- Computers vs. brain: computer architecture.
- History of computing
- binary codes and bits,
- level of transistors and logic
- machine language and assembler language
- from high-level language to machine language
- What is computation?
- Turing machine and finite state machine
- Universal Turing machine
- calculability et decidability
- complexity of an algorithm
- dynamic programming and bioinformatics of gene alignment
- What is information?
- signal transmission in the presence of noise
- error correcting codes
- elements of information theory
- entropy, uncertainty, and information
- What is intelligence?
- artificial intelligence
- graphs and knowledge representation
- pattern recognition
- natural intelligence
- brain-like computation
Transparencies and Lectures
For all questions regarding exercises, please send an email to
- Computer exercises: Thursdays, 11-13h00 ,
Week 2,4,6: Computer labs
Week 9-13: Miniproject
- Paper and pencil exercises
are included in the main course,
On average, there will be three lectures
of 30 minutes followed by exercises of 15 minutes
but the exact distribution may vary
(for example 25+20 or 35+10)
- Work at home :
It is important that all exercises are finished
or worked though again at home.
In addition all lectures should be studied at home,
using your notes taken during the course and
the suggested text books.
This course has 4 contact hours per week (class
plus lab) and requires about 2 hourse of additional work at home.
- Many labs are taken from
The Analytical Engine by Rich Decker and Stuart Hirshfield.
- starting in week 9 of the course, a mini-project will be given.
The mini-project has to be handed in on Monday, June 26 at noon.
The date of the final exam is during
last week of the semester (Friday 23 June 16h00-19h30, room CO 1).
A test exam (bonus!) takes place, probably in week 4,
DATE: Jeudi 6 avril, 9h15
The mini-project counts toward the final mark.
The mini-project must be handed in by June 26 at noon.
If test exam better than final exam:
note = 0.5*examen + 0.25*test + 0.25*miniprojet
If final exam better than test:
note = 0.75*examen + 0.25*miniprojet
- Recommanded textbooks
- Background information