Past Features

March 5, 2007 (Vol. 5, No. 3)

Programming Robotic Cars, Creating Video Games All Part of New Computer Course

Robotic Car
Students manipulate robotic cars using computers.
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science is offering a new course this semester, "CMP 108: Programming for Non-Computer Science Majors." Professor Katherine St. John is using robots and video animation to walk thirteen Lehman students through the fundamentals of computer languages and programming.

"This course offers Lehman students a chance to try programming, and also prepares them for the computer science sequence if they're interested," she explains. "We have students ranging from freshmen to upperclassmen, from theatre to science majors, and people who are just exploring."

In the first half of the course, students are using a structured programming language called NQC ("Not Quite C") to manipulate light sensor-equipped small robotic cars to communicate with one another, run an obstacle course and play simple games with each other. In the second half of the semester, Professor St. John will introduce HTML and webpage building, which will culminate in animation and video game programming. This course for beginners exposes students to the two most prevalent forms of computer programming language, commonly known as C and Java.

The Department hopes to offer the course every semester and make it a permanent part of the curriculum. For more information, contact