Reflections on the First Spring 2017 Session

Within the previous eight weeks, two courses were completed: Computer Architecture and Introduction to Information Systems. Since my first session involved two courses, CSCI 210 and ISYS 204 that were three credit courses within the Regent University course offerings, the format was accelerated; as the previous and future courses fitting the description mentioned are identified as such, they require more percentages of weekly study time periods in shorter total course durations. ISYS 204 being an introductory course consisted of learning business and analytical knowledge about information systems, and Biblical ethics remain significant since this was a Regent University course, a Christian university. As sister to Oxford University, Regent University emphasizes the integration of the faith described and urged by the Bible with reason related to contemporary issues; ISYS 204 involving this demand on students was consistent with previous courses in my academic program.

In ISYS 204, there was an emphasis on the economics related to businesses using information systems as well; since contemporary economic theory in secular settings approves of utilitarianism, accepting this emphasis within course textbook titled Essentials of Management Information Systems by Laudon and Laudon (2017) as a challenge for the liberal arts encouraged confidence. The writing attributed by critical scholars to the Apostle Luke, the Book of Acts in the King James Bible expresses the basis that the Apostle Paul had for confidence. The Book of Acts (KJV) says about Paul, “And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him. Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” (28:30-31). An interpretation of this passage is the recognition that any coming unto followers of Christ and not bringing the truth should be denied entry into our place of rest and encouragement for the rate of action that faith in the God of Israel provides (2 John 10:10). In exposition, the Laudon and Laudon (2017) text discusses the Golden Rule of the Biblical Scriptures; that a candidate ethical principle for business practices involves doing unto others as you would have them do unto you (p.127). Theologically speaking, although Laudon and Laudon are not literally in my home when studying the course text, the thoughts written to the text can be challenged; the form of written communication on the Internet Web provides a domain for capturing thoughts so that they are for Christ (2 Cor 10:5) rather than every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14).

In my view as a Regent University student, the applications of the Biblical Scriptures mentioned was a learning outcome of CSCI 210 and ISYS 204, though not explicitly mentioned as such in them. My basis for the applications of the Bible for CSCI 210 and ISYS 204 is my experience with CSCI 220, Ethics for Computer Science: supporting the divine command theory was encouraged by my course instructor while rejected by the writers of the course texts called Ethics in a Computing Culture, Bo Brinkman and Alton F. Sanders (2013, p. 10). In contrast, the relevant Stallings (2016) text for CSCI 210, Computer Organization and Architecture: Designing for Performance, did not suggest or recommend any ethical arguments for computer architecture, so the Biblical integration related to that text was more relatable to transcendentals in mathematics than approval of utilitarianism by contemporary economists; conflicting interpretations of ethics were researched outside the CSCI 210 by Stallings for reasonable exposition. Having said that, there were much descriptions about computer architecture and low-level programming helped with programming skills; instructions on binary, hexadecimal, and assembly language programming emphasized allowed for studying applications related to computer architecture. Describable as essentially a game, one in particular, Core Wars, involved programs that combat a separate program for processing capability was useful for study; this was not played, so to speak, as the concept of play is about action without reason.

With two courses in the Spring 2017 term concluded, there are seven courses that remain in my academic program. Looking forward to my future challenges, my view remains that Regent University has much that may be offered to students, and online courses require commitment to significant periods of self-study that might build confidence in a power beyond the intelligence of mankind. Hopefully, my future academic studies will involve more Biblical integration for scientific and scientifically analytical theories and applications for continued research opportunities and the blessings of family and friendships.

References

Brinkman, B., & Sanders, A. F. (2013). Ethics in a Computing Culture. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2017). Essentials of Management Information Systems (12th ed.). Pearson Education.

Stallings, W., Zeno, P., & Jesshope, C. (2016). Computer Organization and Architecture: Designing for Performance (10th ed.). Hoboken, NJ.

 

 

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Reflections on 2016

Over the course of 2016, I learned about various topics related to natural and transcendent aspects of existence, and I think that reflecting on them is important for understanding why I should continue on my academic journey. Since January, I received admission to Regent University, and I call myself a Regent: someone who represents a ruler before He returns. This ruler is who I believe will be called “Faithful and True” (KJV, Revelation 19:11). Starting from that belief, understanding all truths related to the Biblical Scriptures and therefore all man might be achieved. This is only in the context of man’s understanding, for the Father said that man’s ways are not his ways (Is 55:8). For example, microeconomics might be commonly thought of as a “dry science,” but it comes alive when noticed in the Biblical Scriptures. Information Systems contextually affect every part of contemporary society, and the ethical relevance related to those who would guide or control people with them might result in efficient results if the epistemological structures that the faiths of the people conceptualizing and engineering the science and its applications are built on are understood.

Besides that, computer science has theories, but without a constant standard, values may progress while many vulnerable groups who I think are marginalized people remain those who will not have the opportunity because the best in us would not be represented over time. Next, theories about data relate to information. The Bible says that “Word of the Most High pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit” (He 4:12). For the lives of people, I think that strengthening hermeneutical understanding for exegetical results is the best way that data may be utilized. Although there is the notion that pleasure should be maximized as an evolution of lasting happiness, the most widely respected nation-state in contemporary history holds, among other truths believed self-evident, that the pursuit of happiness is granted to all men by our Creator (US 1776). People may argue the details, but I agree with the contemporary view that teleological theology helps understand the context of data more than derivations to a point alone may seem. Hence, integrating faith with reason builds general relatability to what is important: the transcendent standard of morality and people who may work with His concept of right and wrong even if without a direct relationship with the Son of Man.

While ethical understanding has relevance to isolated groups, there is strength in greater numbers that morality may persuade. When volunteering for a video game website, for example, I realized that the niche ethical code of conduct that people accepted for membership was a bubble that reflected reality in an exponential form, so subjects quickly gained and lost relevance, but the moral principles related to it are inversely conserved over time with a slow rate of change in understanding. I think that experience is a sign that knowledge is and will increase, but wisdom remains an outcome of looking outside ourselves for guidance and reflection. Furthermore, mathematical understanding comes at the cost of time and effort, but the reward is a refined theological understanding of the sovereign who created the world and is blessed from everlasting to everlasting (Gen 1:1, Ps 41:13).

In Parallel and Distributive Programming, the superiority of relatively larger datasets being handled by a distributed set of nodes in comparison to the superiority of handling relatively smaller datasets faster with shared memory is relevant for understanding the logic of people seeking moral and ethical understanding of the world and what is beyond it. This is because the Tower of Babel, for instance, was built with a people speaking one language, a relatively smaller dataset than what languages exist, today, and they might have reached heaven had it not been for the Most High’s intervention (Gen 11:1-9). In contrast, people are reaching towards the heavens in a distributed way over the course of thousands of years with man eventually stepping foot on the moon itself with common ambitions in popular culture and in government-funded programs beyond the earth’s orbit.

With these courses, I do think that the most important aspect of my education is ethical understanding related to how scientific theory and application might benefit the common man in a way better than pleasure can provide that would be recognized as victory. In the light that right beliefs shine in the world, the engineering applications of the world may benefit all of us who accept the responsibility that understanding what truth, goodness, and beauty are require in us. Biblically-based education provides the opportunity for that.

Reflections of Previous Semesters, and Thoughts on Moving Forward

Since January to August, my course schedule has been steady every week except for a couple times when there was a week break during or after the semesters, and more is here. During the Spring and Summer 2016 semesters at Regent University, I experienced an introduction to 8-week accelerated courses. They were very challenging with a promise of gaining knowledge of how I may approach various fields with Biblical thinking. In-depth studies of Christian theology was the start of my journey at Regent after transferring from a local public college. It was the first time that I had ever sat down and read the works of leaders of Christian thought throughout history from St. Anselm to Thomas Aquinas about arguments for the existence of God, and to topics such as friendship, art, and marriage from Biblically-based perspectives both from centuries in the past to our contemporaries such as Aelred of Rievaulx, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Richard J. Foster. I learned the significance of the superior quality of Biblical prophecy with research into Jesus the Christ’s life on earth. Old Testament studies further built on these understandings.

After that, I faced testing with the understanding of this Biblical foundation in the form of applied dialogues in every course from Microeconomics to Introduction to Programming, and from Making of the Christian Leader to Operating Systems. Each course required rapid integration of faith with the study of reason. With these completed, I became accustomed to this eight-week format.

After a business week and a couple weekends for a break between semesters, Fall classes began, this Monday, the 22nd. Interestingly, I enrolled in a Calculus III course for my program that is fifteen weeks in duration. I say so because the study time was estimated for about the same amount of time as the eight-week courses; there is the same study challenge as an eight-week course, but that duration is doubled. Calculus being the study of infinity is a relevant topic for the integration of the Biblical Scriptures. As one of the Psalmists wrote, “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (NIV, Ps 103:17). According to Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, the relevance of this chapter is related to the agenda of the editor of the Psalms. About what its purpose is, Hill and Walton said, “Critical discussion of God’s forgiving the sins of the nation” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 429). The Psalms verse and Hill and Walton stated that God Almighty grants his servants blessings of mercy that are collectively grace. This may be interpreted as the privilege of understanding His justice and infinite wisdom, though that does not mean God, himself, is understood beyond his character. Even when Immanuel walked the earth, God the Father reigned in heaven thus his character is known in the flesh, but his infinite Spirit is not fully known. I think that this may apply to Calculus III well as the concept of infinity may be known, but true infinity is not. It is an appealing dichotomy that may be studied for the purpose of growing in true faith for we all assume something as the basis for our worldviews. While this truth about humanity persists, the study of conceptual theory should continue in my view. Having said that, I have more courses this semester.

In general, my other courses are computer science topics, and they are Database Fundamentals, Ethics for Computer Science, and Distributed and Parallel Programming. Each of these eight-week courses required for my major are what interest me. In particular, the research that may equip me with a purpose-driven education is appealing, and I believe that this is the right path for me. Having said that, as these three eight-week courses are accelerated, I chose them two at a time at most. Towards the halfway completed date of the Fall semester, Database Fundamentals has completion as part of its scheduling whereas the remaining two have the beginning of their scheduled coursework for students. While this is work for me, I believe that any truths that I learn from these courses come from God, so I receive blessings then He receives glory. Therefore, my goal in this study consists of working for God Almighty.

Bibliography

Hill, A. E., & Walton, J. H. (2009). A Survey of the Old Testament (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI, MI: Zondervan Pub. House.