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CIS Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Courses: 100 Level | 200 Level | 300 Level | 400 Level | NETS Courses

Graduate Courses: 500 Level | 600 Level | 700-900 Level | MCIT Courses

Undergraduate Courses

CIS 99 - Undergraduate Research/Independent Study

An opportunity for the student to become closely associated with a professor (1) in a research effort to develop research skills and techniques and/or (2) to develop a program of independent in-depth study in a subject area in which the professor and student have a common interest. The challenge of the task undertaken must be consistent with the student's academic level. To register for this course, the student must submit a detailed proposal, signed by the independent study supervisor, to the SEAS Office of Academic Programs (111 Towne Building) no later than the end of the "add" period.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.

CIS 101 - Introduction to Computer Science: Principles of Information and Computation
Co-requisite: Math 104 or 150

This course is an introduction to the basic principles and great ideas of computer science intended for non-engineering students. It covers some of the essential topics of contemporary computer science from a mathematical perspective. No programming experience necessary. Open to all non-SEAS students. SEAS students my not take for credit toward engineering degree.

Not offered in 2014-2015 | May not be counted in the Engineering category.

CIS 106 - Visualizing the Past/Peopling the Past
Cross-listed with ANTH 258, ANTH 620

Most people’s information about the Past is drawn from coffee table picture books, popular movies, video games, documentaries about discoveries of “ancient, mysterious, and lost” civilizations, and tours often lead by guides of limited or even dubious credentials. How are these ideas presented, formed, and circulated? Who creates and selects the information presented in this diverse media? Are these presentations accurate? Do they promote or hurt scientific explanations?  Can the artistic, aesthetic, and scientific realms be bridged to effectively promote and interpret the past? How can modern technologies be applied to do a better job at presenting what is difficult to experience firsthand? This class will focus on case studies, critiques, and methods of how archaeology and the past are created, presented and used in movies, museums, games, the internet, and art.

Each year, the studio-seminar focuses on a project. In addition to exploring general concepts of archaeology and the media, students will work in teams to produce an interactive, digital media exhibit using the latest modeling visualization programs for presenting the sacred landscape of the Inca capital of Cuzco, Peru. Cuzco is one of the most important UNESCO World Heritage sites and visited by nearly a million tourists a year. Potential class projects include fly-throughs of architectural and landscape renderings, simulations of astronomy and cosmology, modeling of human behavior within architectural and landscape settings, and study artifacts in the Penn Museum.

Not offered in 2014-2015. | Course Website

CIS 110 - Introduction to Computer Programming (with Java, for Beginners)

Introduction to Computer Programming is the first course in our series introducing students to computer science. In this class you will learn the fundamentals of computer programming in Java, with emphasis on applications in science and engineering. You will also learn about the broader field of computer science and algorithmic thinking, the fundamental approach that computer scientists take to solving problems.

Offered Fall 2014, Spring 2015, and Summer 2015. | Course Website

CIS 120 - Programming Languages and Techniques I
Prerequisite(s): Some previous programming experience

A fast-paced introduction to the fundamental concepts of programming and software design.  This course assumes some previous programming experience, at the level of a high school computer science class or CIS110.  (If you got at least 4 in the AP Computer Science A or AB exam, you will do great.)  No specific programming language background is assumed: basic experience with any language (for instance Java, C, C++, VB, Python, Perl, or Scheme) is fine.  If you have never programmed before, you should take CIS 110 first.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. | Course Website

CIS 121 - Programming Languages and Techniques II
Prerequisite(s): CIS 120, CIS 160

This is a course about Algorithms and Data Structures using the JAVA programming language. We introduce the basic concepts about complexity of an algorithm and methods on how to compute the running time of algorithms. Then, we describe data structures like stacks, queues, maps, trees, and graphs, and we construct efficient algorithms based on these representations. The course builds upon existing implementations of basic data structures in JAVA and extends them for the structures like trees, studying the performance of operations on such structures, and their efficiency when used in real-world applications. A large project introducing students to the challenges of software engineering concludes the course.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. | Course Website

CIS 125 - Technology and Policy  

Have you ever wondered why sharing music and video generates such political and legal controversies?  Is information on your PC safe and should law enforcement be able to access information you enter on the Web?  Will new devices allow tracking of your every move and every purchase?

CIS 125 is focused on developing an understanding of existing and emerging technologies, along with the political, societal and economic impacts of those technologies.  The technologies are spread across a number of engineering areas and each of them raise issues that are of current concern or are likely to be a future issue.

Offered Spring 2015. | May not be counted in the Engineering category

CIS 140 - Introduction to Cognitive Science
Prerequisite(s): None
Cross-listed with: Phil044, Ling105, Psych107, COGS 001, PPE 140

How do minds work? This course surveys a wide range of answers to this question from disciplines ranging from philosophy to neuroscience. The course devotes special attention to the use of simple computational and mathematical models. Topics include perception, learning, memory, decision making, emotion and consciousness.

Offered Fall 2014. | Course Website

CIS 160 - Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science

What are the basic mathematical concepts and techniques needed in computer science? This course provides an introduction to proof principles and logics, functions and relations, induction principles, combinatorics and graph theory, as well as a rigorous grounding in writing and reading mathematical proofs.

Offered Fall 2014, Spring 2015, and Summer 2015. | Course Website

CIS 190 - C++ Programming
Prerequisite(s): CIS 240

This course will provide an introduction to programming in C++ and is intended for students who already have some exposure to programming in another language such as Java. C++ provides the programmer with a greater level of control over machine resources and are commonly used in situations where low level access or performance are important. This course will illuminate the issues associated with programming at this level and will cover issues such as explicit memory management, pointers, the compilation process and debugging. The course will involve several programming projects which will provide students with the experience they need to program effectively in these languages. This course assumes programming experience equivalent to CIS 110, CIS 120 or ESE 112 as a prerequisite.

Offered Fall 2014.

CIS 191 - Using and Understanding Unix and Linux
Prerequisite(s): CIS 110 or equivalent

Unix, in its many forms, runs much of the world's computer infrastructure, from cable modems and cell phones to the giant clusters that power Google and Amazon. This half-credit course provides a thorough introduction to Unix and Linux. Topics will range from critical basic skills such as examining and editing files, compiling programs and writing shell scripts, to higher level topics such as the architecture of Unix and its programming model.  The material learned is applicable to many classes, including CIS 240, CIS 331, CIS 341, CIS 371/372, and CIS 380.

Offered Fall 2014. | Course Website

CIS 192 - Python Programming
Prerequisite(s): CIS 120 or ESE 112

Python is an elegant, concise, and powerful language that is useful for tasks large and small. Python has quickly become a popular language for getting things done efficiently in many in all domains: scripting, systems programming, research tools, and web development. This course will provide an introduction to this modern high-level language using hands-on experience through programming assignments and a collaborative final application development project.

Offered Fall 2014. | Course Website

CIS 193 - C# Programming
Prerequisite(s): CIS 110

C# is the premier programming language for the .NET framework.  Over the last decade, the language has evolved to meet the needs of a variety of programming styles while supporting the ever-growing capabilities of the .NET runtime and libraries.  This course provides a thorough introduction to the C# language and the .NET framework, building on the skills gained in the introductory programming courses (CIS 110, CIS 120, or ESE 112).  In addition to providing the student with a solid background in C#, this course also explores topics that the .NET platform exposes such as object-oriented design, .NET runtime internals, and others based on class interest.  A series of short, weekly homework assignments reinforces the concepts introduced in class and a group-based final project of the students' design allows them to apply their C# knowledge toward a substantial problem.

Semesters Offered: TBA | Course Website

CIS 194 - Haskell Programming

Haskell is a high-level, purely functional programming language with a strong static type system and elegant mathematical underpinnings. It is being increasingly used in industry by organizations such as Facebook, AT&T, and NASA, along with several financial firms. We will explore the joys of functional programming, using Haskell as a vehicle. The aim of the course will be to allow you to use Haskell to easily and conveniently write practical programs. All are welcome, including those with no programming experience. Evaluation will be based on regular homework assignments and class participation.

Offered Fall 2014.

CIS 195 - iPhone Application Development
Prerequisite(s): CIS 120 and CIS 240.  Students should come with a strong understanding of the fundamentals of programming, especially the C language and memory management.

This project-oriented course is centered around application development on the iOS platform, Apple’s mobile operating system developed for the iPhone and other Apple mobile devices. The first half of the course will involve fundamentals of iPhone development, where students learn the Objective-C programming language for iOS, an object-oriented C dialect with Smalltalk-style messaging, as well as efficient memory management and event-based programming on the iOS platform.  In the second half of the course, students work in teams to conceptualize and develop a significant iPhone application. Creativity and originality are highly encouraged!

Offered Fall 2014

CIS 196 - Ruby on Rails Web Development
Prerequisite(s): CIS 120

This course will teach the fundamentals of developing web applications using Ruby on Rails, a rapid-development web framework developed by 37signals. The topics covered will start with Ruby, the language that powers Rails, and include all topics required to develop and deploy production-ready web applications with Rails. During the entire course, students will be working on a project of their own choosing which will develop as they learn additional concepts. Upon completion of the course this application will be deployed and accessible to the public. Students will be encouraged to continue building their applications even after the course given support from the Philadelphia Ruby community.

Semesters Offered: TBA

CIS 197 - JavaScript

This course provides an introduction to modern web development frameworks, techniques, and practices used to deliver robust client side applications on the web. The emphasis will be on developing JavaScript programs that run in the browser. Topics covered include the JavaScript language, web browser internals, the Document Object Model (DOM), HTML5, client-side app architecture and compile-to-JS languages like (Coffeescript, TypeScript, etc.). This course is most useful for students who have some programming and web development experience and want to develop moderate JavaScript skills to be able to build complex, interactive applications in the browser.

Offered Fall 2014

CIS 240 - Introduction to Computer Architecture
Prerequisite(s): CIS 110 or equivalent experience

You know how to program, but do you know how computers really work? How do millions of transistors come together to form a complete computing system? This bottom-up course begins with transistors and simple computer hardware structures, continues with low-level programming using primitive machine instructions, and finishes with an introduction to the C programming language. This course is a broad introduction to all aspects of computer systems architecture and serves as the foundation for subsequent computer systems courses, such as Digital Systems Organization and Design (CIS 371), Computer Operating Systems (CIS 380), and Compilers and Interpreters (CIS 341).

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. | Course Website

CIS 261 - Discrete Probability, Stochastic Processes, and Statistical Inference
Prerequisite(s): CIS 160

The purpose of this course is to provide a 1 CU educational experience which tightly integrates the theory and applications of discrete probability, discrete stochastic processes, and discrete statistical inference in the study of computer science.

The intended audience for this class is both those students who are CS majors as well as those intending to be CS majors. Specifically, it will be assumed that the students will know: Set Theory, Mathematical Induction, Number Theory, Functions, Equivalence Relations, Partial-Order Relations, Combinatorics, and Graph Theory at the level currently covered in CIS 160. This course could be taken immediately following CIS 160. Computation and Programming will play an essential role in this course. The students will be expected to use the Maple programming environment in homework exercises which will include: numerical and symbolic computations, simulations, and graphical displays.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 262 - Automata, Computability, and Complexity
Prerequisite(s): CIS 160

This course explores questions fundamental to computer science such as which problems cannot be solved by computers, can we formalize computing as a mathematical concept without relying upon the specifics of programming languages and computing platforms, and which problems can be solved efficiently. The topics include finite automata and regular languages, context-free grammars and pushdown automata, Turing machines and undecidability, tractability and NP-completeness. The course emphasizes rigorous mathematical reasoning as well as connections to practical computing problems such as text processing, parsing, XML query languages, and program verification.

Offered Fall 2014. | Course Website

CIS 277 - Introduction to Computer Graphics Techniques
Prerequisite(s): CIS 120

This course is focused on programming the essential geometric and mathematical concepts underlying modern computer graphics. Using 2D and 3D implementations, it covers fundamental topics on scene graphs, computational geometry, graphics algorithms, and user interface design. Programming languages introduced include C++, OpenGL, and Qt.

Offered Spring 2015.

CIS 298 - Study Abroad

CIS 320 - Introduction to Algorithms
Prerequisite(s): CIS 120,121,160,262

How do you optimally encode a text file? How do you find shortest paths in a map? How do you design a communication network? How do you route data in a network? What are the limits of efficient computation? This course gives a comprehensive introduction to design and analysis of  algorithms, and answers along the way these and many other interesting computational questions. You will learn about problem-solving; advanced data structures such as universal hashing and red-black trees; advanced design and analysis techniques such as dynamic programming and amortized analysis; graph algorithms such as minimum  spanning trees and network flows; NP-completeness theory; and approximation  algorithms.

Offered Spring 2015.

CIS 330 - Design Principles of Information Systems
Prerequisite(s):CIS 121 and CIS 160

Introduction to database management systems and principles of design. The Entity-Relationship model as a modeling tool. The relational model: formal languages, the industry standard SQL, relational design theory, query optimization. Storing and querying XML data. Recursive queries. Views and data integration. Overview of system level issues: physical data organization, indexing techniques, and transactions. Connecting databases to the Web. Course work requires programming in several different query languages, several written homeworks and a team project.

Not offered 2014-2015. | Course Website

CIS 331 - Intro to Networks and Security
Prerequisites: CIS 160, CIS 240

This course introduces principles and practices of computer and network security.  Topics covered include software security, including buffer overflows, malware, access control, and operating system
protections; network and web basics, attacks such as denial of service, and defenses; and an introduction to applied cryptography including symmetric and asymmetric encryption, message integrity, and authentication.  We will develop the security mindset, and consider threats and defenses for real-world systems, as well as broader issues such as privacy, legal questions, and ethics.

Offered Spring 2015.

CIS 334 - Advanced Topics in Algorithms
Prerequisite(s): CIS 320

Can you check if two large documents are identical by examining a small number of bits? Can you verify that a program has correctly computed a function without ever computing the function? Can students compute the average score on an exam without ever revealing their scores to each other? Can you be convinced of the correctness of an assertion without ever seeing the proof? The answer to all these questions is in the affirmative provided we allow the use of randomization. Over the past few decades, randomization has emerged as a powerful resource in algorithm design. This course would focus on powerful general techniques for designing randomized algorithms as well as specific representative applications in various domains, including approximation algorithms,  cryptography and number theory, data structure design, online algorithms, and parallel and distributed computation.

***CIS 399 - Spring 2015.

CIS 341 - Compilers and Interpreters
Prerequisite(s): CIS121 and CIS240

You know how to program, but do you know how to implement a programming language? In CIS341 you'll learn how to build a compiler. Topics covered include: lexical analysis, grammars and parsing, intermediate representations, syntax-directed translation, code generation, type checking, simple dataflow and control-flow analyses, and optimizations. Along the way, we study objects and inheritance, first-class functions (closures), data representation and runtime-support issues such as garbage collection. This is a challenging, implementation-oriented course in which students build a full compiler from a simple, typed object-oriented language to fully operational x86 assembly. The course projects are implemented using OCaml, but no knowledge of OCaml is assumed.

Not offered 2014-2015.

CIS 350 - Software Design/Engineering
Prerequisite(s): CIS 240

You know how to write a "program". But how do you create a software "product" as part of a team, with customers that have expectations of functionality and quality? This course introduces students to various tools (source control, automated build systems, programming environments, test automation, etc.) and processes (design, implementation, testing, and maintenance) that are used by professionals in the field of software engineering. Topics will include: software development lifecycle; agile and test-driven development; source control and continuous integration; requirements analysis; object-oriented design and testability; Android application development; software testing; refactoring; and software quality metrics.

Offered Spring 2015.

CIS 368 - User Interfaces and the Web
Prerequisite(s): CIS 110, CIS 120, CIS 121, CIS 277

This course will teach the fundamentals of Human-Computer Interaction (theory, design, implementation, experimentation, evaluation) in the context of current web interaction mechanisms, technologies, and applications. The course content will emphasize and leverage open source technologies to design, prototype, implement, and test user-interfaces and functionality in the context of today's most intriguing web trend, social networking.

Not offered 2014-2015.

CIS 371 - Computer Organization and Design
Prerequisite(s): CIS 240

This is the second computer organization course and focuses on computer hardware design. Topics covered are: (1) basic digital system design including finite state machines, (2) instruction set design and simple RISC assembly programming, (3) quantitative evaluation of computer performance, (4) circuits for integer and floating-point arithmetic, (5) datapath and control, (6) micro-programming, (7) pipelining, (8) storage hierarchy and virtual memory, (9) input/output, (10) different forms of parallelism including instruction level parallelism, data-level parallelism using both vectors and message-passing multi-processors, and thread-level parallelism using shared memory multiprocessors. Basic cache coherence and synchronization.

Offered Spring 2015. | Course Website

CIS 380 - Computer Operating Systems
Prerequisite(s): CIS 240 or EE 300

This course surveys methods and algorithms used in operating systems. Concurrent distributed operation is emphasized. The main topics covered are as follows: process synchronization; interprocess communications; concurrent/distributed programming languages; resource allocation and deadlock; virtual memory; protection and security; distributed operation; distributed data; performance evaluation.

Offered Fall 2014

CIS 390 - Robotics
Prerequisite(s): MATH 240, PHYS 150 or MEAM 110/147

The rapidly evolving field of robotics includes systems designed to replace, assist, or even entertain humans in a wide variety of tasks. Recent examples include planetary rovers, robotic pets, medical surgical-assistive devices, and semi-autonomous search-and-rescue vehicles. This introductory-level course presents the fundamental kinematic, dynamic, and computational principles underlying most modern robotic systems.  The main topics of the course include:  coordinate transformations, manipulator kinematics, mobile-robot kinematics, actuation and sensing, feedback control, vision, motion planning, and learning.  The material is reinforced with hands-on lab exercises including basic robot-arm control and the programming of vision-guided mobile robots.

Not offered 2014-2015

CIS 391 - Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Prerequisite(s): CIS 121

Artificial Intelligence is considered from the point of view of a resource--limited knowledge-based agent who must reason and act in the world. Topics include logic, automatic theorem proving, search, knowledge representation and reasoning, natural language processing, probabilistic reasoning, and machine learning. Programming assignments in Python.

Offered Fall 2014. | Course Website

CIS 398 - Quantum Computer and Information Science
Prerequisite(s): CIS 160, CIS 262, and Math 240

The purpose of this course is to introduce undergraduate students in computer science and engineering to quantum computers (QC) and quantum information science (QIS). This course is meant primarily for juniors and seniors in CIS. No prior knowledge of quantum mechanics (QM) is assumed.

Offered Spring 2015.

CIS 400 - Senior Project
Prerequisite(s): Senior standing or permission of instructor

Design and implementation of a significant piece of work: software, hardware or theory. In addition, emphasis on technical writing and oral communication skills. Students must have an abstract of their Senior Project, which is approved and signed by a Project Adviser, at the end of the second week of Fall classes. The project continues during two semesters; students must enroll in CIS 401 during the second semester. At the end of the first semester, students are required to submit an intermediate report and give a class presentation describing their project and progress. Grades are based on technical writing skills (as per submitted report), oral presentation skills (as per class presentation) and progress on the project. These are evaluated by the Project Adviser and the Course Instructor.

Offered Fall 2014. | Course Website

CIS 401 - Senior Project
Prerequisite(s): CIS 400, senior standing or permission of instructor

Continuation of CIS 400. Design and implementation of a significant piece of work: software, hardware or theory. Students are required to submit a final written report and give a final presentation and demonstration of their project. Grades are based on the report, the presentation and the satisfactory completion of the project. These are evaluated by the Project Advisor and the Course Instructor.

Offered Spring 2015. | Course Website

CIS 430 - Intro to Human Language Technology
Prerequisite(s): CIS 121

This course is an automatic summarization that can help alleviate the information overload problem caused by the unprecedented amount of online textual information. The building of a summarization system requires good understanding of the properties of human language and the use of various natural language tools. In this course we will build several summarization systems of increasing complexity and sophistication. In the process we will learn about various natural language processing tools and resources such as part of speech tagging, chunking, parsing, Wordnet, and machine learning toolkits. We will also cover probability and statistics concepts used in summarization, but also applicable to a wide range of other language-related tasks.

Offered Fall 2012. | Course Website

CIS 441 - Embedded Software for Life-Critical Applications

The goal of this course is to give students greater design and implementation experience in embedded software development and to teach them how to model, design, verify, and validate safety critical systems in a principled manner. Students will learn the principles, methods, and techniques for building life-critical embedded systems, ranging from requirements and models to design, analysis, optimization, implementation, and validation. Topics will include modeling and analysis methods and tools, real-time programming paradigms and languages, distributed real-time systems, global time, time-triggered communications, assurance case, software architecture, evidence-based certification, testing, verification, and validation. The course will include a series of projects that implements life-critical embedded systems (e.g., pacemaker, infusion pumps, closed-loop medical devices).

Offered Fall 2014.

CIS 450 - Database and Information Systems      
Prerequisite: CIS 121 or (CIT 594 and CIT 592) or equivalent

Introduction to the theory and practice of data management systems, including databases and data integration. The Entity-Relationship approach as a modeling tool. The relational model, algebra and calculus. Database design and relational normalization. Views and their role in security and integration. Physical data organization and indexing structures. Query execution and optimization. Updates and integrity: transaction management, concurrency control and recovery techniques. Database-backed Web sites.

Offered Fall 2014

CIS 455 - Internet and Web Systems
Prerequisite(s): Familiarity with threads and concurrency; strong Java programming skills.

This course focuses on the challenges encountered in building Internet and web systems: scalability, interoperability (of data and code), security and fault tolerance, consistency models, and location of resources, services, and data. We will examine how XML standards enable information exchange; how web services support cross-platform interoperability (and what their limitations are); how to build high-performance application servers; how "cloud computing" services work; how to perform Akamai-like content distribution; and how to provide transaction support in distributed environments. We will study techniques for locating machines, resources, and data (including directory systems, information retrieval indexing, ranking, and web search); and we will investigate how different architectures support scalability (and the issues they face). We will also examine ideas that have been proposed for tomorrow's Web, and we will see some of the challenges, research directions, and potential pitfalls. An important goal of the course is not simply to discuss issues and solutions, but to provide hands-on experience with a substantial implementation project. This semester's project will be a peer-to-peer implementation of a Google-style search engine, including distributed, scalable crawling; indexing with ranking; and even PageRank. As a side-effect of the material of this course, you will learn about some aspects of large-scale software development: assimilating large APIs, thinking about modularity, reading other people's code, managing versions, debugging, etc.

Offered Spring 2015. | Course Website

CIS 460 - Computer Graphics
Prerequisite(s): CIS 120 and 121, and preferably CIS 277

A thorough introduction to computer graphics techniques, covering primarily 3D modeling and image synthesis. Topics cover: geometric transformations, geometric algorithms, software systems (OpenGL), 3D object models (surface and volume), visible surface algorithms, image synthesis, shading and mapping, ray tracing, radiosity, global illumination, photon mapping, anti-aliasing and compositing.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 462 - Computer Animation
Prerequisite(s): Previous exposure to major concepts in linear algebra (i.e. vector matrix math), curves and surfaces, dynamical systems (e.g. 2nd order mass-spring-damper systems) and 3D computer graphics has also been assumed in the preparation of the course materials.  

This course covers core subject matter common to the fields of robotics, character animation and embodied intelligent agents. The intent of the course is to provide the student with a solid technical foundation for developing, animating and controlling articulated systems used in interactive computer games, virtual reality simulations and high-end animation applications. The course balances theory with practice by "looking under the hood" of current animation systems and authoring tools and exams the technologies and techniques used from both a computer science and engineering perspective. Topics covered include: geometric coordinate systems and transformations; quaternions; parametric curves and surfaces; forward and inverse kinematics; dynamic systems and control; computer simulation; keyframe, motion capture and procedural animation; behavior-based animation and control; facial animation; smart characters and intelligent agents.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 477 - Mathematical Methods/Techniques for Linguistics and Natural Language Processing
Prerequisite(s): Phil 006 or instructor's permission. Cross-listed with Ling 477.

Basic concepts of set theory, relations and functions, properties of relations. Basic concepts of algebra. Grammars, languages, and automata, finite state grammars, regular expressions, context-free and context-sensitive grammars, mildly context-sensitive grammars, unrestricted grammars, finite automata, pushdown automata and other related automata, Turing machines. Syntax and semantics of grammar formalisms. Strong generative capacity of grammars, Grammars as deductive systems, parsing as deduction. Relevance of formal grammars to modeling biological sequences. The course will deal with these topics in a very basic and introductory manner--ideas of proofs and not detailed proofs, and more importantly with plenty of linguistic examples to bring out the linguistic relevance of these topics.

Not offered 2014-2015

CIS 480 - Distributed Systems
Prerequisite(s): CIS 380, some network programming experience is desirable

Ever increasing availability of inexpensive processors connected by a communication network has motivated the development of numerous concepts and paradigms for distributed real-time embedded systems. The primary objectives of this course are to study the principles and concepts of real-time embedded computing and to provide students hands-on experience in developing embedded applications. This course covers the concepts and theory necessary to understand and program embedded real-time systems. This includes concepts and theory for real-time system design, analysis, and certification; programming and operating systems for embedded systems; and concepts, technologies, and protocols for distributed embedded real-time systems.

The course will cover a variety of existing systems and technologies, e.g., real-time kernels, virtual machines, architectural description language, formal method tools, synchronous and logical-time programming paradigms, and certification methods.  The course requires active student participation in-group projects.  Each group will be responsible for the design and implementation of a life-critical embedded system such as a pacemaker. The group projects are intended to complement the learning of principles and concepts through the application of theory in practice and the development of experimental skills in building embedded applications.

Not offered 2014-2015.

CIS 482 - Logic In Computer Science
Pre-requisite(s): CIS 160

Logic has been called the calculus of computer science as it plays a fundamental role in computer science, similar to that played by calculus in the physical sciences and traditional engineering disciplines. Indeed, logic is useful in areas of computer science as disparate as architecture (logic gates), software engineering (specification and verification), programming languages (semantics, logic programming), databases (relational algebra and SQL), artificial intelligence (automatic theorem proving), algorithms (complexity and expressiveness), and theory of computation (general notions of computability). CIS 482 provides the students with a thorough introduction to mathematical logic, covering in depth the topics of syntax, semantics, decision procedures, formal proof systems, and soundness and completeness for both propositional and first-order logic. The material is taught from a computer science perspective, with an emphasis on algorithms, computational complexity, and tools. Projects will focus on problems in circuit design, specification and analysis of protocols, and query evaluation in databases.

Not offered 2014-2015.

CIS 497 - Senior Project (DMD Students only)
Prerequisite(s): Senior standing or permission of instructor

The goal of this course is to provide an opportunity for seniors to define, design, and execute a project of your own choosing that demonstrates the technical skills and abilities that you have acquired during your 4 years as undergraduates. Evaluation is based on selecting an interesting topic, completing appropriate research on the state of the art in that area, communicating your objectives in writing and in presentations, accurately estimating what resources will be required to complete your chosen task, coding necessary functionality, and executing your plan.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.

NETS Courses:

Learn more about the NETS program here.

NETS 112 - Networked Life

  • What kind of science is appropriate for understanding the Facebook?
  • How does Google find what you're looking for... and exactly how do they make money doing so?
  • What properties might we expect any social network to reliably have, and are there simple explanations for them?
  • How does your position in an economic network (dis)advantage you?
  • How are individual and collective behavior related in complex networks?
  • What might we mean by the economics of spam?
  • What do game theory and the Paris subway have to do with Internet routing?

Networked Life looks at how our world is connected -- socially, economically, strategically and technologically -- and why it matters.

Offered Fall 2014.

NETS 150: Market and Social  Systems on the Internet

Want to understand the sociological and algorithmic aspects of friend recommendation? Want to know how Google decides what 10 answers to return, out of the 10 million matching results? Want to understand how search engines have revolutionized advertising? Then this is the course for you!

NETS 150 provides an overview of the issues, theoretical foundations, and existing techniques in networks (social, information, communication) and markets on the Internet. Subsequent NETS courses are available for students wishing to explore any of these topics in greater detail.

Offered Spring 2015.

NETS 212:  Scalable and Cloud Computing
Prerequisite(s): CIS 120 (CIS 121 co-requisite), CIS 160

What is the “cloud”?  How do we build software systems and components that scale to millions of users and petabytes of data, and are “always available”?

In the modern Internet, virtually all large Web services run atop multiple geographically distributed data centers:  Google, Yahoo, Facebook, iTunes, Amazon, EBAY, Bing, etc.  Services must scale across thousands of machines, tolerate failures, and support thousands of concurrent requests.  Increasingly, the major providers (including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HP, and IBM) are looking at “hosting” third-party applications in their data centers – forming so-called “cloud computing” services.

This course, aimed at a sophomore with exposure to basic programming within the context of a single machine, focuses on the issues and programming models related to such cloud and distributed data processing technologies:  how to think about dividing both data and work across large clusters of machines, both within and across data centers, how to design algorithms that do this parallel computation, and how to implement the algorithms in new frameworks such as MapReduce.

Offered Fall 2014.| Course Website

NETS 312: Theory of Networks
Want to understand how memes spread across the Internet? How organisms exhibit flocking behavior? How the structure of a network can help predict behavior among the nodes?

This course is a rigorous study of the structure and function of complex networks. From World Wide Web to networks of banks and lenders that form the financial sector, to friendship networks that influence our opinion and everyday decision-making, networks have become an integral part of our daily lives.

Semesters Offered: TBA

NETS 412: Algorithmic Game Theory

How should an auction for scarce goods be structured if the sellers wish to maximize their revenue? How badly will traffic be snarled if drivers each selfishly try to minimize their commute time, compared to if a benevolent dictator directed traffic? How can couples be paired so that no two couples wish to swap partners in hindsight? How can you be as successful as the best horse-racing expert at betting on horse races, without knowing anything about horse racing?

In this course, we will take an algorithmic perspective on problems in game theory, to solve problems such as the ones listed above. Game theory has applications in a wide variety of settings in which multiple participants with different incentives are placed in the same environment, must interact, and each "player"'s actions affect the others.

Offered Spring 2015

Graduate Courses

CIS 500 - Software Foundations
Prerequisite(s): CIS 121, 160, and 262 (or equivalents), plus substantial mathematical maturity (at least two additional undergraduate courses in math or theoretical CS).  Undergraduate-level coursework in programming languages, compilers, functional programming, or logic is helpful but not required.

This course introduces basic concepts and techniques in the foundational study of programming languages. The central theme is the view of programs and programming languages as mathematical objects for which precise claims may be made and proved. Particular topics include operational techniques for formal definition of language features, type systems and type safety properties, polymorphism, constructive logic, and the Coq proof assistant.  This course is appropriate as an upper-level undergraduate CIS elective. Undergraduates who have satisfied the prerequisites are welcome to enroll. No permission from the instructor is needed.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 501 - Computer Architecture
Prerequisite: Knowledge of computer organization and basic programming skills.

This course is an introductory graduate course on computer architecture with an emphasis on a quantitative approach to cost/performance design tradeoffs. The course covers the fundamentals of classical and modern uniprocessor design: performance and cost issues, instruction sets, pipelining, superscalar, out-of-order, and speculative execution mechanisms, caches, physical memory, virtual memory, and I/O. Other topics include: static scheduling, VLIW and EPIC, software speculation, long (SIMD) and short (multimedia) vector execution, multithreading, and an introduction to shared memory multiprocessors.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 502  -  Analysis of Algorithms
Prerequisite(s): CIT 594 or equivalent

An investigation of paradigms for design and analysis of algorithms. The course will include dynamic programming, flows and combinatorial optimization algorithms, linear programming, randomization and a brief introduction to intractability and approximation algorithms.  The course will include other advanced topics, time permitting.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 505   - Software Systems
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate-level knowledge of Operating Systems and Networking, programming experience (CIT 594 or equivalent).

This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts of distributed systems, and the design principles for building large scale computational systems. Topics covered include communication,
concurrency, programming paradigms, naming, managing shared state, caching, synchronization, reaching agreement, fault tolerance, security, middleware, and distributed applications. This course is appropriate as an upper-level undergraduate CIS elective. Undergraduates who have satisfied the prerequisites are welcome to enroll. No permission from the instructor is needed.

Offered Spring 2015

CIS 510 -  Curves and Surfaces: Theory and Applications
Prerequisite(s): Basic knowledge of linear algebra, calculus, and elementary geometry (CIS 560 not required.)

The course is about mathematical and algorithmic techniques used for geometric modeling and geometric design, using curves and surfaces. There are many applications in computer graphics as well as in robotics, vision, and computational geometry. Such techniques are used in 2D and 3D drawing and plot, object silhouettes, animating positions, product design (cars, planes, buildings), topographic data, medical imagery, active surfaces of proteins, attribute maps (color, texture, roughness), weather data, art, etc. Three broad classes of problems will be considered: Approximating curved shapes, using smooth curves or surfaces; Interpolating curved shapes, using smooth curves or surfaces; Rendering smooth curves or surfaces.

TBD Spring 2015

CIS 511 - Theory of Computation
Prerequisite(s): Discrete Mathematics, Automata theory or Algorithms at the undergraduate level.

Review of regular and context-free languages and machine models. Turing machines and RAM models, Decidability, Halting problem, Reductions, Recursively enumerable sets, Universal TMs, Church/Turing thesis. Time and space complexity, hierarchy theorems, the complexity classes P, NP, PSPACE, L, NL, and co-NL. Reductions revisited, Cook-Levin Theorem, completeness, NL = co-NL. Advanced topics as time permits: Circuit complexity and parallel computation, randomized complexity, approximability, interaction and cryptography.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 515 -  Fundamentals of Linear Algebra and Optimization
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate course in linear algebra, calculus

This course provides firm foundations in linear algebra and basic optimization techniques. Emphasis is placed on teaching methods and tools that are widely used in various areas of computer science. Both theoretical and algorithmic aspects will be discussed.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 518 - Topics in Logic: Finite Model Theory and Descriptive Complexity

The course will examine the expressive power of various logical languages over the class of finite structures. The course begins with an exposition of some of the fundamental theorems about the behavior of first--order logic in the context of finite structures, in particular, the Ehrenfeucht--Fraisse Theorem and the Trahktenbrot Theorem. The first of these results is used to show limitations on the expressive power of first--order logic over finite structures while the second result demonstrates that the problem of reasoning about finite structures using first--order logic is surprisingly complex. The course then proceeds to consider various extensions of first--order logic including fixed--point operators, generalized quantifiers, infinitary languages, and higher--order languages. The expressive power of these extensions will be studied in detail and will be connected to various problems in the theory of computational complexity. This last motif, namely the relation between descriptive and computational complexity, will be one of the main themes of the course.

TBD 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 520 - Machine Learning
Prerequisite(s): Elementary probability, calculus, and linear algebra.  Basic programming experience.

This course covers the foundations of statistical machine learning. The focus is on probabilistic and statistical methods for prediction and clustering in high dimensions. Topics covered include SVMs and logistic regression, PCA and dimensionality reduction, and EM and Hidden Markov Models.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 521 - Fundamentals of AI
Prerequisite(s): Students are expected to have the following background: Basic algorithms, data structures and complexity (dynamic programming, queues, stacks, graphs, big-O, P/NP); Basic probability and statistics (random variables, standard distributions, simple regression); Basic linear algebra (matrices, vectors, norms, inverses); Reasonable programming skills.

Modern AI uses a collection of techniques from a number of fields in the design of intelligent systems:probability, statistics, logic, operations research, optimal control and economics, to name a few. This course covers basic modeling and algorithmic tools from these fields underlying current research and highlights their applications in computer vision, robotics, and natural language processing.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 526 - Machine Translation

Google translate can instantly translate between any pair of over fifty human languages (for instance, from French to English). How does it do that? Why does it make the errors that it does? And how can you build something better? Modern translation systems like Google Translate and Bing Translator learn how to translate by reading millions of words of already translated text, and this course will show you
how they work. The course covers a diverse set of fundamental building blocks from linguistics, machine learning, algorithms, data structures, and formal language theory, along with their application to a real and difficult problem in artificial intelligence.  CIS 526 may be used towards fulfilling the CIS doctoral student seminar requirement.

Offered Spring 2015

CIS 530 - Computational Linguistics

Computational approaches to the problem of understanding and producing natural language text and speech, including speech processing, syntactic parsing, semantic interpretation, discourse meaning, and the role of pragmatics and world knowledge. The course will examine both rule-based and corpus-based techniques. It is recommended that students have some knowledge of logic, basic linguistics, and/or programming.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 534 - Multicore Programming and Architecture
Prerequisite(s): CIS 371 or CIS 501, and significant programming experience

This course is a pragmatic examination of multicore programming and the hardware architecture of modern multicore processors. Unlike the sequential single-core processors of the past, utilizing a multicore processor requires programmers to identify parallelism and write explicitly parallel code. Topics covered include: the relevant architectural trends and aspects of multicores, approaches for writing multicore software by extracting data parallelism (vectors and SIMD), thread-level parallelism, and task- based parallelism, efficient synchronization, and program profiling and performance tuning. The course focuses primarily on mainstream shared-memory multicores with some coverage of graphics processing units (GPUs). Cluster-based supercomputing is not a focus of this course. Several programming assignments and a course project will provide students first-hand experience with programming, experimentally analyzing, and tuning multicore software. Students are expected to have a solid understanding of computer architecture and strong programming skills (including experience with C/C++).

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015

CIS 535 - Introduction to Bioinformatics (GCB 535)

The course covers methods used in computational biology, including the  statistical models and algorithms used and the biological problems  which they address. Students will learn how tools such as BLAST work,  and will use them to address real problems. The course will focus on  sequence analysis problems such as exon, motif and gene finding, and on comparative methods but will also cover gene expression and proteomics.

TBD 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 537 - Biomedical Image Analysis
Prerequisite(s): Mathematics through multivariate calculus (Math 241), programming experience, as well as some familiarity with linear algebra, basic physics, and statistics.

This course covers the fundamentals of advanced quantitative image analysis that apply to all of the major and emerging modalities in biological/biomaterials imaging and in vivo biomedical imaging. While traditional image processing techniques will be discussed to provide context, the emphasis will be on cutting edge aspects of all areas of image analysis (including registration, segmentation, and high-dimensional statistical analysis). Significant coverage of state-of-the-art biomedical research and clinical applications will be incorporated to reinforce the theoretical basis of the analysis methods.

TBD 2014-2015

CIS 540  - Principles of Embedded Computation
Prerequisite(s): This course assumes mathematical maturity, commensurate with either ESE 210 (Introduction to Dynamical Systems), or CIS 262 (Introduction to Theory of Computation). It is suitable for students who have an undergraduate degree in computer science, or computer engineering, or electrical engineering. It is also suitable for Penn undergraduates in CIS or CE as an upper-level elective.

This course is focused on principles underlying design and analysis of computational elements that interact with the physical environment. Increasingly, such embedded computers are everywhere, from smart cameras to medical devices to automobiles. While the classical theory of computation focuses on the function that a program computes, to understand embedded computation, we need to focus on the reactive nature of the interaction of a component with its environment via inputs and outputs, the continuous dynamics of the physical world, different ways of communication among components, and requirements concerning safety, timeliness, stability, and performance. Developing tools for approaching design, analysis, and implementation of embedded systems in a principled manner is an active research area. This course will attempt to give students a coherent introduction to this emerging area.

This course is appropriate as an upper-level undergraduate CIS elective. Undergraduates who have satisfied the prerequisites are welcome to enroll. No permission from the instructor is needed.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 541 - Embedded Software for Life-critical Applications
Prerequisite(s): CIS 240 Introduction to Computer Architecture or equivalent; ESE 350 Embedded Systems recommended

This course is focused on cyber physical systems with emphasis on real-time issues. Cyber phsyical systems are integrations of computation and communication with physical processes. Embedded computers monitor and control physical processes in real-time. As these embedded computers are
increasingly networked, it is believed that there will be a revolutionary transformation. Just as personal computers have transformed from word processors to global communications devices for information gathering and sharing, embedded computers will change from small self-contained systems to cyber-physical systems by sensing, monitoring, controlling our physical environment.

The course is to study principles, methods, and techiques for building high-assurance cyber-physical systems. Topics will include requirements capture and modeling, mental models, assurance cases, hazard analysis, real-time programming and communication, real-time scheduling and virtual machines, feedback control in computer systems, vertification and validation, and evidence-based certification. The course will include a series of projects that will implement safety-critical embedded systems (e.g., pacemaker, infusion pump).

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 542 - Embedded Systems Programming
Prerequisite(s): C fluency

This course explores techniques for writing correct and efficient embedded code. Topics include C/C++ idioms, data abstraction, elementary data structures and algorithms, environment modeling, concurrency, hard real time, and modular program reasoning.

Offered Fall 2014

CIS 550  - Database and Information Systems
Prerequisite: CIS 121 or (CIT 594 and CIT 592) or equivalent.

Introduction to the theory and practice of data management systems, including databases and data integration. The Entity-Relationship approach as a modeling tool. The relational model, algebra and calculus. Database design and relational normalization. Views and their role in security and integration. Physical data organization and indexing structures. Query execution and optimization. Updates and integrity: transaction management, concurrency control and recovery techniques. Database-backed Web sites.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 551 - Computer and Network Security
Prerequisite(s): CIS 553 or equivalent is required; CIS 500 is recommended

This is an introduction to topics in the security of computer systems and communication on networks of computers. The course covers four major areas: fundamentals of cryptography, security for communication protocols, security for operating systems and mobile programs, and security for electronic commerce. Sample specific topics include: passwords and offline attacks, DES, RSA, DSA, SHA, SSL, CBC, IPSec, SET, DDoS attacks, biometric authentication, PKI, smart cards, S/MIME, privacy on the Web, viruses, security models, wireless security, and sandboxing. Students will be expected to display knowledge of both theory and practice through written examinations and programming assignments.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 552 - Advanced Programming
Prerequisite(s): Four courses involving significant programming and a discrete mathematics or modern algebra course. Enrollment by permission of the instructor only.

The goals of this course are twofold: (1) to take good programmers and turn them into excellent ones, and (2) to introduce them to a range of modern software engineering practices, in particular those embodied in advanced functional programming languages.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 553 - Networked Systems
Prerequisite(s): CIS 121 (Programming Languages and Techniques II), or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts in the design and implementation of networked systems, their protocols, and applications.
Topics to be covered include: Internet architecture, network applications, addressing, routing, transport protocols, network security, and peer-to-peer networks. The course will involve written assignments, examinations, and programming assignments.. Students will work in teams to design and implement networked systems in layers, from routing protocols, transport protocols, to peer-to-peer networks.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 554 - Programming Paradigms
Prerequisite(s): CIS 121 or CIT 594 or equivalent

Achieving mastery in a new programming language requires more than just learning a new syntax; rather, different languages support different ways to think about solving problems. Not all programming languages are inherently procedural or object-oriented. The intent of this course is to provide a basic understanding of a wide variety of programming paradigms, such as logic programming, functional programming, concurrent programming, rule-based programming, and others.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 555 - Internet and Web Systems
Prerequisite(s): Familiarity with threads and concurrency; strong Java programming skills.

This course focuses on the challenges encountered in building Internet and web systems: scalability, interoperability (of data and code), security and fault tolerance, consistency models, and location of resources, services, and data. We will examine how XML standards enable information exchange; how web services support cross-platform interoperability (and what their limitations are); how to build high-performance application servers; how "cloud computing" services work; how to perform Akamai-like content distribution; and how to provide transaction support in distributed environments. We will study techniques for locating machines, resources, and data (including directory systems, information retrieval indexing, ranking, and web search); and we will investigate how different architectures support scalability (and the issues they face). We will also examine ideas that have been proposed for tomorrow's Web, and we will see some of the challenges, research directions, and potential pitfalls. An important goal of the course is not simply to discuss issues and solutions, but to provide hands-on experience with a substantial implementation project. This semester's project will be a peer-to-peer implementation of a Google-style search engine, including distributed, scalable crawling; indexing with ranking; and even PageRank. As a side-effect of the material of this course, you will learn about some aspects of large-scale software development: assimilating large APIs, thinking about modularity, reading other people's code, managing versions, debugging, etc.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 558 - Computer Analysis and Modeling of Biological Signals and Systems (LING 525)
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate-level knowledge of linear algebra

A graduate course intended to introduce the use of signal and image processing tools for analyzing and modeling biological systems. We present a series of fundamental examples drawn from areas of speech analysis/synthesis, computer vision, and modeling of biological perceptual systems. Students learn the material through lectures and via a set of computer exercises developed in MATLAB.

TBD 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 559 - Programming and Problem Solving
Prerequisites: Proficiency in Java. CIS 320 or CIS 502, or equivalent

This course develops students' problem solving skills using techniques that they have learned during their CS training. Over the course of the semester, students work on group projects in which they use programming techniques to solve open-ended problems, e.g. optimization, simulation, etc. There are no “correct” answers to these problems; rather, the focus is on the four steps of the problem solving process: algorithmic thinking; programming; analysis; and communication.

Offered Fall 2014

CIS 560 - Computer Graphics
Prerequisite(s): One year programming experience (C, JAVA, C++)

A thorough introduction to computer graphics techniques, covering primarily 3D modeling and image synthesis. Topics cover: geometric transformations, geometric algorithms, software systems (OpenGL), 3D object models (surface and volume), visible surface algorithms, image synthesis, shading and mapping, ray tracing, radiosity, global illumination, photon mapping, anti-aliasing and compositing.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 562 - Computer Animation
Prerequisite: Previous exposure to major concepts in linear algebra (i.e. vector matrix math), curves and surfaces, dynamical systems (e.g. 2nd order mass-spring-damper systems) and 3D computer graphics has also been assumed in the preparation of the course materials.

This course covers core subject matter common to the fields of robotics, character animation and embodied intelligent agents.   The intent of the course is to provide the student with a solid technical foundation for developing, animating and controlling articulated systems used in interactive computer games, virtual reality simulations and high-end animation applications.  The course balances theory with practice by "looking under the hood" of current animation systems and authoring tools and exams the technologies and techniques used from both a computer science and engineering perspective.  Topics covered include: geometric coordinate systems and transformations; quaternions; parametric curves and surfaces; forward and inverse kinematics; dynamic systems and control; computer simulation; keyframe, motion capture and procedural animation; behavior-based animation and control; facial animation; smart characters and intelligent agents.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 563 - Physically Based Animation
Prerequisite(s): Students should have a good knowledge of object-oriented programming (C++) and basic familiarity with linear algebra and physics. Some background in computer graphics is helpful.

This course introduces students to common physically based simulation techniques for animation of fluids and gases, rigid and deformable solids, cloth, explosions, fire, smoke, virtual characters, and other systems. Physically based simulation techniques allow for creation of extremely realistic special effects for movies, video games and surgical simulation systems.  We will learn state-of-the-art techniques that are commonly used in current special effects and animation studios and in video games community. To gain hands-on experience, students will implement basic simulators for several systems. The topics will include: Particle Systems, Mass spring systems, Deformable Solids & Fracture, Cloth, Explosions & Fire, Smoke, Fluids, Deformable active characters, Simulation and control of rigid bodies, Rigid body dynamics, Collision detection and handling, Simulation of articulated characters, Simulated characters in games. The course is appropriate for both upper level undergraduate and graduate students.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 564 - Game Design and Development
Prerequisite(s): Basic understanding of 3D graphics and animation principles, prior exposure to scripting and programming languages such as Python, C and C++

The intent of the course is to provide students with a solid theoretical understanding of the core creative principles, concepts, and game play structures/schemas underlying most game designs. The course also will examine game development from an engineering point of view, including: game play mechanics, game engine software and hardware architectures, user interfaces, design documents, playtesting and production methods.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 565 - Gpu Programming and Architecture
Prerequisite: CIS 460 or CIS 560, and familiarity with computer hardware/systems. The hardware/systems requirement may be met by CIS 501; or CIT 593 and 595; or CIS 240 (with CIS 371 recommended); or equivalent coursework.

This course examines the architecture and capabilities of modern GPUs. The graphics processing unit (GPU) has grown in power over recent years, to the point where many computations can be performed faster on the GPU than on a traditional CPU. GPUs have also become programmable, allowing them to be used for a diverse set of applications far removed from traditional graphics settings. Topics covered include architectural aspects of modern GPUs, with a special focus on their streaming parallel nature, writing programs on the GPU using high level languages like Cg and BrookGPU, and using the GPU for graphics and general purpose applications in the area of geometry modeling, physical simulation, scientific computing and games. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of computer architecture and graphics, and should be proficient in OpenGL and C/C++.

This course is appropriate as an upper-level undergraduate CIS elective. Undergraduates who have satisfied the prerequisites are welcome to enroll. No permission from the instructor is needed.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 568 - Game Design Practicum
Prerequisites: CIS462/562: Computer Animation, CIS277 or CIS460/560: Computer Graphics
Co-requisites: CIS564: Computer Game Design and Development

The objective of the game design practicum is to provide students with hands on experience designing and developing 3D computer games. Working in teams of three or four, students will brainstorm an original game concept, write a formal game design document then develop a fully functional prototype consisting of a playable level of the game.  In addition to creation of original art and animation assets for the game, technical features to be designed and implemented include a novel game mechanic and/or user interaction model, game physics (i.e. particle systems and rigid body dynamics), character animation,  game AI (i.e. movement control, path planning, decision making, etc.), sound effects and background music, 2D graphical user interface (GUI) design and optional multiplayer networking capabilities.  Consistent with standard industry practices, game code and logic will be written using C++ and popular scripting languages such as Python and Lua.  State-of-the-art game and physics engine middleware also will be used to expose students to commercial-grade software, production methodologies and art asset pipelines.  As a result of their game development efforts, students will learn first hand about the creative process, design documentation, object-oriented software design and engineering, project management (including effective team collaboration and communication techniques),  design iteration through user feedback and play-testing, and most importantly, what makes a game fun to play.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 570 - Modern Programming Language Implementation
Prerequisite: CIS 500. An undergraduate course in compiler construction (CIS 341 or equivalent) is helpful but not required.

This course is a broad introduction to advanced issues in compilers and run-time systems for several classes of programming languages, including imperative, object-oriented, and functional. Particular attention is paid to the structures, analyses, and transformations used in program optimization.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015

CIS 571 - Recursion Theory (PHIL 411)

This course covers the basic theory of recursive and recursively enumerable sets and the connection between this theory and a variety of decision problems of interest in a computational setting. The course proceeds to an exposition of recursion theoretic reducibilities. Elementary results about degrees of unsolvability are established. The theory of arithmetical, analytical, and projective hierarchies are presented. The study of functionals at this point provides an entry into the computationally important subject of recursion at higher types. Basic parts of the theory of inductive definitions and monotone operators are presented. If time and interest permit, this theory is applied to the analysis of the semantical paradoxes. The course concludes with an investigation of the lower levels of the analytical and projective hierarchies. Applications to the degrees of unsolvability of various logical systems will be presented, connections between the hierarchies and predicative formal systems are established, and the relation between the theory of the projective hierarchy and topics in classical descriptive set theory are indicated.

TBD 2014-2015

CIS 572 - Set Theory (PHIL 413)

This course is an introduction to set theory. It will begin with a study of Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory (ZF) as a partial description of the cumulative hierarchy of sets. Elementary properties of cardinal and ordinal numbers will be developed in ZF. The inner model of constructible sets will be used to establish the relative consistency of the axiom of choice and the generalized continuum hypothesis with ZF. The method of forcing will be introduced to establish the independence of the continuum hypothesis from ZF and other independence results. Large cardinals and their bearing on the resolution of questions about the continuum will be considered.

TBD 2014-2015.

CIS 573 - Software Engineering
Prerequisites: CIT 591 and 593, or CIS 120, 121, and 240, or equivalent; proficiency in Java.

Writing a “program” is easy. Developing a “software product”, however, introduces numerous challenges that make it a much more difficult task. This course will look at how professional software engineers address those challenges, by investigating best practices from industry and emerging trends in software engineering research. Topics will focus on software maintenance issues, including: test case generation and test suite adequacy; code analysis; verification and model checking; debugging and fault localization; refactoring and regression testing; and software design and quality.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 580 - Machine Perception
Prerequisite: A solid grasp of the fundamentals of linear algebra. Some knowledge of programming in C and/or Matlab.

An introduction to the problems of computer vision and other forms of machine perception that can be solved using geometrical approaches rather than statistical methods. Emphasis will be placed on both analytical and computational techniques. This course is designed to provide students with an exposure to the fundamental mathematical and algorithmic techniques that are used to tackle challenging image based modeling problems. The subject matter of this course finds application in the fields of Computer Vision, Computer Graphics and Robotics. Some of the topics to be covered include: Projective Geometry, Camera Calibration, Image Formation, Projective, Affine and Euclidean Transformations, Computational Stereopsis, and the recovery of 3D structure from multiple 2D images. This course will also explore various approaches to object recognition that make use of geometric techniques, these would include alignment based methods and techniques that exploit geometric invariants. In the assignments for this course, students will be able to apply the techniques to actual computer vision problems.

This course is appropriate as an upper-level undergraduate CIS elective. Undergraduates who have satisfied the prerequisites are welcome to enroll. No permission from the instructor is needed.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 581- Computer Vision & Computational Photography

This is an introductory course to Computer Vision and Computational Photography.  This course will explore three topics: 1) image morphing, 2) image matching and stitching, and 3) image recognition.  This course is intended to provide a hands-on experience with  interesting things to do on images/videos. The world is becoming image-centric.  Cameras are now found everywhere, in our cell phones, automobiles, even in medical surgery tools. Computer vision technology has led to latest innovations in areas such as Hollywood movie production, medical diagnosis, biometrics, and digital library.  This course is suited for students from all Engineering backgrounds, who have the basic knowledge of linear algebra and programming, and a lot of imagination.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 582 - Logic in Computer Science
Pre-requisite: CIS 160 or CIT 592 or equivalent

Logic has been called the calculus of computer science as it plays a fundamental role in computer science, similar to that played by calculus in the physical sciences and traditional engineering disciplines. Indeed, logic is useful in areas of computer science as disparate as architecture (logic gates), software engineering (specification and verification), programming languages (semantics, logic programming), databases (relational algebra and SQL), artificial intelligence (automatic theorem proving), algorithms (complexity and expressiveness), and theory of computation (general notions of computability). CIS 582 provides students with a thorough introduction to mathematical logic, covering in depth the topics of syntax, semantics, decision procedures, formal proof systems, and soundness and completeness for both propositional and first-order logic. The material is taught from a computer science perspective, with an emphasis on algorithms, computational complexity, and tools. Projects will focus on problems in circuit design, specification and analysis of protocols, and query evaluation in databases.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 597 -  Master's Thesis Research

For students working on an advanced research leading to the completion of a master's thesis.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

CIS 599 - Independent Study for Master's Students

For master's students studying a specific advanced subject area in computer and information science. Involves coursework and class presentations. A CIS 599 course unit will invariably include formally gradable work comparable to that in a CIS 500-level course. Students should discuss with the faculty supervisor the scope of the Independent Study, expectations, work involved, etc.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.

CIS 601 - Advanced Topics in Computer Architecture
Prerequisite: Graduate Computer Architecture (CIS 501) or strong performance in undergraduate Digital Systems Organization and Design (CIS 371).

This course will focus on research topics in computer architecture, and include reading and presenting research papers and an optional project. The content will differ with each offering, covering topics such as multicore programmability, datacenter and warehouse-scale computing, security, energy-efficient architectures, etc.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015

CIS 610 - Advanced Geometric Methods in Computer Science
Prerequisite: CIS510 or coverage of equivalent material

The purpose of this course is to present some of the advanced geometric methods used in geometric modeling, computer graphics, computer vision, etc. The topics may vary from year to year, and will be selected among the following subjects (nonexhaustive list): Introduction to projective geometry with applications to rational curves and surfaces, control points for Rational curves, rectangular and triangular rational patches, drawing closed rational curves and surfaces; Differential geometry of curves (curvature, torsion, osculating planes, the Frenet frame, osculating circles, osculating spheres); Differential geometry of surfaces (first fundamental form, normal curvature, second fundamental form, geodesic curvature, Christoffel symbols, principal curvatures, Gaussian curvature, mean curvature, the Gauss map and its derivative dN, the Dupin indicatrix, the Theorema Egregium, equations of Codazzi-Mainardi, Bonnet's theorem, lines of curvatures, geodesic torsion, asymptotic lines, geodesic lines, local Gauss-Bonnet theorem).

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 613 - Nonlinear Control Theory (MEAM 613/ESE 617)
Prerequisite: A sufficient background to linear algebra (ENM 510/511 or equivalent) and a course in linear control theory (MEAM 513 or equivalent), or written permission of the instructor

This course studies issues in nonlinear control theory, with a particular emphasis on the use of geometric principles. Topics include: controllability, accessibility, and observability for nonlinear systems; Forbenius' theorem; feedback and input/output linearization for SISO and MIMO systems; dynamic extension; zero dynamics; output tracking and regulation; model matching; disturbance decoupling; examples will be taken from mechanical systems, robotic systems, including those involving nonholonomic constraints, and active control of vibrations.

TBD 2014-2015

CIS 620 - Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence
Prerequisite: CIS 520 or equivalent

Discussion of problems and techniques in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Planning, Natural Language Processing, Constraint Systems, Machine Learning; Applications of AI.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 625 - Introduction to Computational Learning Theory
Prerequisite: Prior courses in algorithms, complexity and statistics would be helpful but are not necessary.

This course is an introduction to Computational Learning Theory, a field which attempts to provide algorithmic, complexity-theoretic and statistical foundations to modern machine learning. The focus is on topics in computational learning theory for researchers and students in artificial intelligence, neural networks, theoretical computer science, and statistics.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015

CIS 630 - Advanced Topics in Natural Language Processing
Prerequisite: CIS 530 or permission of instructor

Different topics selected each offering; e.g., NL generation, question-answering, information extraction, machine translation, restricted grammar formalisms, computational lexical semantics, etc.

TBD Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 635 - Advanced Computational Biology (BIOL 537)
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 536 or permission of instructor

Discussion of special research topics.

TBD 2014-2015

CIS 639 - Statistical Approaches to Natural Language Understanding

This course examines the recent development of corpus-based techniques in natural language processing, focusing on both statistical and primarily symbolic learning techniques. Particular topics vary from year to year.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015

CIS 640 - Advanced Topics in Software Systems
Prerequisite: CIS 505 or equivalent

Different topics selected for each course offering.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 650 - Advanced Topics in Databases
Prerequisite: CIS 550

Advanced topics in databases: distributed databases, integrity constraints, failure, concurrency control, relevant relational theory, semantics of data models, the interface between programming of languages and databases. Object-oriented databases. New topics are discussed each year.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 660 - Advanced Topics in Computer Graphics & Animation
Prerequisite: CIS 560 or permission of instructor

The goal of the course is to review state-of-the art research in the fields of computer graphics and animation as well as provide students with working knowledge of how to convert theory to practice by developing an associated graphics/animation authoring tool.  The course is comprised of primers, lectures, student presentations and the authoring tool group project.  Each student will be responsible for presenting one primer and at least two SIGGRAPH papers to the class.  Working in teams of two, students will design and develop an authoring tool that that facilitates the creation of a new type of user interaction, animation/simulation capability or 3D graphics special effect.   Research papers published in the SigGraph Conference proceedings will provide the basis for the features/functionality/special effects that can be selected for implementation in the authoring tool. Each group will analyze the need and user requirements for the tool they plan to develop, prepare a formal software design document, construct a project work plan, develop the authoring tool functionality and user interface, test the design and demonstrate the authoring of associated content.  A plug-in to standard authoring tools such as Maya or Houdini must also be developed to enable importing of appropriate assets and/or exporting of results.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIS 670 - Advanced Topics in Programming Languages
Prerequisite: CIS 500

The details of this course change from year to year, but its purpose is to cover theoretical topics related to programming languages. Some central topics include: denotational vs operational semantics, domain theory and category theory, the lambda calculus, type theory (including recursive types, generics, type inference, and modules), logics of programs and associated completeness and decidability problems, specification languages, and models of concurrency. The course requires a degree of mathematical sophistication.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 673 - Computer-Aided Verification
Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of algorithms, data structures, automata theory, propositional logic, operating systems, communication protocols, and hardware (CIS 262, CIS 380, or permission of the instructor).

This course introduces the theory and practice of formal methods for the design and analysis of concurrent and embedded systems. The emphasis is on the underlying logical and automata-theoretic concepts, the algorithmic solutions, and heuristics to cope with the high computational complexity. Topics: Models and semantics of reactive systems; Verification algorithms; Verification techniques. Topics may vary depending on instructor.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIS 677 - Advanced Topics in Algorithms And Complexity
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor

This course covers various aspects of discrete algorithms. Graph-theoretic algorithms in computational biology, and randomization and computation; recent literature in dynamic graph algorithms, approximation algorithms, and other areas according to student interests.

Offered Fall 2014

CIS 680 - Advanced Topics in Machine Perception
Prerequisite: A previous course in machine perception or knowledge of image processing, experience with an operating system and language such as Unix and C, and aptitude for mathematics.

Graduate seminar in advanced work on machine perception as it applies to robots as well as to the modeling of human perception. Topics vary with each offering. Check with instructor.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015 | Course Website

CIS 682 - Friendly Logics

The use of logical formalisms in Computer Science is dominated by a fundamental conflict: expressiveness vs. algorithmic tractability. Database constraint logics, temporal logics and description logics are successful compromises in this conflict: (1) they are expressive enough for practical specifications in certain areas, and (2) there exist interesting algorithms for the automated use of these specifications. Interesting connections can be made between these logics because temporal and description logics are modal logics, which in turn can be seen, as can database constraint logics, as certain fragments of first-order logic. These connections might benefit research in databases, computer-aided verification and AI. Discussion includes other interesting connections, eg., with SLD-resolution, with constraint satisfaction problems, with finite model theory and with automata theory.

Not expected to be offered 2014-2015

CIS 700 - Special Topics

One-time course offerings of special interest. Equivalent to a CIS 5XX-level course.

Offered Fall 2014 and TBD Spring 2015

CIS 800 - PhD Special Topics Seminar

One-time course offerings of special interest. Equivalent to a CIS seminar course. 

TBD 2014-2015

CIS 895 - Teaching Practicum

Enrollment for students participating in Teaching Practicum.

Offered Fall 2014 and TBD Spring 2015

CIS 899 - Independent Study for Doctoral Students

For doctoral students studying a specific advanced subject area in computer and information science. The Independent Study may involves coursework, presentations, and formally gradable work comparable to that in a CIS 500 or 600 level course. The Independent Study may also be used by doctoral students to explore research options with faculty, prior to determining a thesis topic. Students should discuss with the faculty supervisor the scope of the Independent Study, expectations, work involved, etc.   The Independent Study should not be used for ongoing research towards a thesis, for which the CIS 999 designation should be used.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

CIS 990 – Master's Thesis

For master's students who have taken ten course units and need only to complete the writing of a thesis or finish work for incompletes in order to graduate. CIS 990 carries full time status with zero course units, and may be taken only once.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

CIS 995 - Dissertation

For PhD candidates working exclusively on their dissertation research following their dissertation proposal.   There is no credit or grade for CIS 995.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

CIS 996 - Research Seminar

Introduction to research being conducted in the department. Mandatory for first year doctoral students - taken as fifth course for no credit.

Offered Fall 2014

CIS 999 - Thesis/Dissertation Research for Doctoral Students

For students pursuing advanced research to fulfil PhD dissertation requirements.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

MCIT Courses

CIT 590 - Programming Languages and Techniques
Prerequisite(s): none

Introduction to fundamental concepts of programming and computer science for students who have little or no experience in these areas. Principles of modern object-oriented programming languages: abstraction, types, polymorphism, encapsulation, and inheritance. Basic algorithmic techniques and informal complexity analysis. Graphical user interfaces. Substantial programming assignments. This course is for students who do not have an academic background in computer science and who are not pursuing the Master's in Computer Information Technology and who are not graduate students in the CIS Department.  Students in SEAS graduate programs such as EE, TCOM, BIOT, MEAM, & MSE, as well as students outside SEAS, such as those in Cell & Molecular Biology (CAMB) and Genomics & Computational Biology (GCB) in the Medical School, as well as graduate students from other disciplines in the University will find this course useful.

Offered Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIT 591 - Programming Languages and Techniques I

Introduction to fundamental concepts of programming and computer science. Principles of modern object-oriented programming languages: abstraction, types, polymorphism, encapsulation, and inheritance. Basic algorithmic techniques and informal complexity analysis. Graphical user interfaces. Substantial programming assignments. This course is for MCIT students only.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIT 592 - Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science

Foundations: Sets, Functions, Summations, and Sequences. Introduction to algorithms. Counting techniques: The pigeonhole principle, permutations and combinations. Discrete probability. Selected topics from Number theory and/or Graph Theory.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIT 593 - Introduction to Computer Architecture

This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts of computer systems and computer architecture. You will learn the C programming language and an instruction set (machine language) as a basis for understanding how computers represent data, process information, and execute programs. The course also focuses on the Unix environment and includes a weekly hands-on lab session.

Offered Fall 2014 | Course Website

CIT 594 - Programming Languages and Techniques II
Prerequisite(s): CIT 591 or consent of instructor

Basic data structures, including lists, stacks, queues, hash tables, trees, priority queues, and Java Collections. Algorithms, algorithm types, and simple complexity analysis. Development and implementation of program specifications. Software architecture and design methods, including modular program development, correctness arguments, and testing techniques. Concepts illustrated through extensive programming assignments.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIT 595 - Digital System Organization and Design
Prerequisite(s):  CIT 593 or equivalent

This course explores various topics in modern operating systems and computer architecture, including multithreading and synchronization, interprocess communication, memory management (caching, virtual memory, etc.), I/O, and security. We also look at techniques that are used to enhance processor performance at the hardware and software level. You will learn a variety of C and C++ programming techniques that will make you a better IT professional, and will get an understanding of what's happening “under the covers” in modern computer systems.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIT 596 - Theory of Computation
Prerequisite(s): CIT 592 or equivalent

Relations. Finite automata, regular languages, regular grammars, and applications. Pushdown automata, trees, context-free grammars, and applications. Turing machines. Introduction to computability and complexity theory.

Offered Spring 2015 | Course Website

CIT 597 - Programming Languages and Techniques III
Prerequisite(s): CIT 591 or equivalent and CIT 594 or equivalent. No prior experience with C# or .NET required.

Advanced object-oriented programming for Linux and Windows web servers, taught hands-on in a lab. Java and/or C# topics may include serialization, synchronization, reflection, advanced I/O, servlets and generic handlers, dependency injection, protecting against SQL injection, XML, Javascript, SOAP and REST web services, database access for web pages, and others. Substantial programming assignments. May be taken by MCIT and CIS graduate students.

Offered Fall 2014