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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Advanced Computer Applications: An Information Technology Approach includes CD-ROM by Daphne Press (EMC/Paradigm Publishing) In this book/CD-ROM package, Press (Ozarks Technical Community College) presents an extended case that allows students to make decisions as IT professionals working in the IT department of a landscaping company. Designed for a semester-long course, the text requires the use of advanced Microsoft Office functions and tools such as forms, templates, macros, and VBA. It also requires integration of productivity and system tools such as data import and export and file management across platforms. Students should be familiar with Office XP or a later version. The CD-ROM includes data files, a project planning template, and testing templates.

In the world of business, managers rely on the skills of information technology professionals to help them establish efficient workflow systems and to solve their data management problems. In Advanced Computer Applications: An Information Technology Approach by Daphne Press, students develop information technology tools while focusing on realistic workplace problem solving. The text represents an authentic work environment; projects are presented much like they would be in a real job situation.

Designed with ample lab work for a semester-long course, this text requires the use of advanced Microsoft Office functions and tools such as forms, templates, macros, PivotTables, database security, Access subforms, and use of VBA. It requires the integration of productivity and system tools such as data import and export and file management across platforms. In addition, project work requires analysis of customer needs, the development of solutions, and careful assessment of the completed project.

Students using this text should be working with Office XP or a later version. The CD included with each text includes student data files, a project planning template, and testing templates to support project work. Instructor support material is provided on an Instructor CD and includes model answers, evaluation guidelines, teaching

hints, and PowerPoint slide shows to support project work.

You are an IT professional working for Cameron Morgan, the manager of the IT department of Landmark Landscaping. At Landmark Landscaping, managers of the other departments approach Cameron for IT support and then Cameron delegates these jobs to you to complete. Cameron provides you the requirements and other information received concerning each assignment. When the book requests that you submit items to Cameron, you will be submitting those items to your instructor. Your instructor may ask you to work with your classmates by testing each other's work, providing suggestions, or sharing ideas.

Each chapter begins with an overview of the IT needs of a particular department at Landmark Landscaping. A brief description of each service requested is also provided to give you an idea about the types of assignments you will receive within that chapter.

Each project begins with a list of Technical and Professional Objectives. These objectives include both technical skills that will be used in developing the solution for the project, as well as professional skills such as letter composition, research, and other types of communication.

The Project Overview summarizes the project request, the information you have available to do the project, what you will be required to develop, and the general process you are expected to follow in the completion of the project.

Next, the Technical Approach section provides information to you from Cameron. Here, Cameron identifies the request and refers you to the information he has been given, such as letters or faxes, and any requirement lists. Cameron also gives you additional technical information to help you along the way. These are not step-by-step instructions, but are rather general guidance, suggested order of tasks to complete the project, and further information perhaps not given in the items provided. In the more advanced areas of the projects, you will be given more specific information. For example, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is sprinkled throughout the book in small doses. The Technical Approach tells you what you are required to do (although not in step-by-step detail), and explains the purpose of each line of code. In other projects, Cameron provides you with a suggestion of the general order of steps you should take in completing the project.

The Tips and Hints section provides generic technical information that is applicable to the types of skills you need to complete the project. It is up to you to apply this information to the project. The Tips and Hints state how certain tasks can be accomplished, where to find a feature in the application, or precautions to take while performing certain tasks.

The Help Topics provide further technical guidance. You should become accustomed to looking up information in the Help topics of Microsoft Office. Often, more information is available in the online Help than you will see in textbooks. The topics listed are given to help you not only in the project in which they are listed, but for future problems you might encounter that are similar in nature to the one you are currently working on.

In the Project Testing section, you will be asked to check your work, and if your instructor requires it, to have another student check your work as well. Testing is a vital part of developing IT solutions that other people will be using. You should always make sure you are providing a high-quality product. You must test, or check, your end product for accuracy and execution problems, and then verify that it meets all of the agreed-upon requirements. If you are working in a team environment, you can work with other students and review their solutions and see if they differ significantly from yours.

The checklist provided in the Project Testing section is in the form of questions that should have a "yes" answer if your solution is correct for that item. If you have a "no" answer, you will need to go back to your project and revise your work. Project testing templates are available for each project on the Student CD.

The Project Analysis and Feedback section gives you an opportunity to think critically about your solution, the process you took to develop it, how it might have been done differently, and the technical information that is related to the use of the solution. Your thoughts and opinions will be directed to Cameron in e-mails, often with attachments that will be used for other purposes. These attachments give you the opportunity to develop the related professional skills in communication, writing, research, and critical thinking. You are sometimes asked to distill and summarize

information. Other times you are asked to write to meet the needs of different audiences or to give detailed information or provide it in other formats, such as tables or charts.

The Team Building section gives ideas for how you might work with peers in the IT department on sharing ideas or critiquing work. As an IT professional, it is paramount that you are able to interact with other people, take constructive criticism, and tactfully provide suggestions to others. This section provides suggestions on how these types of activities might take place and gives you the opportunity to experience simulated professional interactions.

Finally, the Project Summary allows you to record all of the possible requirements for the project in a Project Completion Record table. The main solution for the project is always indicated as required. Add a check mark to the others if they are also required by your instructor. The table provides a place for you to record when each item is due as well as your submission dates.

Computer Sciences edited by Roger R. Flynn (MacMillian Science Library: Macmillian Reference USA, Thomson Gale) Designed as an accessible first-stop reference for high school students and general readers, this four-volume reference divides the subject into four main themes: foundations--ideas and people; software and hardware; social applications; and the "electronic universe" (the Internet, banking, books, publishing, information access and overload, ethics, encryption...). Contributed by 125 authors with various areas of expertise, 286 signed, alphabetically arranged articles of a few pages or more are presented with cross references and bibliographic and/or internet resources for further investigation. The deliberately non-intimidating page design incorporates sidebars, definitions, and b&w illustrations. Each volume devotes about 60 pages (20 percent) to a glossary and index; the fourth volume contains a cumulative index.
The science of computing has come a long way since the late 1930s, when John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry began work on the first electronic digital computer. One marvels to see how the science has advanced from the days of Charles Babbage, who developed the Difference Engine in the 1820s, and, later proposed the Analytical Engine. Computer science was and continues to be an intriguing field filled with interesting stories, colorful personalities, and incredible innovations.

Ever since their invention, computers have had a profound impact on society and the ways in which humans conduct business and financial matters, fight wars and maintain peace, provide goods and services, predict events (e.g., earthquakes, the weather, global warming), monitor security and safety, and a host of other applications too numerous to mention. Plus, the personal computer revolution, beginning in the 1980s, has brought computers into many homes and schools. This has helped students find new ways to prepare reports, conduct research, and study using computerized methods. In the new millennium, the role that computers play in society continues to grow.

The World of Computer Science

In preparing this encyclopedia, I came across references to the early work on the IBM System/360 series of computers, which featured capacities of 65,000 to 16 million bytes (4 byte‑words) of main storage and disk storage of several million to tens or hundreds of million bytes. At the same time, I opened the Sunday paper in February of 2002 and scanned the ads for personal computers, announcing memories of several hundred million bytes and disk storage of gigabytes. The cost of the 360 series ranged from fifty to several hundred thousand dollars to more than a million. Prices for the computers advertised in my Sunday paper ranged from several hundred dollars to a few thousand. The IBM 360 series was released in 1964. If a similar breakthrough occurred in education or automobile manufacturing (a factor of 1000, on the conservative side), a year in college would cost $20, as would a good model car! This, of course, is not the case.

However, computer hardware is not the entire story. Machines all need software, operating systems, applications software, and the like. While a person was hard pressed to get a line drawing or a bar chart on the screen 25 years ago, someone today has a choice of presentation software (slides or projections of the computer screen), desktop publishing, spreadsheets, and the like, much of which comes bundled with the system.

In fact, today one can purchase, for a few thousand dollars, more equipment and software than the Department of Information Science and Telecommunications at my school (the University of Pittsburgh) or, for that matter, the entire university, could buy, when I first arrived in 1974. This is, indeed, an extraordinary era to have been a part of and witnessed. However, this does not happen in a vacuum. In this encyclopedia we aim to detail the people, activities, products, and growth of knowledge that have helped computer science evolve into what it is today.

The organization of this encyclopedia reflects the history and application of the field. Our first volume in this series is dedicated to the history of computing. Its subtitle is Foundations: Ideas and People. The second volume describes Software and Hardware, while the third addresses Social Applications. The fourth is appropriately subtitled the Electronic Universe as it looks at such developments and inventions as the Internet, ubiquitous computing (embedded computing), and miniaturization.

While the intent is to give an exhaustive view of the field, no encyclopedia of this size, or, for that matter, ten times its size, could provide a complete rendering of the developments, events, people, and technology involved. Hence, the four volumes provide a representative selection of the people, places, and events involved. The encyclopedia was developed from a U.S. point of view, but we trust that the articles herein are not intentionally biased and, hopefully, do justice to innovations and contributions from elsewhere in the world. A brief look at each volume of the encyclopedia follows.

Volume I discusses the foundations of computer science, including computing history and some important innovators. Among the people are American inventor Herman Hollerith (1860‑1929), the designer of punched card and punched card equipment; English mathematician Charles Babbage (1791‑1871), the inventor of the Difference Engine and the proposed Analytical Engine, a precursor of the stored program computer; English noblewoman Ada Byron King, the Countess of Lovelace (1815‑1852), the first "computer programmer"; American executive Thomas J. Watson Sr. (1874‑1956), early chief of the IBM Corporation; and American mathematician Grace Hopper (1906‑1992), who helped in the development of COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language) and developed one of its predecessors, FLOW­MATIC, and is the person who allegedly coined the term "computer bug."

Within Volume 1, various groups and organizations are discussed. These include the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), which brings together people from around the globe to exchange ideas and advance computer science; the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), which serves as the world's largest technical professional association, with more than 350,000 members; and the IBM Corporation, Apple Computer Inc., and the Microsoft Corporation, which all contributed to the start of the personal computer (PC) revolution. Among the more general articles the reader will find those concerning topics such as early pioneers, featuring primarily American and European scientists and their work; language generations, focusing on the evolution of computer languages; and computer generations, discussing early machines such as the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) and the EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer).

Finally, other articles of general interest in Volume 1 concern the history and workings of supercomputers; the development of the mouse; the question of computer security; the beginnings of the Internet; and the basics of digital and analog computing. The government's role is explained in articles on the U.S. Census Bureau and funding research projects. In addition, mathematical tools such as the binary number system and the slide rule as well as innovations such as France 's Minitel are also featured.

Volume 2 describes software and hardware. Articles cover topics from system analysis and design, which is the cornerstone of building a system, to operating systems, compilers, and parallel processing, which discuss some of the technical aspects of computing. Telecommunication subjects range from network design to wireless technology to ATM transmission, while application‑oriented articles include pattern recognition, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and computer music. Essays concerning software products include object‑oriented languages, client/server technology, invasive programs, and programming.

Among the people featured in Volume 2 are John Bardeen (1908‑1991), Walter H. Brattain (1902‑1987), and William B. Shockley (1910‑1989), inventors of the transistor; English mathematician George Boole (1815‑1864), developer of Boolean logic; and Alexander Graham Bell (1847‑1922), inventor of the telephone. Rounding out Volume 2 are the technical aspects of hardware‑related topics, including coding techniques, digital logic design, and cellular technology.

In Volume 3, the emphasis is on social applications. From fashion design to meteorology, the use of computers impacts our everyday lives. For example, computer technology has greatly influenced the study of biology, molecular biology, physics, and mathematics, not to mention the large role it plays in air traffic management and aircraft flight control, ATM machines and magnetic stripe cards for shopping and business. Businesses, large and small, have significantly benefited from applications that track product growth, costs, and the way products are managed. Volume 3 essays also explore the computer's role in medical image analysis and legal systems, while our use of computers in everyday life and our means of interacting with them are addressed in subjects such as library applications and speech recognition.

Volume 3 addresses our aesthetic and intellectual pursuits in areas such as composing music, playing chess, and designing buildings. Yet the advancements of computer sciences go much further as described in articles about agriculture, geographic information systems, and astronomy. Among the people featured in the volume are American inventor Al Gross (1918‑2001), the "father of wireless"; Hungarian mathematician Rozsa Peter (1905‑1977), promoter of the study of recursive functions; and American author Isaac Asimov (1920‑1992), famed science fiction writer who wrote extensively about robots.

Volume 4 delves into our interconnected, networked society. The Internet is explored in detail, including its history, applications, and backbone. Molecular computing and artificial life are discussed, as are mobile computing and encryption technology. The reader will find articles on electronic banking, books, commerce, publishing, as well as information access and overload. Ethical matters pertaining to the electronic universe are also addressed.

Volume 4 extends our aesthetic interest with articles on photography and the use of computers in art. Readers will learn more about how cybercafes keep friends and family connected as well as the type of social impact that computers have had on society. Data gathering, storage, and retrieval are investigated in topics such as data mining and data warehousing. Similarly, Java applets, JavaScript, agents, and Visual Basic are featured.

Among the people highlighted in Volume 4 are Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi (1874‑1937), inventor of wireless communications; American engineer Claude E. Shannon (1916‑2001), a pioneer of information theory; and Soviet mathematician Victor M. Glushkov (1923‑1982), who advanced the science of cybernetics.

Computer science has many interesting stories, many of which are told in this volume. Among them are the battle between John Atanasoff and John Mauchley and J. Presper Eckert Jr. over the patent to the electronic digital computer and regenerative memory, symbolized and embodied in the lawsuits between Sperry‑Rand (Mauchley‑Eckert) and Honeywell (Atanasoft) and Sperry‑Rand (Mauchley‑Eckert) and CDC (Atanasoft). The lawsuits are not covered here, but the principal actors are. And there is Thomas J. Watson's prediction, possibly apocryphal, of the need ("demand") for 50 computers worldwide! Plus, Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace, became famous for a reason other than being British poet Lord George Gordon Byron's daughter. And German inventor Konrad Zuse (1910‑1995) saw his computers destroyed by the Allies during World War II, while Soviet mathematician Victor M. Glushkov (1923‑1982) had an institute named after him and his work.

Scientific visualization is now a topic of interest, while data processing is passé. Nanocomputing has become a possibility, while mainframes are still in use and e‑mail is commonplace in many parts of the world. It has been a great half‑century or so (60 some years) for a fledgling field that began, possibly, with the Abacus!

Organization of the Material

Computer Sciences contains 286 entries that were newly commissioned for this work. More than 125 people contributed to this set, some from academia, some from industry, some independent consultants. Many contributors are from the United States , but other countries are represented including Australia , Canada , Great Britain , and Germany . In many cases, our contributors have written extensively on their subjects before, either in books or journal articles. Some even maintain their own web sites providing further information on their research topics.

Most entries in this set contain illustrations, either photos, graphs, charts, or tables. Many feature sidebars that enhance the topic at hand or give a glimpse into a topic of related interest. The entries‑geared to high school students and general readers‑include glossary definitions of unfa­miliar terms to help the reader understand complex topics. These words are highlighted in the text and defined in the margins. In addition, each entry includes a bibliography of sources of further information as well as a list of related entries in the encyclopedia.

Additional resources are available in the set's front and back matter. These include a timeline on significant events in computing history, a time­line on significant dates in the history of programming and markup and scripting languages, and a glossary. An index is included in each volume­ Volume 4 contains a cumulative index covering the entire Computer Sciences encyclopedia.

Discrete Mathematics (5th Edition) by Kenneth A. Ross, Charles R. B. Wright (Prentice Hall) Presenting conceptual chains in an orderly and gradual fashion, this informal but thorough introduction to discrete mathematics offers a careful treatment of the basics essential for computer science such as relations, induction, counting techniques, logic, and graphs. It also covers the more advanced topics of Boolean algebra and permutation groups, and comes with a wealth of examples to reinforce material and to allow readers to view topics from several perspectives. The book includes new coverage of probability that examines such areas as random variables and distributions and new sections on the Euclidean algorithm and loop invariants, providing a powerful tool for designing algorithms and verifying their correctness.

Excerpt: In writing this book we have had in mind both computer science students and mathe­matics majors. We have aimed to make our account simple enough that these students can learn it and complete enough that they won't have to learn it again.

The most visible changes in this edition are the 274 new supplementary exercises and the new chapters on probability and on algebraic structures. The supple­mentary exercises, which have complete answers in the back of the book, ask more than 700 separate questions. Together with the many end-of-section exercises and the examples throughout the text, these exercises let students practice using the material they are studying.

One of our main goals is the development of mathematical maturity. Our presentation starts with an intuitive approach that becomes more and more rigorous as the students' appreciation for proofs and their skill at building them increase.

Our account is careful but informal. As we go along, we illustrate the way mathematicians attack problems, and we show the power of an abstract approach. We and our colleagues at Oregon have used this material successfully for many years to teach students who have a standard precalculus background, and we have found that by the end of two quarters they are ready for upperclass work in both computer science and mathematics. The math majors have been introduced to the mathematics culture, and the computer science students have been equipped to look at their subject from both mathematical and operational perspectives.

Every effort has been made to avoid duplicating the content of mainstream computer science courses, but we are aware that most of our readers will be coming in contact with some of the same material in their other classes, and we have tried to provide them with a clear, mathematical view of it. An example of our approach can be seen first in Chapter 4, where we give a careful account of while loops. We base our discussion of mathematical induction on these loops, and also, in Chapter 4 and subsequently, show how to use them to design and verify a number of algorithms. We have deliberately stopped short of looking at implementation details for our algorithms, but we have provided most of them with time complexity analyses. We hope in this way to develop in the reader the habit of automatically considering the running time of any algorithm. In addition, our analyses illustrate the use of some of the basic tools we have been developing for estimating efficiency.

The overall outline of the book is essentially that of the fourth edition, with the addition of two new chapters and a large number of supplementary exercises. The first four chapters contain what we regard as the core material of any serious discrete mathematics course. These topics can readily be covered in a quarter. A semester course can add combinatorics and some probability or can pick up graphs, trees, and recursive algorithms.

We have retained some of the special features of previous editions, such as the development of mathematical induction from a study of while loop invariants, but we have also looked for opportunities to improve the presentation, sometimes by changing notation. We have gone through the book section by section looking for ways to provide more motivation, with the result that many sections now begin where they used to end, in the sense that the punch lines now appear first as questions or goals that get resolved by the end of the section.

We have added another "Office Hours" section at the end of Chapter 1, this one emphasizing the importance of learning definitions and notation. These sections, which we introduced in the fourth edition, allow us to step back a bit from our role as text authors to address the kinds of questions that our own students have asked. They give us a chance to suggest how to study the material and focus on what's important. You may want to reinforce our words, or you may want to take issue with them when you talk with your own students. In any case, the Office Hours provide an alternative channel for us to talk with our readers without being formal, and perhaps they will help your students open up with their own questions in class or in the office.

We have always believed that students at this level learn best from examples, so we have added examples to the large number already present and have revised others, all to encourage students to read the book. Our examples are designed to accompany and illustrate the mathematical ideas as we develop them. They let the instructor spend time on selected topics in class and assign reading to fill out the presentation. Operating in this way, we have found that we can normally cover a section a day in class. The instructor's manual, available from Prentice Hall, indicates which sections might take longer and contains a number of suggestions for emphasis and pedagogy, as well as complete answers to all end‑of‑section exercises.

The end‑of‑chapter supplementary questions, which are a new feature of this edition, are designed to give students practice at thinking about the material. We see these exercises as representative of the sorts of questions students should be able to answer after studying a chapter. We have deliberately not arranged them in order of difficulty, and we have deliberately also not keyed them to sections‑indeed, many of the exercises bring together material from several sections. To see what we mean, look at the supplementary exercises for Chapter 5, on combinatorics, where we have included an especially large number of problems, many of which have a variety of essentially different parts. A few of the supplementary questions, such as the ones in Chapter 12 on algorithms to solve the Chinese Remainder and Polynomial Interpolation problems, also extend the text account in directions that would have interrupted the flow of ideas if included in the text itself. Some of the questions are very easy and some are harder, but none of them are meant to be unusually difficult. In any case, we have provided complete answers to all of them, not just the odd-­numbered ones, in the back of the book, where students can use them to check their understanding and to review for exams.

The new chapters on probability and algebraic structures respond to requests from current and past users who were disappointed that we had dropped these topics in going from the third edition to the fourth. Since those were two of our favorite chapters, we were happy to reinstate them and we have taken this opportunity to completely revise each of them. In Chapter 9 we now work in the setting of discrete probability, with only tantalizing, brief allusions to continuous probability, most notably in the transition to normal distributions from binomial distributions. The material on semigroups, rings, and fields in Chapter 12 is not changed much from the account in the third edition, but the discussion of groups is dramatically different. The emphasis is still on how groups act on sets, but in the context of solving some intriguing combinatoric problems we can develop basic abstract ideas of permutation group theory without getting bogged down in the details of cycle notation. As another response to reader feedback, we have moved the section on matrix multiplication from Chapter 3 to Chapter 11, which is the first place we need it.


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