Student guide Faculty of Economics A.Y. 2010/11

Information Technology
Aim of the course
The course provides a basic overview of the hardware and software architecture of information systems, from the standpoints of both data processing (computers as executors of programs) and communications (computer networks and the Internet).
The theory will be put into practice using office automation software programs to solve concrete business problems.
At the end of the course, students will have learned to analyse the general characteristics of an information system, highlighting its capabilities and limitations. They will also understand the various forms of IT encountered in business and everyday life (for example Open-Source, Mobile and Wi-fi, Voice Over IP), and be able to model and resolve business problems based on processing of quantitative data.
The skills acquired in this course are fundamental prerequisites for the subjects encountered in subsequent years, and in particular for the management of business information flows within organisations, which is studied more extensively in the Information Systems course.
1. Communication and Internet architectures. Software aspects of computer networks: communication protocols. Internet-based applications and services. Hardware aspects of computer networks.
2. Computer security and information technology for security.
3. Architecture of the stand-alone computer. Hardware infrastructures. The reference architecture. Language executor. Memory. Mass storage devices. Software infrastructures. Functions of the operating system.
4. The digital convergence trend: types, drivers. New business models.
5. Creating and formatting text documents. Advanced problem solving using spreadsheets.
There will be a written exam in which students must demonstrate their grasp of the material covered during the lectures. There may also be progress tests which substitute for the final examination, or group projects that count toward the final result.
Reading list
Sciuto, Buonanno, Fornaciari, Mari, Introduzione ai Sistemi Informatici (2/ed), McGraw-Hill, Italia.
Additional materials distributed by the lecturer (slides, lecture notes …).
A more detailed reading list will be supplied at the start of the course.