Living in a Computing World
Computer Science Principles for 21st Century Students

Living in a Digital World logo Empower Yourself:
Take Control or Be Controlled!
Professor: Jody Paul
CS 1030 • 4 Semester Credits
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Current offering Course Information & Policies

Course Description

Living in a Computing World enables students to better cope with and prosper in a world where computing is everywhere. It provides the knowledge and skills necessary now and in the future as we become ever more dependent upon computers and technology. Computing is an inescapable and integral part of the fabric of society, spreading throughout all aspects of modern life. Thus we need to be aware of the practical implications of new and future systems and devices and what we must to know in order to exploit them as well as to protect ourselves and others.

Living in a Computing World addresses how computing enables and empowers innovation, exploration, and the creation of knowledge as well as how it transforms human values and can facilitate social abuses and violations of human rights. Examples of fundamental changes in our thinking that the course will explore include: devices that compensate for defects in and enhance the performance of human memory and thinking; distinguishing truth and fraud on the Internet; cyber-bullying; augmented realities; the potential for a person to ‘live forever’; challenges to privacy; artificial intelligences that demand ‘human’ rights; maintaining control of your ‘digital life’; ...

Living in a Computing World empowers students with fundamental skills that will be “used by everyone in the world by the middle of the 21st Century, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic.”[1] These apply to all disciplines (arts, humanities, business, social and physical sciences, ...) and to all aspects of 21st Century life (health, entertainment, employment, family, law, ...).

Living in a Computing World provides techniques and skills for working in and reasoning about the modern world, but it is NOT a "Computer Literacy" course and it is NOT a "Computer Programming" course.[2] Students will learn how to evaluate problems and opportunities as well as the feasibility and social impact of proposed solutions and products. Students will design and build personally-relevant creations, both individually and in teams, using a variety of computational tools (abstraction, algorithms, data, modeling, simulation) and iterative creative processes (like those used by artists, musicians and engineers) to translate their ideas into a form that they can share with others.

Living in a Computing World is part of a major effort launched by the National Science Foundation to establish a "gold standard" course to address the needs of 21st Century society and all students, especially those who are unlikely to enroll in computer science courses.

CS Principles CS Principles

Fall 2012 Pilot The Fall 2010 Pilot

For more information please contact:  Dr. Jody Paul    jody @

[1] Jeannette M. Wing, Assistant Director, National Science Foundation
[2] MSU Denver currently offers Computer Literacy courses (e.g., CSS1010) and Computer Programming courses (e.g., CS1050).