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  • Topics
    1. "Discuss the evolution of the concept of communication from the 18th century to the 20th century"
    2. "Discuss the various ways in which the evolution of computation benefitted or hindered various societies"
    3. "Discuss the role that wars had in the development of computation and computational devices. Focus on a specific period"
    4. Your choice [*]

  • Instructions
    • Each essay should be at least approximately 3000 words long, and is worth 50% of the final grade. The due date is January 22, 2003. In case of emergency, please get in touch with me as soon as possible (do not write to the discussion list)
    • [*] The free topic ("Your choice") must be approved by me in writing
    • Discuss the selected topic, using your own words, and summarize relevant, real, examples (not hypothetical or invented ones) supporting your statements. Brief quotations ("...") are allowed, but they must be referenced. Pictures and graphs can be used, if really necessary, and they too must be referenced
    • All pieces of information that are not obviously common knowledge must have a precise reference (authors, title, publication, publication date and place, and page number; or complete URLs with date when last accessed). Examples of information which is common knowledge: "the earth is round," "Canada is in North America," "computers use electricity," "a floppy drive is a device for storing information," etc. Examples of information which is not common knowledge: the speed of light is 186,000 miles/hr," "there are currently x people using the internet," "a Turing machine can not do this or that," etc.
    • Dictionaries (such as, for example, Webester's or Oxford) can not be used as references. Use dictionaries, however, to get a first idea of what a word or term may mean, and then find an appropriate, authoritative reference
    • Avoid rhetoric (example: "Since time immemorial humankind has been very interested in this...")
    • Use simple, clear, precise language (don't try to impress me with big words, especially if you are not sure you understand them). Remember that simplicity, clarity and precision are major requirements in science
    • The essay can be submitted on paper, or electronically as plain text (simple e-mail message) or as attachments, preferably in MS Word format. I will acknowledge receipt of electronically submitted essays, and write to you if I have problems opening attachments, etc.
    • Don't even think of plagiarizing, whether from other people or from the internet. The penalties are very severe, and may go as far as expulsion from the university. Re-read the page on Academic Honesty
    • If you don't understand the wording of some topic or have some other problem with some topic, do not write to me, but to the discussion list, because my answers hopefully will be useful to everybody. Obvious as this may seem, if you find a topic difficult, please select another
    • Finally, do not forget the many resources freely available to you. Check Atkinson's Writing Programs




© Copyright Luigi M Bianchi 2001, 2002, 2003
Last Modification Date: 03 November 2002