Student Information

What Do I Need to Know? 

You already know that software, data and algorithms are everywhere today. Have you ever wondered how they work? Or wanted to know more about programming, so you could feel smarter talking to an engineer/coder on a project or in a job interview?

Check out COMM ST 159 Computing Everywhere, a zero-credit seminar with 5 evening (Tuesday or Wednesday, 6:30-8:30 pm) workshops aimed at all NU students without a technical background.

Wait, zero credits? Yup. It’ll show up as a class on your transcript and you’ll be graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis based on your attendance. No graded homework or exams. Show up and participate, and you’ll get a ‘satisfactory.’

What are the topics? Here’s our tentative schedule for 2021-22


Week 1: Earsketch: an easy and fun way to learn coding
Week 2: How can we understand and use data?
Week 3: Using software to gather online information
Week 4: How do ratings on websites like Amazon work?
Week 5: The power of social networks


Week 1: Computers and creativity
Week 2: How do computers understand human language?
Week 3: How do platforms like Tiktok really work?
Week 4: Collecting data with sensors
Week 5: Algorithmic accountability

It’s really just 5 weeks? Yup, the course will meet once per week, for 2 hours for the first 5 weeks of the quarter. You pick the Tuesday or Wednesday section. Then it’s done. That’s it!

Do I need to be a programmer? No. If you can write code, you know too much for this course. It’s designed for beginners.

Will I become a programmer? Probably not after just this seminar, but you’ll be in great shape to start learning it on your own or take more courses!

Sounds cool, but this quarter I’m already really busy, studying abroad, doing 4 internships, etc. What do I do? We plan to offer this every winter and spring with an updated list of topics each quarter—Watch for it again! Likewise, check out our One-Time Workshops hosted throughout the year.

How do I sign up? Simply enroll in the seminar as a class through CAESAR during registration.

I’ve already taken Computing Everywhere and it was so amazing, I want to do it again. Is that cool? Yes! You may repeat the course up to 6 times, but it’ll still be zero credits each time.

Have more questions? Contact Jeremy Birnholtz, course coordinator.