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Glossary


Algorithm
An algorithm is a step-by-step method of doing a task or computation.

Artificial Intelligence
The development of computers that 'think' and respond like humans.

Average
A student's grade average is calculated by adding up the final marks of his/her courses and dividing the total by the number of courses.

Credit
The value of a course toward the credit requirements of a degree. First year students usually enrol in 5 credits which, for example, might consist of 4 half (0.5) credit courses and 3 full (1) credit courses over the Fall/Winter term.

Hardware
The physical components of the computer, such as the monitor, keyboard, mouse and central processing unit (CPU).

Laboratory
In Computer Science, a laboratory (lab) is normally a scheduled two-hour block of time for a student to work on problems or assignments in an assigned computer lab. Students may work in the computer labs at other times when space is available.

Lecture
Classroom sessions in which the instructor introduces new concepts and gives examples of their use.

Major
A course of study or field in which a student specializes.

Object-Oriented
In object-oriented programming, the programmer focuses on an object, such as a dialog box on-screen. This object can then be programmed to perform certain actions, for instance, to begin printing. This is a change from ordinary programming, where programmers write procedures telling the computer how to perform actions.

Palindrome
A word, phrase, sentence or number which reads the same backward or forward (ignoring punctuation).  (eg. "racecar", "3756573", or "Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?")

Platform
Platform refers to the type of components a computer consists of.

Programming
The process of writing instructions in a computer language which tell a computer how to perform a task. Programmers create, modify and test computer programs.

Seminar
A one- or two-hour discussion session between an instructor or TA and small groups of students (15 - 25).

Service Course
A course provided for non-Computer Science majors who require an introduction to the use of computers.

Software
Computer programs; groups of instructions in a form that can be followed by a computer.

Software Engineering
Designing and developing software which makes optimum use of a computer system's resources (e.g. hardware, operating system), as well as meeting the needs of the user.

TA
A TA, or Teaching Assistant, is employed by the department to answer students' questions about the concepts discussed in lecture and to guide them toward successful solutions to problems.

Tutorial
During tutorial, students are encouraged to ask the instructor questions about any lecture material they don't understand, and to get advice on how to tackle assignment problems.