AGRI 85 COMPUTER APPLICATIONS in Agriculture & Life Science SYLLABUS  Fall 2002 (3 credits)

Lecture A: Thursday 12:30 - 1:45 CODE 90833 ,  Hills Building Rm. 234

AGRI 85 LAB SCHEDULE:  All students are REQUIRED to attend one 2-hour lab per week during the semester.  The two labs are listed below.

Lab Schedule:
Lab Section Day Time Place Instructor
A01 90836 Tuesday 2:00-4:00 005 Morrill Bill Damsky
A02 90839 Friday 9:05 - 11:00 005 Morrill Rich Ellard

Jonathan Leonard Bill Damsky Rich Ellard
208H Morrill Hall 200 Maple St.
Apt. 6
Burlington, VT 05401
28 So Willard St #5
Burlington, VT 05405
656-2979 Phone:  Phone: 865-3358
Home: 434-3787 (Call before 9pm)
Office: 8:15-10:15 Tuesdays By Appointment By Appointment

GENERAL COURSE GOAL: To prepare students with a solid foundation of information technology skills and knowledge to enable them to use current and future software and hardware.

SPECIFIC COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon satisfactory completion of AGRI 85, students will:
1.  Become familiar with information technology hardware including types of computers and telecommunication hardware.
2.  Understand the role of Operating Systems and demonstrate knowledge of command-line UNIX, and Windows98 and WindowsXP.
3.  Understand, detect, and eliminate Computer Viruses.
4.  Demonstrate proficiency with electronic communication: e-mail, signature files, and listservs.
5.  Be able to download and install software from the web.
6.  Demonstrate proficiency in presentation graphics applications by giving a presentation in front of a class.
7.  Demonstrate proficiency in word processing applications.
8.  Demonstrate proficiency in spreadsheet and graphics applications.
9.  Understand and demonstrate how to present and interpret data in graphic form.
10.  Explore and find useful data on the Internet and interpret those data.
11.  Create World Wide Web Pages.
12.  Understand the history and legacy of computing.
13.  Appreciate the utility, benefit and limitations of computers.
14.  Improve writing skills.

Required Text:

Discovering Computers 2003: Concepts for a Digital World,  by Gary B. Shelly, Thomas J. Cashman, and Misty E. Vermaat.  Course Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142,  ISBN 0-7895-6514-5, Copyright 2002.

 One copy of the text is available for 2-hour loan from the Reserve Desk at the Bailey-Howe Library.

GRADE POLICIES: The following categories contribute to your course grade as weighted below:

Grade Policies:
Three Exams  (2 in class, 1 Final) 35%
Computer Lab Assignments 60%
Attendance, Participation & Attitude 5%
TOTAL= 100%
Optional Term paper/project (Draft Due October 18)  extra credit 10%

AUDITS:  Persons wishing credit for auditing the class are required to attend at least 9 of the 14 lectures and labs.

Exams will cover material from the reading assignments as well as discussion in lecture, and material from lab.  The format of the exams will be multiple choice.  You must be on time for exams.  If you are late for exams, you will lose points.  See Lecture Syllabus for schedule.

Exam Reschedule or Make Up Policy: Any requests to take the exam at other than the scheduled time must be discussed with Jonathan Leonard at least one week prior to the exam. Only in the case of medical emergency, death in the family, or other extreme circumstance are missed exams excused and re-taken.  In such extreme circumstances you are to notify Jonathan Leonard within 48 hours of the event.  Keep your old graded exams for one year after the course.

Computer Lab Assignments vary in point value; the Final Lab Project is worth 150 points, the other assignments vary from 10 to 30 points each.  Exceptionally creative work may earn a grade above the point value of the assignment.  Lab assignments should be stapled together and handed in at the beginning of scheduled lab time.  YOUR NAME AND LAB SECTION MUST APPEAR ON ALL ASSIGNMENTS.  You may re-submit assignments for re-grading WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF THE DUE DATE (not accepted later); please include your old, already graded assignment, along with the re-done work.  The sooner you re-submit, the more generous your lab instructor will be in re-grading.  Save your graded homework assignments until August 2003.

 LATE PENALTY:  10% off the value of the assignment per week, up to two weeks from the due date.  If the assignment is any later, NO CREDIT.

Attendance, Participation and Attitude:  Five percent of your grade is determined by attendance, class participation (how you contributed to the class), and your attitude.  In order to earn full credit you must attend all the lectures and labs and contribute to the class in a positive way by helping other students and participating in class discussions.  Unexcused absences will result in a deduction of 1 % of your course grade per unexcused absence.  Absences are excused only in cases of sickness (Physician's note), death in the family, or other extreme circumstances.  In such circumstances, notify your lecture and lab instructor within 24 hours of missing class.

Optional Term Paper of at least ten double spaced pages can be elected for extra credit of up to 10% of your grade in addition to what you have earned in the course.  The term paper must be on a information technology-related topic approved by Jonathan Leonard and cannot be for another class.  You must cite references in the text for any information that is not common knowledge.  Draft of Term Paper due Friday October 18, 4 pm. Term Paper due Wednesday, November 27, 2002 at 4 pm.  You may not hand in this extra credit assignment if you miss the draft deadline of Friday October 18th.

It is expected that you will help your fellow students with techniques of computer use, but always hand in original work.  For example, if the assignment for the week was to write a 3-page paper, you are expected to help students who are not as familiar as you with the use of the word processor, i.e. how to re-format the page, re-arrange paragraphs, delete words, check the spelling, etc..  This does not mean that you can copy work or take it off the Internet without crediting it to the original source.  ALL STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO HAND IN THEIR OWN ORIGINAL WORK.  Students have been severely penalized in the past for not following these instructions.

Students may use the labs whenever there are no scheduled classes or workshops.  Schedules are posted on lab doors.  Morrill Hall Lab schedule is distributed in lecture every month.

LAB ROOM HOURS (Unless posted otherwise):

LAB HELP POLICY:  There will be some lab assistant help available in the lab during most hours.  Lab assistants may not be able to help you with all your problems with the course.  When not in a formal lab, you will be expected to rely on classmates, software manuals, class notes, online help, and lab assistants when available.  If you need extra help, make an appointment with your lab instructor.  Formal tutoring may be available.

WORK LOAD TO EXPECT:  In order to complete the work in this class you can expect to spend (on average) 6-10 hours per week OUTSIDE OF CLASS AND FORMAL LAB TIME studying and working in lab on AGRI 85 assignments.

SOFTWARE USE POLICY:  It is illegal to use the software available in the computer labs outside of the labs.  The University of Vermont offers the use of this software in the lab under the copyright agreements of the software companies who own the software.  The University of Vermont and the computer labs do not own the software.  The use of the software is licensed.  Therefore, it is illegal to copy, distribute, sell, or loan copies of the software or manuals, or to use the software or manuals outside of the computer labs.

You don't have to be a "rocket scientist" or "computer wiz" to do well in this class.  This is a course where you will do well if you go to class, follow instructions, do all your lab assignments on time and spend time reading and studying.

There will almost always be a rush on the computers the last few days before a major assignment is due.  This would be true unless we had a computer for every person in the course.  Plan ahead.  Use the lab in the off times, arrive early to be assured of a machine when the lab opens.  Don't wait to the last minute for completing an assignment.  If you have a job or other commitments outside of regular school work or a heavy course load be sure your work hours allow enough time to complete your assignments.

The instructions on how to complete lab assignments will be given in the formal labs.  It is your responsibility to take notes during formal lab time and make sure you understand how to complete the assignments.  Part of the learning experience in this class is using the software manuals and fellow students as references.  Although some of the Lab Assistants will be able to help, they will not be able to help you at all times; they will not do the assignments for you.

This course is designed not only to give you experience on the PC, but also to teach you computing concepts so you will be able to work through any software on any personal computer and many servers and host computers.
Week / TOPIC READING IN Discovering Computing:
1. Intro to the course, Timeline 1
    OS Video 1
Chapter 1
2.   Timeline 2
      Anatomy of a Personal Computer
      Types of Computers
      OS Video 2
Chapters 4, 8
3. Anatomy of the PC
    Units of Memory & Storage
     History of the Internet Video
Chapters 2, 7
4. EXAM  #1, September 19
EXAM  #1,  September 19
5. Memory & Storage
    Class Computer OS exercise
    Writing Exercise: good/bad of IT
    History of the Internet Video
Chapters 5, 6
6.  Programming Languages & Binary 
     Good/bad of IT?  Privacy Video
Chapters 10, 11, 15, A.2-A.4
7.  What is a byte?  ASCII, Security.
      Software Licenses, Internet History
Chapters 2, 3, 4, 12, A.1.  How Hackers Break In  Sci. Am. October 1998. Use your zoo login and password to read online with Adobe Acrobat
8.  The Web, Protocols, Error checking, 
      Physical Media: Cables and Wires,.
Chapter 9. 
9. Exam #2, October 17 Exam #2,  October 17
10.   Satellite Imaging, Error checking,
      Image Compression
Voyager II article, Sci. Am. Nov. 1986 Use your zoo login and password to read online with Adobe Acrobat
11.  Buying a computer: pointing devices,                 monitors Chapters 5, 6, 8.42
12.  Buying a computer: System Unit
       Network computers
Chapters 10, 11
13. Security and Risks
      Giant Brains video
      Putting computing in perspective:
Chapter 13, 14, 16
FINAL EXAM: Tuesday Dec 10, Noon  234 Hills


Week Starting ------------->  9 Sept.  16 Sept.  23 Sept.  30 Sept.  7 Oct.  14 Oct.  21 Oct.  28 Oct.  4 Nov.  11 Nov.
Lab 1/dir Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 2/email
Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 3/Resume

Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 4/Spreadsheet

Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 5/PPoint/Word/Excel

Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 6/Web 1

Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 7/Web 2

Due -10% -20%/redo
Lab 8/Power Point Presentation

Due -10% -20%


Friday 18 October (4 pm): Draft of Extra Credit Term Paper or Project due.

Friday 22 November (4 pm): EARLY HAND IN FOR FINAL LAB PROJECT, 10% EXTRA BONUS  POINTS.  If later than 4pm, no bonus.

Wednesday 27 November (4pm): :  FINAL LAB PROJECT DUE,  OPTIONAL TERM PAPER DUE, If late: 5% OFF PER DAY Including Saturday and Sunday!

Wednesday, 4 December (4pm): ABSOLUTE DEADLINE for all late projects (35% off) Projects will not be accepted after 4pm.

Other courses you may wish to take after AGRI 85:

World Food Population and Sustainable Development, CDAE 002
Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD), CDAE 101
Research Methods for Applied Economists, CDAE 250
Advanced Computer Aided Drawing and Design, CDAE 195

Fall 2002 AGRI 85 Lab Schedule
September 2 Learn elementary components of the Personal Computer.  Using the Operating System learn elementary Windows98 commands including how to FORMAT diskettes, Create Folders and COPY files from the Hard disk to the diskette, and BACKUP your diskette.  Learn to use the text editor notepad/wordpad. Due next Week: 1. Printout of your diskette directory, 2. Printout of the text file you created explaining your previous computer experience and what you want to get out of AGRI 85.
Learn how to connect to ZOO via telnet software and send electronic mail (E-mail) with pine and Webmail. Learn how to locate Information on the Web with a browser, and use search engines. Learn to copy a text file from your instructor’s zoo account; edit it, and insert it in an e-mail message.  Use FTP to upload files from your PC to your zoo account.  Due next week: Send an e-mail message including 1. The file copied from your lab instructor’s account where you have filled in the blank spaces, 2.  Your signature file, and 3. Attached .jpg image from ftp showing PCBackup directory on zoo.
September 16  [DUE: E-MAIL TO YOUR LAB INSTRUCTOR, (20 points) ]
 Learn Antivirus software.  Learn MS-Word for windows.  Create  your resume in the format given in the Lab Notebook.  Upload your resume and e-mail it to your lab instructor as an attachment in Word format.  Due next Week:  Hard copy of your resume e-mailed as an attachment (30 points).
September 23  [DUE: RESUME hard copy (20 points) & e-mail Resume (10 points]
Learn to create an Excel spreadsheet with approximately 300 cells (30 rows X 10 Columns, or 10 rows X 30 Columns).  Due next Week:  Spreadsheet  and an appropriate graph of some of the data from the spreadsheet.
September 30  [DUE: SPREADSHEETS & Graph (30 points) ] Note: Monday Lab students go to another lab just for this week because of Presidents Day.
Learn to import the spreadsheet table and chart into Word.  Learn how to create a title page using MS-PowerPoint.  Due next Week: PowerPoint title page, a Printout from the word processor that contains: spreadsheet Table, Graph, and a discussion about the graph. Also you need to include had in a photocopy of the original data.
October 7 [DUE: PowerPoint Title Page.   Spreadsheet, graph & discussion integrated and printed from a Word Processor (30 points)
On the Web, find the documents that explain how to create your own HTML documents (Web Pages).  Learn to set up your own home page.  Due next Week: E-mail the Zoo URL (http:// address) to your lab instructor.
October 14
[DUE: E-mail your home page (Include the zoo URL (http:// address) to your instructor. (30 points)]
Note: Friday Lab students either go to the lab Friday Morning, or to the Tuesday afternoon lab earlier this week.
Create a new web page.  Learn to set up hyperlinks to other URLs and include pictures in your new web page.  Due next week: E-mail your new Web page URL (http:// address) to your instructor.
October 21
[DUE: E-mail your home page (Include the zoo URL (http:// address) to your instructor. (30 points)]
Learn to prepare a 5-10 minute PowerPoint Slide Presentation of topic you would like to do your Final Lab Project on.
October 28
[DUE: Present you power point presentation in front of the class (30 points)]
Introduction to the FINAL LAB PROJECT:  View the web page of instructions given to you by your lab instructor.  Read the instructions carefully.  You may wish to print them.  FINAL LAB PROJECT DUE, November 22, Wednesday (4 pm)
November 4
[DUE: Present you power point presentation in front of the class (30 points)]
Graph details, pitfalls of project.  Work on Project.
November 11
Work on Project
November 18
Work on Project
November 25
No Lectures or Labs Thanksgiving Week.
Friday 22 November, 4pm DEADLINE EARLY HAND IN FOR FINAL LAB PROJECT, 10% EXTRA BONUS POINTS. (Final Lab Project Worth 150 Points)
Wednesday 4 December 4pm ABSOLUTE DEADLINE! All late projects due (with -35% late penalty ). No Projects will be accepted after 4pm.

 Lab Table of Contents