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Faculty Profile

Michael Skalak

Lecturer in Computer Science (2015)

Contact Information

skalakm@dickinson.edu

Tome Scientific Building Room 246

Education

  • B.A., Northwestern University, 2008
  • M.S., University of Virginia, 2012

2021-2022 Academic Year

Fall 2021

COMP 130 Introduction to Computing
An introduction to computer science as a scientific discipline. The key elements of computer programming will be introduced, using the Python programming language. This leads to techniques for solving problems and conducting scientific investigations via computation. Core topics include: programming constructs such as conditionals, loops, functions, and parameters; data structures such as arrays and dictionaries; libraries and objects; algorithmic techniques such as recursion; and software engineering techniques such as testing and debugging. Additional topics include social, legal and ethical issues raised by computing and computing for the greater good. Students may not take this course for credit if they have already taken another Dickinson Computer Science course, other than COMP 180. Three hours classroom and two hours laboratory a week. Offered every semester.

COMP 132 Prin of Object-Oriented Design
An introduction to object-oriented software design using Java. Topics include objects, classes, code modularity and reusability, abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, and design patterns. Additional topics include unit testing, recursion, empirical and theoretical comparison of elementary algorithms. The lab component focuses on programming as a tool for solving problems and simulating real-world events. Prerequisite: Equivalent of one course of prior programming experience. See Advising Guide for placement advice for 130 and 132. Three hours classroom and two hours laboratory a week. Offered every semester.

COMP 190 Tools & Techn Soft Develop
An introduction to the Unix command line environment, shell scripting, system administration, debugging tools and version control. Skills developed will be applied in the context of a Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) project. Case studies of social, legal and ethical issues raised by computing and computing for the greater good will complement the technical skill development. Prerequisite: 132, may be taken concurrently. One-half credit. Graded CR/NC. 75 minutes of classroom per week. Offered every fall.