ATSC 212 · Earth and Atmospheric Science Introductory Computing Laboratory

Computing tools, including Unix/Linux, Web page creation, programming languages used for numerical calculation, database programs. [0-2] Prerequisite: CPSC 110.

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Roland Stull (RS) and George Hicks II (GH)


  • Required: B.W. Kernighan and R. Pike, 1999: The Practice of Programming. Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series. 267 pp. ISBN 0-201-61586-X.
  • Linux. A QuickStudy guide. ISBN: 9781572224483. ($7)


Week 1 (RS): Welcome, computing lab environment, user access, security, ethics and responsibilities of programmers, programming style and guidelines (e.g., adding comments to code), language diversity (imperative vs. OO), reading assignments, syllabus, access to help.

Week 2 (RS): Web programming using an authoring tool. Assignment: to create their own personal web pages with text, images, styles, links, and other features. Upload and synchronization procedures.

Week 3 (RS): Web programming using html and scripting languages. Modifying pages, methods to find and fix bugs.

Week 4 (GH): Unix/Linux – command line, file manipulation, running programs, text and programming environments and editors, pipes, I/O, etc.

Week 5 (GH): Unix/Linux – more advanced methods, remote access to computers, etc. Unix/linux will be used as the operating system to access all remaining labs.

Week 6 (GH): PERL – Scripting methods.

Week 7 (RS): FORTRAN – bits, bytes, words, types, variables, floating point, control structures and program design, I/O, arrays, structure programming, libraries, logic

Week 8 (RS): FORTRAN – editing code, logic errors, finding bugs, typical errors, top-down programming, pitfalls, create a program such as Lorenz-chaos or Daisyworld.

Week 9 (GH): C – similarities and differences from FORTRAN, structure, syntax, types, pointers

Week 10 (GH): C - calling C algorithms from FORTRAN programs, create a program such as Lorenz-chaos or Daisyworld.

Week 11 (GH): MySQL – data bases types, relational data bases, storing and retrieving data, organizing data efficiently.

Week 12 (GH): MySQL – writing FORTRAN or C programs to access the data base, writing a web interface to the data bas

Week 13 (RS): Conclusion – Catch up. Summary. Testimonials from industry, government, and academe on how the students’ new skills will help them advance.