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Descriptions of Computer Languages and Math Concentrations

Descriptions of Courses.


C is a very powerful programming language. It was originally developed by Bell Labs for use with the operating system, UNIX. C is very stable and general-purpose. In the schools, C has taken the place of Pascal as a teaching language. In the computer world, many languages and applications are created with C. For example, Javascript is created using C. C was one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Usually jobs programming in C also requires the knowledge of programming in C++. (Mostly, in England, one can get a job knowing only C). Presently, much of the computer world is moving toward C# (C-sharp).


The difference between Algebra and Arithmetic is in Algebra you can find a number of solutions for an equation. The way you know you are using Algebra is there is a letter or name that represents the solution(s). This letter is your “variable”. Basic Math rules (commutativity, associativity, distributive in addition /subtraction and multiplication / division can be used to obtain (all of ) the solution(s) for your equation (if there are any).

Algebra 1 -- You learn the basics.
* Using commutativity, associativity, distributive, identity and inverse to solve equations.
* Simplifying expressions
* Graphing of
-points and lines
-finding the equations of those lines (how to describe a line)
* Some geometry (finding areas and perimeters of squares, rectangles, circles, ... )

Algebra II -- You learn...
* Simplifying expressions
* Solving different equations
-by simplifying
-by factoring
-by completing the square
-by the quadratic equation
* Solving systems of equations (groups of equations with two or three variables -- not as bad as it sounds.)


The difference between Calculus and Algebra is Calculus extends to “the infinite”. For example, if you want to find the area of a lake, you can draw a rectangle around the lake and find its area (Area = length* width). It would be inaccurate if the lake is not a rectangle. But, if you were to use two rectangles to cover the lake, the area of the two rectangles added together will yield an area closer to the actual lake area than if there's only one rectangle. If some of the lake is not covered by the rectangles --- your calculated area is smaller than the actual area. If some of the area around the lake is covered the area you calculate is going to be larger than the actual area of the lake.

Calculus takes it one step further---if you were to use an infinite number of rectangles you could get the exact area.


Pascal is a teaching language. It, too, is not used anymore (deprecated). Pascal was a teaching language, not only because it is logical but also the user can use Pascal to do data structures --- traversing trees (to put data in order in a tree. It is like a geneology tree). This was used to alphabetize information, save space in memory, ... etc. By different techniques of traversing trees, size and other properties could be kept to a minimum. Data Structures can now be created by C, Java, and a number of other languages.


In the 1970s, Fortran was used when accuracy of your numbers needed to be as high as possible. So, many of the industries/colleges used it because of the ability of Fortran to use data with double precision. There were a number of offshoots to Fortran IV...WATFOR and WATFIVE.


UNIX is an operating system. It was/is more stable than other operating systems. Able to change and compatible with UNIX-based applications, UNIX is still used very much. Its email package, Pine was able to transfer larger packages than other emails (before the day of gmail of Google). UNIX has an offshoot, LINUX. There are many flavors to LINUX (I.e,. Fedora Core. Ubuntu, Debian, ...).

MS Word.

MS Word is a Microsoft word processor. It has been around for many years, continually changing --- updating and making many things, like outlines, bullet lists, addresses for envelopes and pictures, and formatting – margins, tabs, different fonts and sizes, underline, bold, italic, page numbers and many, many other things. Services include spell check, grammar check, putting colors and looks together, and speech capabilities (the computer can be typing while you speak and reading back your document as you do other things). MS Word had Word Perfect as its competition in the 1970s. Today, we don’t see Word Perfect around.


Cobol is a business computer language. Cobol has been deprecated---not used very much anymore. It was a language that is very wordy was best used for keeping address lists (two and three dimensional lists). Because of the development of other more powerful languages, Cobol went by the wayside. However, Cobol is still used by the government. A change from Cobol to another language would require all of the data to be re-typed. That includes hundreds of thousands of files. So, Cobol is here to stay.