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Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences

COSC Course Descriptions

View the schedule of classes to determine course offerings by semester.

  • COSC 100 Introduction to Computer Technologies (3)

    An introduction to computer hardware and software and their uses. Introduces students to how computers, networks and the Internet work, how they impact our lives and the ethical implications of information technologies. Hands-on experience with a variety of computer applications, including spreadsheet, presentation, database application and Internet tools. Lab fee required. [COSC]

  • COSC 150 Introduction to Game Design (3)

    Examines the use of computer technology to produce computer games and create interactive educational and training materials; covers beginning concepts in screen design, animation and scripting. Note: Additional lab time outside of class may be required to complete course projects. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 151 Computer Programming I (3)

    formerly COSC 309
    A fundamental programming course focused on developing computational skills in problem-solving, algorithm development and program design, and principles of good programming. Topics include program flowcharting, pseudo-coding, input/output techniques, control structures, data types, modularization, procedures and file handling. A high-level programming language will be introduced and used throughout the course to supplement the theoretical foundations. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 155 Internet Technologies: Mastering the Basics (3)

    Provides an introduction to the Internet, as well as technologies used to generate and maintain Web pages, such as FTP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and XML. Note: Additional lab time outside of class may be required to complete course projects. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 160 Graphics for Game Design (3)

    Introduces 2-D computer graphics, including image generation, capture and processing. Particular emphasis on applications to interactive multimedia and computer game design. Provides basis for further study in 3-D graphics. Note: Additional lab time outside of class may be required to complete course projects. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 210 Computer Hardware/Software Support (3)

    Introduces students to the architecture and hardware components of modern computing systems such as PCs, servers and portable/mobile devices. Topics include hardware components and peripherals, installation, configuration and upgrading, diagnosing and troubleshooting, safety and preventive maintenance, portable systems, installation and optimization of system software, and basic networking. Course materials also prepare students for the vendor-neutral CompTIA A+ industry certification exam. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 212 Introduction to Linux (3)

    Provides the conceptual knowledge and hands-on skills necessary to work with the current distributions of the Linux operating system. Topics include open source software, Linux installation and system software, common commands, tools and utilities, file systems management, basic administration, process management, network and service configurations, application installation and writing of simple shell scripts. Course materials prepare students for the vendor-neutral CompTIA Linux+ industry certification exam. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 250 Game Scripting (3)

    Advances a student's knowledge of game software design by examining advanced functions, variable types, software design tools and programming concepts. Expands upon materials covered in C05C 150: Introduction to Game Design while also introducing students to more complex types of data and programming structures. Introduces students to the software design process and focuses on developing good software design habits as well as advanced knowledge of programming techniques. By the end of the course, students are able to implement more fully their game design ideas in a software prototype. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 150 or equivalent
  • COSC 251 Computer Programming II (3)

    formerly COSC 310
    Builds upon foundational programming knowledge. While continuing to emphasize problem-solving and algorithm development, this course introduces the fundamentals of object-oriented and event-driven programming techniques in the Microsoft Windows environment. Students code, debug Graphic User Interface programs, and design and build information technology applications. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 151
  • COSC 260 Introduction to 3-D Graphics (3)

    Introduces students to modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering and simple animation using the industry- standard tool. Provides a foundation for further work with sophisticated 3-D imaging tools. Note: Additional lab time outside of class may be required to complete course projects. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 297 Topics in Computer Science (3)

    Explores issues, concepts and methods in computer science. Content varies depending upon the interests of faculty and students. Course may be repeated when topic changes. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 310 Fundamentals of Computer Networks (3)

    formerly COSC 305: Networking: Theory and Application
    An introduction to computer networks, including network operating system concepts. Topics include network components, layered network architectures, topologies, network protocols, Ethernet, wireless transmission, local area networks, wide area networks, switching and routing, network configuration and troubleshooting. Course also prepares students for CompTIA's Network+ certification exam. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 312 Administering and Supporting a Network Operating System (3)

    formerly COSC 307
    Prepares students to install, configure, administer and troubleshoot the current version of Microsoft Windows Server network operating system. Topics include setting up user and group accounts; securing network resources; auditing resources and events; monitoring network resources; backing up and restoring data; managing system policies, file systems and fault tolerance; interoperating between network operating systems; implementing network clients and directory replication; managing/implementing disaster recovery; and troubleshooting. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 310
  • COSC 315 Programming for Interactive Design (3)

    An introduction to object-oriented computer programming framed in the technical aspects of game programming. The course covers variables, control structures, functions, arrays, data types, classes, inheritance and polymorphisms. Students apply these concepts to build a series of small games. Lab fee required. prerequisites: COSC 250 or equivalent and Simulation and Digital Entertainment major

  • COSC 320 Game and Concept Design (3)

    An introduction to major genres, technologies and theories underlying contemporary computer games and to the business and economics of game design. Builds technical understanding as well as historical and cultural perspective in which games are seen as more than escapist entertainment. Students analyze and critique classic and contemporary games of various kinds, learning basics of interactive authoring and play design by building game levels, modifications and other applied projects. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 324 Designing for Humans (3)

    Introduces key concepts of human/computer interaction, including how humans interact with technology to find and process information. It also introduces the concepts of systematic software testing to students of applied information technology and students of interactive simulation and computer gaming. Students learn principles of interface and software construction and apply them to practical problems of software or game evaluation in the process of learning principles that underlie good interaction and play design. Readings cover theory of human/computer interaction, interaction design and usability testing. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 330 Games for Learning (3)

    formerly titled Applied Simulation
    Conveys the skills necessary for students to begin a career in instructional video game design. Expands on previous game design courses but focuses on the creation of serious games for adult and child learning. At the end of the course, students design, develop and test a working prototype of a video game for learning. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 320 or equivalent, by permission of the program director

  • COSC 332 Fundamental of Computer Security (3)

    Introduces students to core principles and practices in computer and network security. Covers the fundamentals of computer/network security including general security concepts; threats and vulnerabilities; application, data and host security; access control and identity management; basics of cryptography; and compliance and operational/organizational security. Current topics in computer security such as cloud computing security and application programming development security also are discussed. Course materials prepare students for the vendor-neutral CompTIA Security+ industry certification exam. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 351 Object-Oriented Programming (3)

    formerly COSC 403
    Introduces the syntax of an object-oriented language and teaches object-oriented programming concepts and design. To teach these concepts, the course presents an object-oriented programming language such as C++, C# or Java. Also studied are more advanced programming topics not covered in COSC 151 and COSC 251 (e.g., recursion and data structures). Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 251 or equivalent

  • COSC 356 Database Systems (3)

    formerly COSC 425: Database Design and Implementation
    Introductory course to database design and implementation. Topics include modeling using Entity-Relationship (E-R) diagrams, query formulation with Structured Query Language (SQL), database planning and design, nonnalization, creating and maintaining a database and basic database administration. Basic concepts ofthe relational data model and SQL are discussed in detail. Students plan, design and test a relational database and associated application components. They also obtain hands-on experience using a current version of Microsoft SQL Server Database Management System or another system. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 251

  • COSC 370 Level Design (3)

    Builds on an existing understanding of game design concepts, scripting and 3-D asset creation and provides students with the opportunity to apply this to advanced level design utilizing professional tool sets. Projects are team based and emulate industry best practices using a current 3-D game engine. Lab fee required, prerequisites: COSC 250, COSC 260 and COSC 320 or their equivalents

  • COSC 390 Game Journalism (3)

    Focuses on building the reporting and writing skills needed to write game reviews and other video game-related news articles. Students regularly practice writing game-related pieces and develop their critical analysis skills through peer review; they are expected to learn through practice, peer review and review of existing published works. Topics covered include: What is journalism and how does game journalism differ? How do the elements of video games translate to written works, and how does one translate game concepts to a general reading audience? Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 320 or equivalent

  • COSC 401 The TCP/IP Protocol Suite (3)

    Introduces students to the TCP/IP suite of communication protocols. Topics include fundamentals, basic and advanced IP addressing, TCP/IP routing, TCP/IP name resolution, TCP/IP tools, dynamic P/IP configuration tools, WINS, NetBIOS, Internet/intranet services, printing and RAS, network management, and monitoring and troubleshooting. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 312

  • COSC 402 Interactive Narrative (3)

    Covers advanced principles of creating interactive narrative experiences, from creative writing to storyboarding and interaction design. Focuses on examples of successful and experimental interactive narrative from across media, including video games, electronic literature, interactive fiction and gamebooks. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 320

  • COSC 405 The Business of Game Development (3)

    Examines the past, present and future of the video game industry, with an emphasis on business organizations and practices that have evolved along with the medium. Particular attention is given to opportunities and requirements for new ventures in games and other areas of interactive design. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 407 Social Media and Games (3)

    Examines games and simulations as systems designed for common use and collaboration and the ways non-game social media can promote markets for digital entertainment. Theoretical approaches are compared to current implementations and tested in one or more limited practical experiments. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 408 History of Video Games (3)

    Surveys the history of video games, from the first experiments in the decades following World War II to the current era of consoles and network games. Despite being a relatively recent medium, video games have already undergone significant evolution from their earliest roots. Examines these transformations in terms of art, narrative, graphics, audio and game mechanics. Throughout the course, students position these trends within the cultural roles games have played and speculate on the future of the form. Lab fee required.
  • COSC 410 3-D Modeling (3)

    Improves an existing understanding of 3-D modeling, texturing and animation for interactive simulation applications, including scenic and character design for computer games. Practical assignments allow students to advance skills in industry-standard programs (e.g., 3D Studio and Maya). Readings, critical examples and visits from industry experts provide broader contexts for skills. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 260

  • COSC 412 Unix/Linux Administration (3)

    Students develop skills required to administer the Unix/Linux operating systems. Topics include installing and configuring a popular distribution, common tools and utilities, file system administration, user and group management, network/Internet service configuration, user and system security, shell scripting, kernel configurations, interoperability with Windows, back-up and storage, and troubleshooting. Lab fee required. prerequisites: COSC 212, COSC 251 and MATH 201

  • COSC 414 Audio Integration in Games and Simulations (3)

    Concentrates on the design of sound elements for use in computer games and other forms of interactive simulation. Practical design exercises based on standard production software and popular game engines are combined with theoretical readings, critical studies and visits from industry experts. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 415 Web Site Essentials (3)

    Introduces the fundamentals of creating and maintaining a Web site. Begins with a general treatment of Web servers, connecting to the Internet, Web security and Web administration. Topics include file servers, Web server computer hardware, communication media, TCP/IP, HTTP, domain name conventions, getting an IP address, backing up, fault tolerance, firewalls and proxy servers. The general treatment is followed with a study of Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS). Topics include installing IIS, Microsoft's Index Server and supporting Active Server. Students create an intranet using Microsoft's Internet Information Server and Web pages using Microsoft's FrontPage. Lab fee required. prerequisite or co-requisite: COSC 401

  • COSC 418 Design of Multiplayer Games (3)

    Examines the design principles and challenges underlying games and interactive simulations designed to be used collaboratively or in situations of simultaneous use, from multiplayer console games to massively multiplayer Internet games and their associated virtual communities. Assignments include development of modules or levels for popular multiplayer games and systematic study of Internet game communities. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 420 3-D Production (3)

    Builds on 3-D design concepts learned in COSC 260: Introduction to 3-D Graphics and COSC 410: 3-D Modeling to explore cutting-edge, industry-standard techniques for the creation of 3-D game graphics and animation. Projects focus on emerging technologies and practices and on optimization of models for real-time simulations. Students are required to apply creatively an advanced understanding of 3-D modeling to portfolio-quality work. Additional lab time outside of class may be required to complete course projects. Lab fee required. prerequisites: COSC 260 and COSC 410 or their equivalents

  • COSC 432 Information Assurance (3)

    Provides an introduction to the various technical and administrative aspects of information security and assurance. Discusses the foundation for understanding the key issues associated with protecting information assets, determining the levels of protection and response to security incidents, and designing a consistent, reasonable information security system with appropriate intrusion detection and reporting features. Ethical, legal and professional issues in information security are also discussed. Students develop familiarity with research and information resources to forecast emerging problems and strategies in this area. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 305

  • COSC 433 Network Security (3)

    Deals with the conceptual and technological aspects of network security. The course begins with a review of various forms of network attacks, including scanning, exploits and denial-of-service attacks. It discusses the role of major networking devices, including routers, firewall technology and servers, in establishing a secure network. It provides a comprehensive overview of building and maintaining firewalls in a business environment. It discusses how to make an intelligent choice of firewall technology and firewall planning/design and presents basic firewall troubleshooting. It also covers security policy development, authentication, encryption, VPNs and IDSs. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 312

  • COSC 434 Web and Database Security (3)

    Introduces the security challenges and threats in database/Web-based systems. Students learn how to describe and apply security principles and technologies and how to implement them across various database/Web systems. In addition, advanced topics related to database/Web-based systems such as e-commerce security, security problems in data warehousing and data mining are introduced. Lab fee required. prerequisites: COSC 332, COSC 356 and MATH 201

  • COSC 435 Digital Forensics (3)

    Introduces students to computer forensics and investigation and examines the digital footprints left behind by the use or misuse of computer systems and networks. Exposes students to current techniques, tools and best practices in securing, collecting, processing, examining and presenting digital evidence. Lab fee required. prerequisites: COSC 310 and COSC 332

  • COSC 440 Frontiers of Game Design (3)

    Focuses on one or more emerging technologies or practices likely to shape the video game industry in the next three to five years. Students both investigate the history and rationale of the innovation and develop practical experiments or proofs of concept indicating possible applications. Lab fee required. prerequisites: COSC 250 or COSC 315 or equivalent and Simulation and Digital Entertainment major

  • COSC 450 SDE Internship (3)

    Provides students with hands-on work experience in applied simulation and game development. Students may arrange placement with an external organization, subject to written approval by the instructor and an official of the organization. Alternatively, students may participate in an in-house project managed by the instructor. In the latter case, students attend regular class meetings as part of their project work. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 451 Object-Oriented Analysis and Design (3)

    Presents concepts and techniques in the development of robust design models and of applications of the United Modeling Language to fundamental object-oriented analysis and design concepts, including architecture, objects, classes, components, relationships and supporting diagrams. Lab fee required. prerequisites: COSC 351 and MATH 201

  • COSC 452 Internship in Simulation and Digital Entertainment: Production and Design (3)

    Internship course intended to give students professional experience in software reliability and play testing in computer games and other areas of applied interactive simulation. Students are assigned projects in area industries or in an on-campus development facility to be developed with local companies. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 453 Advanced Web Development (3)

    formerly COSC 416: Advanced Web Site Development
    Presents a detailed study of the methods and technologies for building highly interactive websites and other Web-based applications. Principles for building websites that exhibit usability, security and maintainability are presented. Students learn scripting, coding and utilizing website development tools to enhance the performance and functionality of a website. Technologies such as HTML5, XML and Ajax are introduced. Requires students to build multiple Web pages and implement a major website/Web application in phases. Lab fee required. prerequisites: COSC 155 or its equivalent and COSC 351
  • COSC 456 Advanced Database Systems (3)

    Covers advanced topics in database systems, intended to help students understand storage and indexes, query processing and optimization, transaction management, concurrency control, database administration and security, data warehousing concepts, OLAP and data mining, and distributed database and replication. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 356
  • COSC 457 Mobile Applications Programming (3)

    Introduces students to mobile application programming and provides an understanding of the underlying wireless architecture and infrastructure in native environments. Discusses various aspects of mobile applications and design patterns, and students gain hands-on development experience with at least one mobile platform. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 351 or equivalent
  • COSC 460 Games, Simulations and Society (3)

    Examines the nature of games and how they are framed by and impact individuals and groups. Topics include scholarly work on online economies and community building, fan cultures and their creative reworking of game content, the role of play in human culture and the relationships between online and offline identity, as well as psychological facets of games. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 461 IT Project Management (3)

    Introduces the concepts and practices associated with IT project management and helps students understand how successful IT projects are effectively managed so that projects are completed on time, within budget and meeting customers' needs. Teaches students the key processes, from project initiation to project closure. Students gain working experience with the latest versions of the most popular project management software and tools available to project managers. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 469 Game Development Project I (3)

    Constitutes the first part of the capstone experience in the Simulation and Digital Entertainment major. Students work through design assignments to practice project management and team coordination. They also research and propose individual project concepts, some of which are selected for group development as the final course project and for further work in Game Development Project II. Lab fee required. prerequisites: Simulation and Digital Entertainment major with senior status

  • COSC 470 Game Development Project II (3)

    Provides the capstone experience for students in the Simulation and Digital Entertainment major. Working with faculty and visiting industry experts, students propose a concept for a computer game or applied interactive simulation, developing that concept over the course of the semester through several stages of specification and prototyping. Theoretical readings and critical studies of existing games provide insight and context. Final prototypes are entered in a competition at the end of the course whose jury includes representatives from game and simulation development companies. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 469 and Simulation and Digital Entertainment major with senior status

  • COSC 477 Community-Focused Game Design (3)

    Students collaborate with the community to build a game focused on solving a problem or addressing a community need. Possible projects can incorporate a range of digital and communication skill sets and might include physical games (card, board), alternate or augmented reality, browser-based games, simulations or other forms as appropriate to the project. Lab fee required. prerequisite: COSC 320

  • COSC 490 Practicum in Information Technology (3)

    Provides students with hands-on work experience in applied information technology. Students may arrange placement with an external organization, subject to written approval by the instructor and an official of the organization. Alternatively, students may participate in an in-house project managed by the instructor. In the latter case, students attend regular class meetings as part of their project work. Lab fee required. prerequisites: COSC 430 and COSC 453

  • COSC 493 Honors Seminar (3)

    An advanced interdisciplinary seminar that focuses on important books and issues and encourages independent thinking, clear presentation and an understanding of the concerns and methods of various disciplines. The course may be team taught; topic and instructor(s) may change from semester to semester. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. Lab fee may be required. prerequisites: 3.3 GPA and permission of the Denit Honors Program director

  • COSC 494 Honors Project (3-6)

    Directed individual instruction in an advanced project of the student's choice; the project must be academically related to this discipline. Each student works closely with a faculty director who guides his/her progress. The project must be of honors quality and must be finally approved by both the faculty director and a second faculty member. Course is eligible for a continuing studies grade. Lab fee may be required. prerequisites: 3.3 GPA and permission of both the Denit Honors Program director and the faculty director

  • COSC 497 Topics in Computer Science (3)

    Intensive exploration of topics in computer science of mutual interest to faculty and students. Content varies according to the current interests of faculty and students. The topic for study appears under that name in the class schedule. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. Lab fee required.

  • COSC 499 Independent Study (1-3)

    The pursuit of independent study under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. The number of credits to be earned is determined by the supervising faculty member before the study begins. Students may earn up to 3 credits for this independent study. Lab fee required. prerequisite: varies; see class schedule or instructor