Welcome to CSE 003 - Personal Computer Concepts

General Class Information

Course assignments, weekly quizzes, and exams will be available through the Canvas portal. Lectures will be delivered by Zoom.  You will need to use your CruzID and your Gold Password for both.

If you need help with Canvas or Zoom, you can go to http://itrequest.ucsc.edu, or email canvas.help@ucsc.edu, or call 459-HELP.  Response times may be slow due to the sudden switch of all classes to online platforms, so check out the Keep Learning resources below to see if you can answer your own questions.

Keep Learning - Online resources for UCSC remote education


Class Number:



Gerald Moulds

Email: gmoulds@soe.ucsc.edu

(Note: If your issue can be resolved by your TA, please contact them first. Due to the volume of email I receive, I may take several days to respond.)

Instructor Office Hours:

Wednesdays 1:00pm-3:00pm

Office: Meetings to be arranged via Zoom.  All enrolled students should receive a Zoom invitation via email.  If you joined the class late or are not a current student and would like to meet during office hours, contact gmoulds@ucsc.edu.

Lecture times:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:50am-11:25pm, via Zoom

Teaching Assistants:

Tiffany Lam - tlam16@ucsc.edu

Santiago Jimenez - sjimen28@ucsc.edu


Who is my TA?

  • You will receive an email early in the quarter, providing you with the name of your TA.

Required Reading:

Please bookmark the Reading List.  There will not be a traditional textbook in this class.


  • Labs are NOT mandatory. 
    • You only need to attend a lab if you would like some help from one of the course TAs. 
  • You may drop in on ANY of the four labs for help, even if you are not enrolled in that lab. 

Labs are held via Zoom.

Lab times:


Exam times:

Midterm Exams (each worth 15% of your final grade):

Exam 1: Tuesday, April 20

Exam 2: Thursday, May 13

Exam 3: Monday, June 7 at 12:00pm

If you know ahead of time that you cannot make an exam, or need special arrangements, inform me at least a week ahead of the scheduled exam time.  If you miss an exam due to illness or emergency, contact me as soon as possible.

Using Zoom

This quarter, the course will be taught live via Zoom teleconferencing during the scheduled time for the course, although recordings of the lectures should be available online later the same day.  If an unexpected lack of network connectivity or other mishap makes live delivery impossible, some lectures may be recorded at another time.

Because Zoom is still a relatively new instruction medium, we will have to establish rules of communication etiquette as the quarter develops.  To start with, the first rule is simple: be respectful of your fellow students.

You can get started with Zoom by visiting https://ucsc.zoom.us/ and signing in with your UCSC credentials.  There are video tutorials available if you need assistance.

Academic Integrity:

Cheating in any part of the course may lead to failing the course and severe academic discipline.

Disability Accommodations:

UC Santa Cruz is committed to creating an academic environment that supports its diverse student body. If you are a student with a disability who requires accommodations to achieve equal access in this course, please submit your Accommodation Authorization Letter from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to me privately during my office hours or by appointment, preferably within the first two weeks of the quarter. At this time, I would also like us to discuss ways we can ensure your full participation in the course. I encourage all students who may benefit from learning more about DRC services to contact DRC by phone at 831-459-2089, or by email at drc@ucsc.edu.

Course Outline:

This course covers the concepts of hardware and software used in personal computing. The lectures provide a background in terminology and fundamental concepts. The assignments provide hands-on practice using basic office applications and creating simple web pages and applications.


This course is worth 5.0 credits. Students cannot repeat this course for credit.

Grade Evaluation:

  • 45% = 3 Exams (15% each) Worth 1500 points each.
  • 15% = 10 Quizzes (1.5% each). Each is worth 150 points.
  • 40% = Best 4 of 5 Homework Assignments (10% each) Each is worth 1000 points.

Your grade will be assigned: A=90% and above, B=80%-89%, C=70%-79%, D=60%-69, Fail=below 60%

Free Microsoft Office 365

To install Office on your own computer, the Office 365 Portal provides access to self-service downloads of the Office 365 suite.  To access Office installers, sign in to the portal at https://portal.office.com/ using your CruzID and Gold password.

Assignments 1 and 5 require spreadsheet and slideshow software, although if you prefer not to use Microsoft Office you're welcome to use Libreoffice (free software) or Numbers/Keynote (for Mac).

Late  Assignments.

Assignments submitted in the 24 hours after the due date will receive a late penalty. After this grace period, unexcused lateness may result in a grade of zero. If you have a valid excuse for a late assignment, contact your TA or the Instructor.


Note on submitting Assignments 1-5:

  • All assignments are submitted through Canvas, accessed through the "Assignments" link on the class portal.
    • Click on "Assignments"
    • Click on the Assignment #  you are trying to submit.
    • Click on the blue box labelled "Submit Assignment".
    • Browse for the assignment.
    • Click "Submit Assignment."
    • (Some assignments may have additional requirements as well.)
  • Assignments #1 and #5 typically use Microsoft Office, any version (Mac or PC). This software is installed on most of the PCs available in labs on campus.  See above note "Free Microsoft Office 365" about aquiring a free student version of this software.
    • You may also use the LibreOffice application suite. This suite is free for download, but students unfamiliar with the software may have trouble installing or using the software. We'll go over this software suite in class.
  • Assignments #2 and #3 will require a plain text editor, with files saved in plain ASCII format (I'll explain this in detail during class.) This can prove tricky for Mac users, who need to change some preferences on TextEdit for the assignments to display properly - see Assignment #2 description for instructions on installing a better text editor.

Assignment 1 - Spreadsheet. Here are links to the assignment and an example - Due Thursday, April 8

Assignment 2 - Web Page. Here are links to the assignment and an example - Due Thursday, April 22

Assignment 3 - Javascript. Here are links to the assignment and hello_java.html - Due Thursday, May 6

Assignment 4 -Programming. Here is the link to the assignment - Due Thursday, May 27

Assignment 5 - PowerPoint Presentation. Here is the link to the assignment - Due Tuesday, June 8



All quizzes are taken on Canvas and must be submitted by 11:55pm of their due date.  Except for the very first quiz, all quizzes except the first quiz are due on Wednesdays. Quizzes are generally available by the Saturday before thier due dates.

  • Chapter 1 Quiz - Due Friday, April 2
  • Chapter 2 Quiz - Due Wednesday, April 7
  • Chapter 3 Quiz - Due Wednesday, April 14
  • Chapter 4 Quiz - Due Wednesday, April 21
  • Chapter 5 Quiz - Due Wednesday, April 28
  • Chapter 6 Quiz - Due Wednesday, May 5
  • Chapter 7 Quiz - Due Wednesday, May 12
  • Chapter 8 Quiz - Due Wednesday, May 19
  • Chapter 9 Quiz - Due Wednesday, May 26
  • Chapter 10 Quiz - Due Wednesday, June 2