From Bits to Java Understanding Computer Basics

Duration: About 9 hours

Prerequisite: 6th grade or higher, or currently taking, or completed algebra 1

Maximum number of students: 8

The class begins with a study of the binary numbering system,
and ends with the writing of simple programs using the Java programming language.
Participants work with the model pictured below and a PC based software simulation of the model.

Course Objectives
Upon completion of this course students will understand:
· The concepts of base numbering systems.
· Numbers written in bases other than ten.
· How to perform addition of numbers written in base two.
· The function of the following logic gates:
             AND, OR, NOT, EX-OR and FLIP-FLOP.
· The function of a register.
· How an electronic circuit adds two binary numbers.
· How instructions control the operations of a computer.
· How to combine computer instructions into a program.
· How to program the BIGBIT computer.
· How to write a program using the Java programming language.

Technical Specifications of the BIGBIT Computer
The BIGBIT Computer contains 32 bytes of memory, 8 instructions and operates at a speed of one cycle per second;
the display consists of about 450 LEDs on a 4' x 8' front panel.

BIGBIT is a fully functional programmable computer.

Click here to download a PC based copy of the BIGBIT computer simulation.