CIS 180 Introduction to Computer Science and Information Systems (3)

Catalog Description:

This course provides a unified introduction to the field of Computer and Information Science (CIS). Students will learn fundamental concepts, develop technical and quantitative skills, and explore the application and ethical impact of computing technologies in various contexts, including research, business, service organizations, education, and society at large. Meets General Education Mathematical Sciences requirement. (Offered fall semester only.)



Required Course Materials:

M. J. Quinn, Ethics for the Information Age, 5th edition, Addison-Wesley, 2013 (ISBN: 978-0132855532)

Course Coordinator:

Eugene G. Rohrbaugh, Professor of Computer Science

Course Audience:

Meets the General Education Mathematical Sciences requirement. Open to all students.

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. summarize the past, present, and projected future of key areas of Computer and Information Science.
  2. summarize basic moral and ethical issues in Computer and Information Sciences.
  3. articulate connections between those moral/ethical issues and their own faith, as well as other Christian faith traditions.
  4. explain similarities and differences among computer science, business information systems, and computer engineering, both in terms of Messiah College curriculum and in terms of career paths.
  5. work collaboratively in small groups, applying basic conceptual tools to solve a variety of problems.


  1. Research at the fringe: artificial intelligence, cybernetics, virtual and & augmented realities, data mining, bioinformatics, nanotechnology, robotics & artificial life, game development, machine translation.
  2. Career paths: future of computing careers, software & hardware careers, CS education at Messiah, Business Information Systems & Computer Engineering, advanced degrees and certifications, internships & the collaboratory.
  3. Faith, ethics & law: digital rights management, robot ethics and the legal status of artificial persons, cyberaddictions, free speech & censorship, intellectual property, privacy & identity theft, cybercrime & cyberterrorism, ACM code of ethics.


Revised: October 2013 (course description); February 2013 (textbook); September 2010 (course numbering)

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