AP Computer Science Principles

  • Welcome to AP CS Principles. In this course you will learn to code, but you will also learn how computing itself works, how the internet works, what the implications are, and how our world has been reshaped by digital technologies.

    Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion by Ableson, Leeden, and Lewis was a book written in 2008 about the digital explosion and the effects that it has had on human life. Interestingly, despite being a few years old, most ideas in the book have been expanded with time, rather than rendered obsolete.

    Read the first 2 chapters of the book, which is linked here and also available widely in libraries and for purchase. Then, answer the following questions and submit them via Google Doc to before the first day of school.

    I look forward to a great year together!

    Mr. Hamilton


    Chapter 1 Questions

    1. What is a bit and what does it mean to say that “it’s all just bits”? Give 2 examples of
      things today that are stored in bits.
    2. Describe Moore’s Law.
    3. Someone offers you a summer job and offers you two different pay rates: either you
      can earn $10 per hour for 40 hours per week for 30 days, OR you can earn $.01 per
      day but your rate doubles every day. If you work for 30 days which pay rate is best
      for you? What concept does this show?
    4. Give an example of how the digital explosion is “neither good nor bad” but has both
      positive and negative implications.
    5. “Advances in computing have generated and increased creativity in other fields.”
      Comment on this statement. Do you agree? Can you give an example to support or
      contradict this statement?

    Chapter 2 Questions

    1. What is an RFID tag and what does it do?
    2. What is an EDR and what does it do?
    3. Is it possible to identify someone, perhaps a patient, knowing just his or her gender,
      birth date, and zip code? Explain.
    4. What is the difference between “Big brotherism” and “Little brotherism”?
    5. How do you feel about “Big Brother” watching you? Do you think having security
      cameras everywhere is good or bad?
    6. Is the Privacy Act effective? Explain.
    7. “The digital explosion has scattered the bits of our lives everywhere: records of the
      clothes we wear, the soaps we wash with, the streets we walk, and the cars we drive
      and where we drive them.” In 1 or 2 paragraphs, address the question ‘Am I worried
      about my privacy? Why or why not?’