PARALLEL AND DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The Module of Information processing systems, introduced into the Teaching or integrated Course of chemical-physical and experimental Sciences, is addressed to the Prevention technician in university education, aimed to enter professionally both public and private processes in the sphere of public prevention. Its target is to provide useful information for the understanding of the value of adopting computer science technologies and know-how with the purpose of tool achievement, for a useful use in the described field.
The course has the aim of letting student know and understand essential elements of computer science, automatic systems for data management, the main components of a computer and of computer information networks.
Its target is to let students be able to use the knowledge and understanding for:
- an effective integration in a working environment of the described field, characterized by the use of latest data management systems.
- The representation by means of flowcharts of the active processes in the present working environment of the area of expertise
- The correct analysis of the data flow, for the active processes in the present working environment of the area of expertise; work out of data charts and possibly congruent with the construction of a relationship database
- The use of hardware systems for the data management
- The use of computer information networks, achieved by frontal lessons, case histories and practical exercises.
At the end of the course, thanks to the achieved knowledge, the student shall show know-how and comprehension skills regarding:
- the graphic representation of data flow in a process
- The correct representation of the process data flow by charts
- The basic use of hardware and software tools for the data management and processing
- The use of computer communication networks
Moreover, thanks to the achieved knowledge and comprehension and also cooperating with other professionals , the student shall be able to:
-recognize the importance and effects of informatization in the work organization and management
-help informatization and the correct data management inside the processes of the own working environment.
-recognize the basic terminology and use it properly
-use properly the hardware and software tools as well as the infrastructures for information management present in a Health organization, in the prevention field.
-recognize the main targets of a computer system on the life and work environments, inside a Public Health Department
Basic mathematics knowledge.
Course contents summary
The course is divided into four lessons, structured as briefly described below.
At the beginning, the importance of technological evolution for the redefinition of health system targets is analyzed, with particular attention to the prevention field. Basic concepts of computer science are provided afterwards.
The second lesson is focused on the concept of data bases and their possible logical modelling; the model of relationship data base is deepened, together with concepts related to a DBMS (Data base management system).
The operating principles and analysis of the main components of a computer are explained in the third lesson, while last lesson deals with computer information networks, their architecture, varieties of communication lines, network hardware and software.
Introduction: the Digital divide, innovation culture and technology, computer science, IT and ITC, medical computer science, health computer science, electronic health.
Information representation: digital and analogical representation, number systems; binary encoding: bit, bite, word; hexadecimal encoding; decimal/ binary/ hexadecimal conversion, type encoding (ASCII and Unicode).
Introduction to programming languages: the code, the algorithm, the flowchart.
The programming languages: Machine languages, high and low level programming languages.
The software: the system software and app, the operating systems, the graphic interface, "vertical" and "horizontal" software.
Set of data: Record, Array, strings, lists, tuple, charts.
Data bases and information systems: the concept of information system, data bases, DBMS. The logic data modeling, the relationship model.
The computer: operating logic, concepts of programmable machine, Boolean algebra, android concept.
Essential models and calculator architecture: algorithm, android concept, Turing machine, Von Neumann model.
The hardware: motherboard, CPU, data bus, memories, graphic card.
Features: Desktop, Net book, Note book.
Network architecture: the centralized model, the distributed system, the peer-to-peer networks, LAN and WAN, Network networks, distributed systems.
Communication lines: phone, ADSL, optical fibre.
Network hardware: Hub and Switch, Router, Modem, network performances,
Network software: communication levels, TCP/IP protocol hierarchy, protocol reliability, network addresses, public and private addresses, Domain name system.
App: analysis of a information system type on life and working environments inside a Public Health Department.
Classroom notes and slides, literature provided by the teacher.
Lessons are performed according to frontal teaching method, with discussion between lecturer and students in case there are subjects to clarify or to analyze deeper. Moreover, moments of active teaching are also considered, in which all participants are involved in practical activities both individually or divided into small groups, focused on specific subjects, with final presentation of the results in joint session.
Assessment methods and criteria
The verification of the course target achievement consists on two practical tests and a written examination. The practical tests check the student capacity to represent process flows by means of flowchart and to manage properly the information, for a later processing by means of proper charts. Questions on the course content will verify if the student has achieved the target of knowledge and understanding of the same content.