Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia

Informatics for Science and Engineering D



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia


Departamento de Informática



Teacher in charge

Jorge Carlos Ferreira Rodrigues da Cruz, Pedro Abílio Duarte de Medeiros

Weekly hours


Total hours


Teaching language




The fundamental components of a computer.

The tools of a software development system.

The essential constructions of an imperative programming language.

Some fundamental notions of relational databases.

Some basic concepts involved in the World Wide Web.


Decompose a problem into simpler problems.

Design an algorithm for solving a simple problem.

Write a program, making a correct use of the basic constructions of an imperative programming language.

Test a program in a given programming environment.

State a very simple SQL query.

Access resources available in the network inside a program.


Ability to do a programming project.

Skills in time management.


This unit has no access requirements.

Subject matter

Introduction: Problems, algorithms, programs, and computers. Goals and components of computer systems. Program execution. The interpreter.

Fundamental Concepts of Programming: Constants, variables and expressions. Numbers and strings. Predefined functions. Assignment statement and sequence of statements. Levels of abstraction in problem-solving. Functions. Source code files. Program life cycle. Kinds of error. Unit testing. FOR loops. Vectors. The IF statement. Relational and logical operators. Matrices. Graphics. WHILE loops. File systems. Binary and ASCII files. Structures. Vectors of structures.

Networks and communication protocols. The World Wide Web.

Introduction to databases: the relational model, relations, some basic SQL queries.

Simulation of continuous models.


Main Reference:

Allen B. Downey. Physical Modeling in MATLAB (version 1.1.3). PDF file available at http://greenteapress.com/matlab/

Teaching method

There are two hours of lectures and a lab session of three hours each week.

Lectures are problem-driven. They start with a concrete problem, which motivates the presentation of some computer systems topic, some data type or some programming language construct, and end with the complete source code of a program that solves it.

In the lab classes, students design, implement and test programs for solving simple problems in Science and Engineering fields.