Balanced Introduction to Computer Science, A

Prentice Hall
David Reed  
Total pages
August 2010
Related Titles

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Balanced Introduction to Computer Science, A
202.40 approx. 7-9 days

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For Introduction to Computing and the Web courses in departments of Math and Computer Science.

This thoughtfully written text uses the Internet as a central theme, studying its history, technology, and current use. Experimental problems use Web-based tools, enabling students to learn programming fundamentals by developing their own interactive Web pages with HTML 5 and JavaScript. Integrating breadth-based and depth-based chapters, Reed covers a broad range of topics balanced with programming depth in a hands-on, tutorial style.



Illustrations and Web-based tools illuminate key points and support active learning.


Review questions end each of the computer science breadth chapters.


Incremental exercises build upon one another; eventually new programs for solving interesting and engaging problems are created.


“Common errors to avoid...” identify and discuss common errors and points of confusion.


• “Designer secrets...” provide problem-solving and program design advice in special sections.


• Nine laboratory assignments supplement the text, corresponding to each programming depth chapter.


Supplements Include:

  • Power Point Lecture Slides
  • Figures
  • Labs
  • Solutions


Author Website:



New to this Edition

  • HTML and JavaScript code throughout the book has been revised to match the latest HTML5 draft standard.
  • The programming depth chapters have been reorganized to take advantage of changes to HTML5. In particular, Chapters 4 and 5 introduce event-driven pages earlier, using buttons, text boxes, and page divisions for controlling images and text within a page. Chapter 7 focuses on functions and abstraction, using randomness as a common thread through numerous examples.
  • In addition to incremental exercises, each programming depth chapter has at least one larger, motivational application that demonstrates programming concepts in a setting familiar to students. These include interacting help buttons (Chapter 4), online form letters (Chapter 5), rotating banner ads (Chapter 7), embedded countdown clocks (Chapter 9), a slot machine simulation (Chapter 11), dice simulations (Chapter 13), text encryption (Chapter 15), and ASCII animations (Chapter 17).
  • New material has been added throughout the book on recent developments and important technologies, such as multi-core processors and operating systems (Chapter 1), cascading style sheets (Chapter 2), HTML5 standards (Chapter 3), wireless networking (Chapter 6), parallel processing (Chapter 10), digital media (Chapter 12), and social networking (Chapter 18).
  • Statistics on the Internet/Web and computer specifications have been updated to match the current state of technology.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Computer Basics
  • 2 HTML and Web Pages
  • 3 The Internet and the Web
  • 4 JavaScript and Dynamic Web Pages
  • 5 JavaScript and User Interaction
  • 6 The History of Computers
  • 7 Functions and Randomness
  • 8 Algorithms and Programming Languages
  • 9 Abstraction and Libraries
  • 10 Computer Science as a Discipline
  • 11 Conditional Execution
  • 12 Data Representation
  • 13 Conditional Repetition
  • 14 Inside the Computer–The von Neumann Architecture
  • 15 JavaScript Strings
  • 16 Inside the Computer–Transistors and Integrated Circuits
  • 17 JavaScript Arrays
  • 18 Computers and Society
  • Appendix A: Browser Basics
  • Appendix B: Common Text Editors
  • Appendix C: HTML Reference
  • Appendix D: JavaScript Reference
  • Appendix E: random.jsLibrary
  • Appendix F: time.jsLibrary
  • Appendix G: arrays.jsLibrary
  • Index
  • Trademark Information
  • Photo Credits


David Reed is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Duke University in 1992, and subsequently taught and conducted research at Duke University and Dickinson College before joining the Creighton faculty in 2000. His primary interests are in artificial intelligence, programming languages, and computer science education, where he has published extensively on topics such as apprentice-based learning, Web-based programming, and innovative instructional methods in introductory computer science. He is a member of the Liberal Arts Computer Science Consortium and the Chief Reader for the Advanced Placement® Computer Science Exam since 2004.

Reader Review(s)

“The textbook [Reed] explains a concept, shows the code, then give a pictorial example to reinforce that point. An excellent example is in chapter four when talking about ONMOUSEOVER and ONMOUSEOUT.” - Dr. Jenna Miley, Bainbridge College

“The thing that struck me [about Reed] was how the examples are presented followed by adding functionality, basically anticipating questions that a reader would have after doing the examples.” - Lionel Craddock, Bluefield State College

“The examples are illuminating and effective.” - Lionel Craddock, Bluefield State College

“This text [Reed] offers very clear explanations of difficult topics.” - Ralph Hooper, University of Alabama

“Reed's examples are relevant and fun; his language is clear and concise, and his use of the language is accessible to non-majors.” - Arnold D. Miles, Georgetown University

“The programming is presented in a well-organized manner; it builds smoothly.” - Arnold D. Miles, Georgetown University