KV4008 - Computing Fundamentals

What will I learn on this module?

This module aims to provide you with a theoretical and practical foundation required to understand the fundamental underpinnings of a computing system. You will be introduced to the basic concepts involved in computer software, information representation and the operations and components used in computer architectures. You will gain an understanding of the underlying theory of computation as well as the major computational and programming paradigms. To complement this theoretical underpinning, you will also study the standard von Neumann computer architecture and von Neumann machine programming.

This module will help you develop logical reasoning, computational thinking and problem-solving skills employers look for. An introductory understanding of computer architecture and assembly programming improves your career options in areas such as embedded systems. Practising and developing mathematical skills and problem-solving improves your employability and allows you to develop this area further at later stages of the programme. A broad understanding of the theoretical principles of computing allows you to extend this understanding into areas of theoretical research. It also allows you to engage with wider discussions in the computing community. The module examines current computational paradigms and principles of design of computer hardware and their environmental impact.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, workshops, and independent learning. Lectures will be used to introduce you to theories and key concepts. You will explore these further in seminar and workshop sessions through practical exercises.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The seminar classes will allow you to explore concepts from the lectures through practical exercises. You will be given advice and feedback on your work and progress on these during your classes by your tutors. In addition, the eLP (electronic Learning Portal) Blackboard is used to make the study materials available electronically. You can also request appointments outside of scheduled classes from your tutors.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of set theory, logic and computer models and apply them in modelling software, systems and data
2. Demonstrate knowledge of the architecture of a von Neumann computer and how storage, arithmetic and I/O system interact in such a computer
3. Describe how data and instructions are represented and stored in a von Neumann computer and how high level language abstractions relate to the machine implementation.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Apply appropriate tools and methods to program von Neumann machines.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Discuss major paradigms of Computation and their application in software systems

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment will be a single assignment involving a mixture of written tasks (totalling no more than 2000 words), problem-solving and programming exercises. The assignment will be submitted electronically in early January. Feedback will be provided using the university’s e-learning portal. This assessment addresses all MLOs (1, 2, 3, 4 & 5).

Formative assessment will take the form of exercises in seminar classes to help you apply the concepts covered in the lectures and to check your understanding. Your tutors will provide you with feedback on your work. Computer-based multiple-choice tests will help check your basic knowledge outside of class time.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

This module aims to provide you with a theoretical and practical foundation required to understand the fundamental underpinnings of a computing system. You will be introduced to the basic concepts involved in computer software, information representation and the operations and components used in computer architectures. You will gain an understanding of the underlying theory of computation as well as the major computational and programming paradigms. To complement this theoretical underpinning, you will also study the standard von Neumann computer architecture and von Neumann machine programming.

Indicative topics include:
- Number representation (binary, hexadecimal, floating points, Unicode)
- Mathematical foundations (set theory, relations and functions)
- Digital logic (logic notations, logic gates)
- Computer architecture (CPU, computer functional units, registers)
- Assembly programming
- Theories of computation (for example, the work of Turing, von Neumann, Babbage and/or the nature of state machines)

Lectures will be used to introduce you to theories and key concepts. You will explore these further in seminar and workshop sessions through practical exercises.

Course info

UCAS Code G415

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.

 

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.


Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints