Academics
A Notre Dame Education

Computer Science & Engineering

Philosophy

The purpose of the courses offered in the Computer Science Department at Notre Dame High School is to provide students with a variety of interests to pursue, ranging from programming to design, and from software applications to working with networks.  

The Philosophy of the Computer Science Department at Notre Dame High School is to provide all students with the foundation they will need to learn and succeed at Notre Dame, in college, and after college.  The department strives to make students comfortable with integrating technology into their other academic endeavors.  In today’s world in which technology is growing and evolving at such a rapid pace, establishing this comfort level is more critical than giving students any specific technological skills. 

Courses Offered

List of 13 items.

  • Computing in the Digital Age

    This one semester course will survey the development of the computer and other digital devices, operating systems, and applications commonly in use.  Additionally, user social and ethical issues are introduced and explored as part of this course. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Available to students in Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12.
  • Web Design

    This one semester course provides students with the introductory skills necessary to design and create web pages. Students will learn about design concepts, publishing websites, copyright issues, basic HTML, and web development applications, including Adobe Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Flash. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Computing in the Digital Age recommended and interest in the subject area. Available to students in Grades 9, 10, 11, 12.
  • Introduction to Game Development

    This computer course is designed to introduce students to the amazing world of game development. Most high school students have played computer and video games, but this course will allow them to see the work that is required to create games. Students will explore the principles of design, programming, and production processes and techniques. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Computing in the Digital Age recommended and interest in the subject area. Available to students in Grades 9, 10. 11, 12. (UC “g” Elective) 
  • Robotics

    This course is an introduction to Computer Science, Engineering, and Robotics following the Parallax Boe-Bot and Exploring Robotics with Electronics curriculum. The course focuses on problem-solving and learning the basics of robotic design and computer programming while using their robot. The students will construct a robot and learn the basics of controlling it using one of the programming languages normally associated with small frame robotics. The course allows the student to progress to AP Computer Science. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Computing in the Digital Age recommended and interest in the subject area. (UC "g" Elective Pending)
  • Introduction to Computer Programming

    This one semester course introduces modern programming environments (Integrated Development Environments, or IDEs), as well as function and object-oriented program design concepts and techniques. Additionally, this course explores the relationship between human logic and machine logic, as well as the development of programs from idea conception through final program code. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Computing in the Digital Age or other Level 1 class or instructor permission. (UC “g” Elective)
  • Introduction to Computer Networking

    This one semester course introduces the architecture of wired and wireless networking environments, Network Operating Systems (NOS), client/server topologies, and cloud computing. Explores the infrastructure and hardware devices, as well as management and troubleshooting network environments with multi-operating systems and multiple device platforms. Note: There will be an out-of-classroom minimum requirement of working “hands-on” with the Notre Dame Technology Department of one hour a week, to be scheduled during non-academic time frames (either before school, during breaks/lunch, “x” period, or after school). Participation in the “iKnights” extracurricular club is strongly encouraged and will qualify for the out-of-classroom requirement. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Computing in the Digital Age or other Level 1 class or instructor permission. (UC Pending)
  • Web Design II

    This one semester course provides students with the intermediate skills necessary to create more advanced web pages. Students will learn more web-centric languages and application interfaces, as well as server-side support and database linking, and security. Troubleshooting and website management will also be addressed in this course. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - This course is available to students who have earned a passing grade of “C” or better in Web Design. Available to students in Grades 10. 11, 12.
  • Game Development II

    This course builds upon the concepts of game development introduced in the previous course. Using industry-level 3D game engines (Unreal, Unity, or similar), students will create game assets and artifacts to populate developed game levels. Scripting languages (light programming) will be used to affect game artificial intelligence and object behaviors. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - A passing grade of “C” or better in Introduction to Game Development, or department approval. Available to students in Grades 10. 11, 12.
  • Robotics II

    This course uses advanced techniques and skills to design, build and program robots that are geared for competition and industrial purposes. Students will move through advanced small frame robots into larger robot configurations following the design and build requirements from the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotic competitions and materials. Participation in the school’s competition team, the “RoboKnights” is not required but is highly recommended. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - A passing grade of “C” or better in Robotics, or department approval. Available to students in Grades 9 (with approval), 10. 11, 12.
  • AP Computer Science Principles

    AP Computer Science Principles course is designed to be equivalent to a first-semester introductory college computing course. Students are introduced to the central ideas of computer science, instilling the ideas and practices of computational thinking and inviting students to understand how computing changes the world. Along with the fundamentals of computing, students will learn to analyze data, information, or knowledge represented for computational use; create technology that has a practical impact; and gain a broader understanding of how computer science impacts people and society. The major areas of study in the AP Computer Science Principles course are organized around seven big ideas, which are essential to studying computer science: 
    • Creativity
    • Abstraction
    • Data and Information
    • Algorithms
    • Programming
    • The Internet
    • Global Impact 
    These big ideas connect students to a curriculum scope that includes the art of programming but is not programming-centric. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Available to students in Grades 10, 11, or 12 who have completed their NDHS one-semester Computer requirement with an A, and an A in Geometry or B in Honors Geometry or higher math course required. Department approval is required.  (UC “g” Elective)
  • AP Computer Science A

    AP Computer Science A course is a college-level course in computer science. Because the design and implementation of computer programs to solve problems involve skills that are fundamental to the study of computer science, a large part of the course is built around the development of computer programs that correctly solve a given problem. At the same time, the design and implementation of computer programs is used as a context for introducing other important aspects of computer science, including the development and analysis of algorithms, the development and use of fundamental data structures, the study of standard algorithms and typical applications, and the use of logic and formal methods. AP Computer Science A is intended to serve both as an introductory course for computer science majors and as a course for people who will major in other disciplines that require significant involvement with technology. In addition to the study of object-oriented programming and programming in the Java language, topics include classes, methods, parameters, modularity, specialization, inheritance, collections, recursion, and sorting. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Available to students in grades 10, 11, or 12 who have completed Intro to Programming with a grade of B or higher and/or AP Computer Science Principles with a grade of B or higher.  Students must also have completed Geometry/Honors Geometry or higher-level math class with a grade of B. Department approval is required.  (UC “g” Elective) 
  • Introduction to Engineering Design

    This course is designed to introduce students to the engineering design process and how it is applied to solve real-world problems. The curriculum surveys Computer Science, Mechanical and Civil Engineering disciplines. Through hands-on projects, students apply engineering standards and document their work. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Computing in the Digital Age, or department approval. Available to students in grades 10, 11, or 12 who have earned B or higher in Geometry. (UC “g” Elective)
  • Engineer Your World

    This course and curriculum is a highly evolved and tested program “Engineer You World” developed by the Cockrell School of Engineering, at the University of Texas, at Austin, which is one of the top ten engineering schools in the United States. “Students will collaborate to construct their own understanding within the parameters of the engineering design process. They discover connections between abstract concepts and practical applications by using science, mathematics and engineering concepts to solve real-world problems.” This course is eligible for dual-enrollment at the University of Texas at Austin, for 3 hours of freshman-level elective credit. Students must register separately for this credit. Information and deadlines provided to the student at the start of the course. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Open to grades 10, 11, 12. B or higher in Geometry or instructor approval. (UC “g” Elective)

Faculty

List of 2 members.

  • John Matthews 

    Robotics & Computer Science Teacher
    (818) 933-3600 Ext. 453
  • Eduardo Samaniego 

    Computer Science & Mathematics Teacher
    (818) 933-3600 Ext. 403
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