Cumulative Course Vocabulary

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100 Terms

1

binary

a way of representing information using only two options

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2

bit

a contraction of "binary digit"; the single unit of information in a computer, typically represented as a 0 or 1

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3

byte

8 bits

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4

overflow error

error from attempting to represent a number that is too large

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5

round-off error

error from attempting to represent a number that is too precise; the value is rounded

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6

analog data

data with values that change continuously, or smoothly, over time (examples of analog data include music, colors of a painting, or position of a sprinter during a race)

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7

digital data

data that changes discretely through a finite set of possible values

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8

sampling

a process for creating a digital representation of analog data by measuring the analog data at regular intervals called samples

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9

lossless compression

a process for reducing the number of bits needed to represent something without losing any information; this process is reversible

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10

lossy compression

a process for reducing the number of bits needed to represent something in which some information is lost or thrown away; this process is not reversible

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11

intellectual property

a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a piece of writing or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.

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12

Creative Commons

a collection of public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work; used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created

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13

computing device

a machine that can run a program, including computers, tablets, servers, routers, and smart sensors

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14

computing system

a group of computing devices and programs working together for a common purpose

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15

computing network

a group of interconnected computing devices capable of sending or receiving data

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16

path

the series of connections between computing devices on a network starting with a sender and ending with a receiver

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17

bandwidth

the maximum amount of data that can be sent in a fixed amount of time, usually measured in bits per second

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18

protocol

an agreed-upon set of rules that specify the behavior of some system

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19

IP address

the unique number assigned to each device on the Internet

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20

internet protocol (IP)

a protocol for sending data across the Internet that assigns unique numbers (IP addresses) to each connected device

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21

router

a type of computer that forwards data across a network

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22

packet

a chunk of data sent over a network; larger messages are divided into these things and may arrive at the destination in order, out-of-order, or not at all

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23

redundancy

the inclusion of extra components so that a system can continue to work even if individual components fail, for example by having more than one path between any two connected devices in a network

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24

fault tolerant

can continue to function even in the event of individual component failures; this is important because elements of complex systems like a computer network fail at unexpected times, often in groups

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25

hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)

a protocol for computers to request and share the pages that make up the world wide web on the Internet

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26

internet

a computer network consisting of interconnected networks that use standardized, open (nonproprietary) communication protocols

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27

world wide web

a system of linked pages, programs, and files

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28

digital divide

differing access to computing devices and the Internet, based on socioeconomic, geographic, or demographic characteristics

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29

user interface

the inputs and outputs that allow a user to interact with a piece of software; can include a variety of forms such as buttons, menus, images, text, and graphics

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30

input

data that are sent to a computer for processing by a program; can come in a variety of forms, such as tactile interaction, audio, visuals, or text

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31

output

any data that are sent from a program to a device; can come in a variety of forms, such as tactile interaction, audio, visuals, or text

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32

program statement

a command or instruction; sometimes also referred to as a code statement

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33

program

a collection of program statements; programs run (or "execute") one command at a time

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34

sequential programming

program statements run in order, from top to bottom

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35

event-driven programming

some program statements run when triggered by an event, like a mouse click or a key press

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36

documentation

a written description of how a command or piece of code works or was developed

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37

comment

form of program documentation written into the program to be read by people and which do not affect how a program runs

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38

pair programming

a collaborative programming style in which two programmers switch between the roles of writing code and tracking or planning high level progress

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39

debugging

finding and fixing problems in an algorithm or program

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40

developement process

the steps or phases used to create a piece of software; typical phases include investigating, designing, prototyping, and testing

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41

event

associated with an action and supplies input data to a program; can be generated when a key is pressed, a mouse is clicked, a program is started, or by any other defined action that affects the flow of execution

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42

expression

a combination of operators and values that evaluates to a single value

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43

assignment operator

allows a program to change the value represented by a variable

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44

variable

a named reference to a value that can be used repeatedly throughout a program

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45

string

an ordered sequence of characters

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46

boolean value

a data type that is either true or false

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47

comparison operations

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48

logical operator

NOT, AND, and OR, which evaluate to a Boolean value

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49

conditional statement

affect the sequential flow of control by executing different statements based on the value of a Boolean expression

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50

function

a named group of programming instructions; also referred to as a "procedure"

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51

function call

a command that executes the code within a function

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52

list

an ordered collection of elements

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53

element

an individual value in a list that is assigned a unique index

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54

index

a common method for referencing the elements in a list or string using numbers

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55

iteration

a repetitive portion of an algorithm which repeats a specified number of times or until a given condition is met; doing some steps over and over

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56

infinite loop

occurs when the ending condition will never evaluate to true

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57

traversal

the process of accessing each item in a list one at a time

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58

data abstraction

manage complexity in programs by giving a collection of data a name without referencing the specific details of the representation

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59

problem

a general description of a task that can (or cannot) be solved with an algorithm

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60

algorithm

a finite set of instructions that accomplish a task

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61

sequencing

putting steps in an order

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62

selection

deciding which steps to do next

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63

efficiency

a measure of how many steps are needed to complete an algorithm

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64

linear search

a search algorithm which checks each element of a list, in order, until the desired value is found or all elements in the list have been checked

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65

binary search

a search algorithm that starts at the middle of a sorted set of numbers and removes half of the data; this process repeats until the desired value is found or all elements have been eliminated

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66

reasonable

algorithms with a polynomial efficiency or lower (constant, linear, square, cube, etc.) are said to run in a(n) ______________ amount of time

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67

unreasonable

algorithms with exponential or factorial efficiencies are examples of algorithms that run in a(n) ______________ amount of time

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68

heuristic

provides a "good enough" solution to a problem when an actual solution is impractical or impossible

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69

decision problem

a problem with a yes/no answer (for example, is there a path from A to B?)

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70

optimization problem

a problem with the goal of finding the "best" solution among many (for example, what is the shortest path from A to B?)

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71

undecidable problem

a problem for which no algorithm can be constructed that is always capable of providing a correct yes-or-no answer

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72

sequential computing

a model in which programs run in order, one command at a time

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73

parallel computing

a model in which programs are broken into small pieces, some of which are run simultaneously

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74

distributed computing

a model in which programs are run by multiple devices

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75

speedup

the time used to complete a task sequentially divided by the time to complete a task in parallel

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76

parameter

a variable in a function definition; used as a placeholder for values that will be passed through the function

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77

argument

the value passed to the parameter

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78

return

used to return the flow of control to the point where the procedure (also known as a function) was called and to return the value of expression

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79

procedural abstraction

a process that allows a procedure to be used only knowing what it does, not how it does it; allows a solution to a large problem to be based on the solution of smaller subproblems; this is accomplished by creating procedures to solve each of the subproblems

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80

library

a group of functions (procedures) that may be used in creating new programs

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81

application problem interface (API)

specifications for how functions in a library behave and can be used

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82

citizen science

scientific research conducted in whole or part by distributed individuals, many of whom may not be scientists, who contribute relevant data to research using their own computing devices

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83

cleaning data

a process that makes the data uniform without changing its meaning (for example, replacing all equivalent abbreviations, spellings, and capitalizations with the same word)

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84

correlation

a relationship between two pieces of data, typically referring to the amount that one varies in relation to the other

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85

crowdsourcing

the practice of obtaining input or information from a large number of people via the Internet

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86

information

the collection of facts and patterns extracted from data

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87

data bias

data that does not accurately reflect the full population or phenomenon being studied

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88

data filtering

choosing a smaller subset of a data set to use for analysis; (for example, by eliminating or keeping only certain rows in a table)

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89

computing innovation

an innovation that includes a computer or program code as an integral part of its functionality; can be physical (e.g. self-driving car), non-physical computing software (e.g. picture editing software), or non-physical computing concepts (e.g., e-commerce)

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90

personally identifiable information (PII)

information about an individual that identifies, links, relates, or describes them; often required to use or benefit from online applications; becomes more harmful when the information becomes linked to a name (for example, while it is not very harmful for your home address to be on Google Maps, it would become a privacy concern if it were to be publicly linked to your name); can be used to stalk or steal the identity of a person, or plan criminal acts against someone

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91

phishing

a technique that attempts to trick a user into providing personal information; that personal information can then be used to access sensitive online resources, such as bank accounts and emails

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92

keylogging

the use of a program to record every keystroke made by a computer user in order to gain fraudulent access to passwords and other confidential information

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93

malware

software intended to damage a computing system or to take partial control over its operation

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94

rogue access point

a wireless access point that gives unauthorized access to secure networks

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95

encryption

a process of encoding messages to keep them secret, so only "authorized" parties can read it

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96

decryption

a process that reverses encryption, taking a secret message and reproducing the original plain text

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97

symmetric key encryption

involves one key for both encryption and decryption; this key should be kept a secret

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98

public key (asymmetric) encryption

pairs a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption; the sender does not need the receiver's private key to encrypt a message, but the receiver's private key is required to decrypt the message; enables parties to initiate secure communications through an open medium, such as the Internet, in which there might be eavesdroppers

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99

multi-factor authentication

a system that requires at least two steps to unlock protected information; each step adds a new layer of security that must be broken to gain unauthorized access; the three steps can be something you know (e.g. password), something you possess (e.g. phone), or something you are (e.g. thumbprint or facial recognition)

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100

certificate authority

an entity that stores, signs, and issues digital certificates; verifies the authenticity of encryption keys used in secure communications and are based on a trust model; a digital certificate certifies the ownership of a PUBLIC KEY

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