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Computer Science: An Overview, 13th Edition

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Computer Science: An Overview, 13th Edition


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Develops a practical, realistic understanding of computer science

  • This text follows a bottom-up arrangement of subjects that progresses from the concrete to the abstract—an order that results in a sound pedagogical presentation in which each topic leads to the next.
    • Although the text follows this natural progression, the individual chapters and sections are independent and can usually be read as isolated units or rearranged to form alternative sequences of study.
  • Ethical and legal aspects of areas such as Internet security, software engineering, and database technology bring to light what students should know to be safe and responsible users of technology.
  • Uses Python code examples and Python-like pseudocode, due to its wide acceptance in other STEM fields, such as physics and biology, and as the language of choice for computational science applications.
  • Each chapter includes a collection of questions called Social Issues that challenge students to think about the relationship between the material in the text and the society in which they live.

Reinforces core concepts

  • New -  full-color design:
    • Many figures and diagrams are now rendered more descriptively.
    • Syntax coloring is now used to better effect for clarifying code and pseudocode segments in the text.
    • Reflects the use of color in most modern programming interfaces to aid the programmer’s understanding of code.
  • Revised - Revisions, updates, and corrections from the previous editions in each chapter.
  • Over 1000 total problems in the 13th Edition that enhance student participation:
    • Questions/Exercises at the end of each section (except for the introductory chapter) review the material just discussed, extend the previous discussion, or hint at related topics to be covered later. These questions are answered in Appendix F.
    • Chapter Review Problems at the end of each chapter (except for the introductory chapter) serve as “homework” problems in that they cover the material from the entire chapter and are not answered in the text.
    • Social Issues questions are designed for thought and discussion. Many can be used to launch research assignments culminating in short written or oral reports.
    • Each chapter also ends with an Additional Reading list with references to other material relating to the subject of the chapter.
  • Updated - Intersections with the new College Board Advanced Placement® Computer Science Principles (“CSP”) exam—While the primary audience for this book remains college-level introductory courses, this edition explicitly calls out many points of intersection with CSP content to better assist students and instructors either preparing for the AP® CSP exam, or taking a college-level course that is intended to correspond with the credit from that exam.
    • Includes many of the big ideas and computational practices codified in the CSP framework
    • Prior editions of the book have been used in pilot versions of CSP courses, and as a professional development resource for educators preparing to teach the high school version of the course.


Check out the preface for a complete list of features and what's new in this edition.


  • Copyright 2019
  • Dimensions: 8" x 10"
  • Pages: 736
  • Edition: 13th
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-487546-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-487546-0

For the Introduction to Computer Science course.

A broad exploration of computer science–with the depth needed to understand concepts

Computer Science: An Overview provides a bottom-up, concrete-to-abstract foundation that students can build upon to see the relevance and interrelationships of future computer science courses. Its comprehensive coverage and clear language are accessible to students from all backgrounds, encouraging a practical and realistic understanding.

More than 1,000 questions and exercises, Chapter Review Problems, and Social Issues questions reinforce core concepts. The 13th Edition continues its focus on Python to provide programming tools for exploration and experimentation. A new full-color design reflects the use of color in most modern programming interfaces to aid the programmer’s understanding of code. Syntax coloring is now used more effectively for clarifying code and pseudocode segments in the text, and many figures and diagrams are now rendered more descriptively.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

* Asterisks indicate suggestions for optional sections.

0. Introduction

0.1 The Role of Algorithms

0.2 The History of Computing

0.3 An Outline of Our Study

0.4 The Overarching Themes of Computer Science

1. Data Storage

1.1 Bits and Their Storage

1.2 Main Memory

1.3 Mass Storage

1.4 Representing Information as Bit Patterns

*1.5 The Binary System

*1.6 Storing Integers

*1.7 Storing Fractions

*1.8 Data and Programming

*1.9 Data Compression

*1.10 Communication Errors

2. Data Manipulation

2.1 Computer Architecture

2.2 Machine Language

2.3 Program Execution

*2.4 Arithmetic/Logic Instructions

*2.5 Communicating with Other Devices

*2.6 Programming Data Manipulation

*2.7 Other Architectures

3. Operating Systems

3.1 The History of Operating Systems

3.2 Operating System Architecture

3.3 Coordinating the Machine’s Activities

*3.4 Handling Competition Among Processes

3.5 Security

4. Networking and the Internet

4.1 Network Fundamentals

4.2 The Internet

4.3 The World Wide Web

*4.4 Internet Protocols

*4.5 Simple Client Server

4.6 Cybersecurity

5. Algorithms

5.1 The Concept of an Algorithm

5.2 Algorithm Representation

5.3 Algorithm Discovery

5.4 Iterative Structures

5.5 Recursive Structures

5.6 Efficiency and Correctness

6. Programming Languages

6.1 Historical Perspective

6.2 Traditional Programming Concepts

6.3 Procedural Units

6.4 Language Implementation

6.5 Object-Oriented Programming

*6.6 Programming Concurrent Activities

*6.7 Declarative Programming

7. Software Engineering

7.1 The Software Engineering Discipline

7.2 The Software Life Cycle

7.3 Software Engineering Methodologies

7.4 Modularity

7.5 Tools of the Trade

7.6 Quality Assurance

7.7 Documentation

7.8 The Human-Machine Interface

7.9 Software Ownership and Liability

8. Data Abstractions

8.1 Basic Data Structures

8.2 Related Concepts

8.3 Implementing Data Structures

8.4 A Short Case Study

8.5 Customized Data Types

8.6 Classes and Objects

*8.7 Pointers in Machine Language

9. Database Systems

9.1 Database Fundamentals

9.2 The Relational Model

*9.3 Object-Oriented Databases

*9.4 Maintaining Database Integrity

*9.5 Traditional File Structures

9.6 Data Mining

9.7 Social Impact of Database Technology

10. Computer Graphics

10.1 The Scope of Computer Graphics

10.2 Overview of 3D Graphics

10.3 Modeling

10.4 Rendering

*10.5 Dealing with Global Lighting

10.6 Animation

11. Artificial Intelligence

11.1 Intelligence and Machines

11.2 Perception

11.3 Reasoning

11.4 Additional Areas of Research

11.5 Artificial Neural Networks

11.6 Robotics

11.7 Considering the Consequences

12. Theory of Computation

12.1 Functions and Their Computation

12.2 Turing Machines

12.3 Universal Programming Languages

12.4 A Noncomputable Function

12.5 Complexity of Problems

*12.6 Public-Key Cryptography



B. Circuits to Manipulate Two’s Complement Representations

C. Vole: A Simple Machine Language

D. High-Level Programming Languages

E. The Equivalence of Iterative and Recursive Structures

F. Answers to Questions & Exercises



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