The Digital Revolution (8/10/99)

Prepared by:

Joseph Malkevitch
Mathematics and Computing Department
York College (CUNY)
Jamaica, New York 11451-0001


Sample Course Outline

Major topics

(The topics below are not disjoint from each other and are in no particular order.)

1. Digitally Based Technologies

a. Bank transactions

i. Interbank transactions

ii. ATM technology

b. Fax machines

c. Satellite imaging systems

d. High Definition television

i. Cable based delivery

ii. Satellite delivery

e. Digital radio

f. Compact disc technology

g. Computers

h. CD-Rom technology

i. Smart credit cards

j. Digital currency (cash)

k. Wireless communication

l. Speech synthesis

m. Speech recognition

n. Internet technologies

i. Music

ii. Video

2. The Binary Number System

a. Representation of numbers in binary

b. Conversion between binary and other numbers systems

c. Octal and hexadecimal systems

3. Analog to Digital Conversion

a. Representing analog data digitally

b. Intuitive meaning of the Shannon Sampling Theorem

c. Nquist Limits

d. Gray Codes

5. Data Compression

a. Text compression

b. Image compression

c. Huffman Codes

6. Data Security

a. Caesar ciphers

i. Classical approaches to codes

ii. Vigenere ciphers

iii. Role of codes in military history

b. Codes based on knapsack problems

c. RSA codes

d. Discrete logarithmic systems

e. Computational complexity and codes

f. Digital signature systems

7. Error Correction Codes

a. Hamming distance

b. Hamming codes

c. Burst error correction codes

8. Synchronization codes

a. Co-ordinating sound and video

b. Internet applications

9.Standards and intellectual property

a. The role of standards in the digital revolution

b. Copyright protection for software

c. Patent protection for software

d. Is a new form of protection for software necessary?

10. Civil Liberties in the Digital Age

a. Balancing privacy and law enforcement

b. Government attempts to control digital technology

Potential audience

Communication Sciences majors

Engineering and Pre-engineering majors

Mathematics and Information Systems Management majors

Science Majors

Liberal arts majors interested in understanding the underpinnings for new technologies


This work was prepared with partial support from the National Science Foundation (Grant Number: DUE9555401) to the Long Island Consortium for Interconnected Learning (administered by SUNY at Stony Brook, Alan Tucker, Director).

Return to my home page