ICS 222: Basic Concepts of Computer Science

Catalog entry:

What is Computer Science about? How did we get from counting to programming? What is a supercompiler? Why are some things easy to compute, some hard, and some impossible? Answers in pictures. Learn how hardness is used for security.


The course is designed to provide a shortcut to the concept of a one-way function. Cybersecurity and modern cryptography are based on that concept. The shortcut is possible by highlighting the basic concepts of computer science in string diagrams, a computationally complete graphic language, which is derived incrementally.

Time and place:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays 3-4 pm from August 23 until December 8
  • Kuykendall Hall 213


  • Iteration: Metaprogram, software
  • Resource: Complexity, one-way function