Introduction to Computer Science


  • Module: Introduction to Computer Science (CH-232)
  • Semester: Fall 2022
  • Instructor: Jürgen Schönwälder
  • Office Hours: Monday, 11:15-12:30 (Research I, Room 87)
  • TA (Group A): Devkota, Charchit
  • TA (Group B): Güler, Sinem Bilge
  • TA (Group C): Perial, Razvan Andrei
  • TA (Group D): Schuster, Lars Florian
  • TA (Group E): Stefanovska, Tea
  • TA (Group Z): Banjade, Ayam (online students)
  • Class: Tuesday, 11:15-12:30 (RLH 172)
  • Class: Friday, 08:15-09:30 (RLH 172)
  • Class: Friday, 09:45-11:00 (RLH 172)
  • Tutorial H: Wednesday, 20:00-21:00 (East Hall 1)
  • Tutorial Y: Thursday, 20:00-21:00 (online, Teams)
  • 1st Module Exam: Saturday, 2022-12-17, 09:00-11:00, 11:30-13:30 (CLAMV and Lab 3)
  • 2nd Module Exam: Monday, 2023-01-30, 09:00-11:00 (CLAMV and Lab 3)

Content and Educational Aims

The module introduces fundamental concepts and techniques of computer science in a bottom-up manner. Based on clear mathematical foundations (which are developed as needed), the course discusses abstract and concrete notions of computing machines, information, and algorithms, focusing on the question of representation versus meaning in Computer Science.

The module introduces basic concepts of discrete mathematics with a focus on inductively defined structures, to develop a theoretical notion of computation. Students will learn the basics of the functional programming language Haskell because it treats computation as the evaluation of pure and typically inductively defined functions. The module covers a basic subset of Haskell that includes types, recursion, tuples, lists, strings, higher-order functions, and finally monads. Back on the theoretical side, the module covers the syntax and semantics of Boolean expressions and it explains how Boolean algebra relates to logic gates and digital circuits. On the technical side, the course introduces the representation of basic data types such as numbers, characters, and strings as well as the von Neuman computer architecture. On the algorithmic side, the course introduces the notion of correctness and elementary concepts of complexity theory (big O notation).

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be able to

  • explain basic concepts such as the correctness and complexity of algorithms (including the big O notation);
  • illustrate basic concepts of discrete math (sets, relations, functions);
  • recall basic proof techniques and use them to prove properties of algorithms;
  • explain the representation of numbers (integers, floats), characters and strings, and date and time;
  • summarize basic principles of Boolean algebra and Boolean logic;
  • describe how Boolean logic relates to logic gates and digital circuits;
  • outline the basic structure of a von Neumann computer;
  • explain the execution of machine instructions on a von Neumann computer;
  • describe the difference between assembler languages and higher-level programming languages;
  • define the differences between interpretation and compilation;
  • illustrate how an operating system kernel supports the execution of programs;
  • determine the correctness of simple programs;
  • write simple programs in a pure functional programming language.


  • Eric Lehmann, F. Thomson Leighton, Albert R. Meyer: "Mathematics for Computer Science", 2018
  • Richard Hammack: "Book of Proof", 3rd edition, 2020
  • David A. Patterson, John L Hennessy: "Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface", 4th edition, Morgan Kaufmann, 2011
  • Miran Lipovaca: "Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!: A Beginner's Guide", 1st edition, No Starch Press, 2011



Fri 08:15 Tue 11:15 Topics
2022-09-02 2022-09-06 Introduction and maze generation algorithms
2022-09-09 2022-09-13 String search algorithms, complexity and correctness
2022-09-16 2022-09-20 Mathematical notations and proof techniques
2022-09-23 2022-09-27 Sets, relations, and functions
2022-09-30 2022-10-04 Representation of integer and floating point numbers
2022-10-07 2022-10-11 Representation of characters, strings, date and time
2022-10-14 2022-10-18 Boolean functions, expressions, laws
2022-10-21 2022-10-25 Normal forms, minimization of Boolean functions
2022-10-28 2022-11-01 Boolean logic, logic gates
2022-11-04 2022-11-08 Combinational and sequential digital circuits
2022-11-11 2022-11-15 von Neuman computer architecture, assembly programming
2022-11-18 2022-11-22 Interpreter, compiler, operating systems
2022-11-25 2022-11-29 Software specification and verification
2022-12-02 2022-12-06 Automated generation of proof goals and termination proofs

Functional Programming (Haskell)

Fri 09:45 Lesson Topics
2022-09-02 01 Introduction Haskell Interpreter (ghci), Haskell Compiler (ghc)
2022-09-09 02 Expressions Expressions, Boolean Expressions
2022-09-16 03 Lists Basic Lists, Advanced Lists
2022-09-23 04 Types Characters and Strings, Tuples, Types and Type Signatures
2022-09-30 05 Defining Functions I Pattern Matching, Recursion
2022-10-07 06 Defining Functions II Guards, Let Expressions, Where Bindings, Case Expressions
2022-10-14 07 Defining Functions III Lambda Expressions, Partial Application, Currying, Composition, Application
2022-10-21 08 Higher Order Functions Mapping, Filtering, Zipping, Folding
2022-11-04 09 Algebraic Data Types Product types, sum types, record syntax, deriving
2022-11-11 10 Basic Collections Binary Trees, Sets, Maps
2022-11-18 11 Typeclasses Typeclasses, Functors, Applicatives
2022-11-25 12 Monads Monads, IO Monad


Date/Due Name Topics
2022-09-16 Sheet 01 Kruskal and Boyer-Moore algorithms, Haskell expressions
2022-09-23 Sheet 02 Proof by contrapositive, proof by induction, Haskell list comprehensions
2022-09-30 Sheet 03 Cartesian products, relations, functions, Haskell types
2022-10-07 Sheet 04 Sets and relations, function composition, b-complement, Haskell munged passwords
2022-10-14 Sheet 05 Floating point numbers, unicode characters, Haskell Schröder numbers
2022-10-21 Sheet 06 Brandy after dinner, Haskell brandy after dinner
2022-10-28 Sheet 07 Quine-McCluskey algorithm
2022-11-04 Sheet 08 Digital circuit analysis, dice display, Haskell decimal to binary
2022-11-11 Sheet 09 JK flip-flops, Haskell fold duality theorems
2022-11-18 Sheet 10 Assembler programming (scpu), assembler programming (rv32i)
2022-11-25 Sheet 11 Fork system call, tail recursion, Haskell expression simplification
2022-12-02 Sheet 12 BNF grammar, pre- and postconditions, Haskell Levenshtein edit distance
2023-01-15 Sheet 13 extra sheet for students who did not manage to obtain 50/120 points


The final grade is determined by the final exam (100%). In order to sit for the final exam, it is necessary to have 50% of the assignments correctly solved. There are 10 regular assignments and 2-3 bonus assignments.

Electronic submission is the preferred way to hand in homework solutions. Please submit documents (plain ASCII/UTF-8 text or PDF, no Word) and your source code (packed into a zip archive after removing all binaries and temporary files) via the online submission system. If you have problems, please contact one of the TAs.

Late submissions will not be accepted. Assignments may need to be defended in an oral interview. In case you are ill, you have to follow the procedures defined in the university policies to obtain an official excuse. If you obtain an excuse, the new deadline will be calculated as follows:

  1. Determine the number of days you were excused until the deadline day, not counting excused weekend days.
  2. Determine the day of the end of your excuse and add the number of day you obtained in first step. This gives you the initial new deadline.
  3. If the period between the end of your excuse and the new deadline calculated in the second step includes weekend days, add them as well to the new deadline. (Iterate this step if necessary.)

For any questions stated on assignment sheets or exam sheets, we by default expect a reasoning for the answer given, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Students must submit solutions individually. If you copy material verbatim from the Internet (or other sources), you have to provide a proper reference. If we find your solution text on the Internet without a proper reference, you risk to lose your points. Any cheating cases will be reported to the registrar. In addition, you will lose the points (of course).

Any programs, which have to be written, will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • correctness including proper handling of error conditions
  • proper use of programming language constructs
  • clarity of the program organization and design
  • readability of the source code and any output produced

Source code must be accompanied by a README file providing an overview of the source files and giving instructions how to build the programs. A suitable Makefile is required if the build process involves more than a single source file.

If you are unhappy with the grading, please report immediately (within one week) to the TAs. If you can't resolve things, contact the instructor. Problem reports which come late, that is after the one-week period, are not considered anymore.