Introduction to Web Design and Computer Principles

CSCI-UA.0004: Introduction to Web Design and Computer Principles, Fall 2013
Section #01 - Monday / Wednesday, 2:00PM — 3:15PM, CIWW 101

Professor Craig Kapp, M.S., M.P.S.
Office Hours: Monday / Wednesday, 9:30am – 11:00am, CIWW 420
E-mail: kapp [-at-] cs [-dot-] nyu [-dot-] edu
Course Blog:

Common Course Syllabus

General information regarding the course, topics covered, required textbooks, etc can be found at:


Three years of high school mathematics or equivalent. No prior computing experience is assumed. Students with computing experience should consult with the computer science department before registering. Offered every semester. 4 points.

Course Description

This course introduces students to both the practice of web design and the basic principles of computer science. The practice component of the course covers not only web design but also current graphics and software tools. The principles section includes an overview of hardware and software, the history of computers, and a discussion of the impact of computers and the Internet.

There are several goals to this course. The title ”Introduction to Web Design and Computer Principles” is intended to emphasize the two important elements of the course: Learning how to effectively utilize digital media tools for communication on the Internet as well as developing an understanding of the core concepts that underpin modern computing systems. We will expose you to the exciting, current developments in the world of computers and the Internet. In this course, we will talk about (and demonstrate) the use of publishing tools, web development and some multimedia tools. In addition, we will discuss hardware and the history of computing. The development of computer technology is one of the great achievements of the Twentieth Century. All educated citizens should know about computers and computer systems. In addition, becoming familiar with advanced aspects of software applications, web development and other related tools should assist you in your many occupations and endeavors for years to come.

Course Tutors

All tutoring hours will be held at Fourth Street Lab. The ITS lab at 35 West Fourth Street. The phone number there is 212-998-3421. For information regarding the tutoring schedule please refer to the common course syllabus.

Course Materials

Please refer to the common course syllabus for a detailed list of books and resources that we will be using during this class. In addition, I will also provide on-line resources on all of the subjects that we cover here on the course blog.


Your greatest reward is the knowledge and experience that you receive by taking the course. You will also receive a grade. The assignments (see below) will count for 50% of the grade. The midterm will count for 20%, and the final exam counts for the remaining 30%. Attendance is mandatory and will be taken at the beginning of every class. Grades will be determined using the following scale:

A 94-100
A- 90-94
B+ 87-90
B 84-87
B- 80-84
C+ 77-80
C 74-80
C- 70-74
D 65-70
F less than 65


In all, there will be seven or eight assignments. It is important not to get behind in turning in assignments. If you do get behind, we still want you to do the assignment, so it is better to turn in a late assignment than to skip it and you may wish to speak with me about this. In general, late assignments will be penalized by 10% off per day late. A full listing of assignments appears in the “Schedule of Dates” tab at the top of our course blog.

All grading will be done via NYU’s official course management system (NYU Classes). You can check your grades at any time by logging into your NYU Home page ( and clicking through to the NYU Classes section established for our class. If you notice an irregularity (i.e. you mistakenly lost points for an item that you successfully completed) please let me know and I will be happy to sit down with you to review your work. All grade changes must be completed in person and cannot be done over e-mail.

Assignments that you turn in should be your own work. It is fine to talk to other students and to get assistance in how to do something, but you should not ask your fellow students to actually do the work for you. When you turn in an assignment, you are saying that you have done this work yourself. The definition of plagiarism is to present someone else’s work as though it were your own. Please read the Computer Science Department statement on academic integrity.


Macintosh computers with all of the software packages pre-installed will be made available to you in the ITS labs. Theoretically, you do not need your own computer nor do you need to purchase any software. However, you will be learning how to use various software packages, and if you have a home computer, you may want to have access to the software at home. In this case, you must purchase your own copy or use the “30-day trial versions” which are sometimes available from the publisher.

You can obtain browsers and other software provided by ITS to all students, including Norton Anti-virus, by going to FILES within your NYU “Home” Account.

We will be exploring the World Wide Web and creating graphics for it. The graphics packages we will use are Adobe Photoshop as well as Flash and for web authoring we will be working in DreamWeaver. We will use these to create our final web projects. We will be using Adobe’s InDesign as our desktop publishing software. All of this software is available to you in the ITS Labs.

Saving Your Work in the Lab

You will be able to save your work ITS labs under your NYU Home Account and/or on your own flash drives. Although you can write to the hard disks of the machines in the labs, you cannot be sure that you will have access to the same machine the next time you enter the lab and the drives in the lab are frequently erased. The best option is to upload your files online and download them as needed (we will go over this in class).

Home Computers

Many students will have access to home computers or computers at work. It is fine to do your assignments on whatever resources you have available, as long as your software is current. You are not required to do your assignments in the NYU labs. You may find it advantageous to visit the labs however since there will be a tutor available 20 hours per week, and other students can sometimes assist you with general features of the programs.

Some students decide to purchase a computer while taking this course. Since you have computers available to you at the labs, it might be advisable to wait until later in the course, when you have more experience and information about your options. You do not need to bring a computer to class. However, you do need to be prepared to spend lots of time in the computer labs or on your home or business computer in order to complete the assignments for this course.

Using the NYU Computing Facilities

The main computer labs to use for this class are in the the Third Avenue North Dorm and in the Education building. Further information on the labs is available from ITS.

Third Avenue North Lab is located at 75 Third Avenue, Level C3 (downstairs) near 12th Street.
Multimedia lab is located in the Education Building, at 35 W. 4th Street, on the second floor.
There are other labs, although those are the main two with Macintosh computers. You use your ID card to gain access to the computer labs.

Course Computer Account

In addition to your NYU Home Account, we will be using a special computer account on a Unix web server which will be assigned to you automatically based upon your enrollment. This is called an “i6” account, and we will use it for our web sites. You will be contacted via e-mail with more information about this account at the beginning of the semester. If you forget your i6 account password you can reset it by visiting this link:


I recognize that every student has a different level of background knowledge prior experience when it comes to technology. This course is designed as an introductory level class and topics will be presented assuming very little prior exposure to the topics. With that said, every student learns differently and I want to ensure that each of you is getting the maximum amount out of the course content as possible. Please feel free to get in touch with me to register comments, complaints and suggestions on future topics. I will do my best to address any and all items brought to my attention.