Computer Science: An Overview, AP® Edition, 13th Edition © 2019

Computer Science: An Overview, AP® Edition, 13th Edition, published by Pearson, helps develop a practical understanding of this dynamic field. Students learn fundamentals to broaden their understanding of how computing and technology influence their world.

  • Fully correlated to the new College Board’s AP® Computer Science Principles Curriculum Framework
  • Updated 4-color format
  • Explore all major computer-science areas
  • Flexible individual chapters fit different course preferences

AP® Computer Science CTE Program

An introductory survey of Computer Science that explores the breadth and dynamic nature of the field’s major topics


Built for Success

This program is fully correlated to the new College Board’s AP® Computer Science Principles Curriculum Framework.


Updated in Color

Most modern programming interfaces use color to aid the programmer’s understanding of code. Now in four-color format, the 13th Edition is ideal for your visual learners.


Enhance Student Participation

Social Issues at the end of each chapter provoke thought and discussion. Use them to start engaging classroom discussions or launch research assignments culminating in short written or oral reports.


Focus on the Essentials

Essential Knowledge Statement call-outs feature key information throughout each Chapter.

Prepare Learners for a Career in Computer Science

  • Subject Arrangement
  • Chapter Updates
  • Focus on Python
  • New Features

Subject Arrangement

  • Topic Progression
    Subjects progress from concrete to abstract—an order that yields a sound pedagogical presentation where each topic leads to the next.
  • Individual Chapters
    Individual chapters are independent and can be covered in an order that fits course or instructor preferences.
  • Program Flexibility
    Program flexibility makes it a popular text for courses that cover this material in a variety of orders.

Chapter Updates

  • New Overviews
    An overview is provided for general proficiency in each important area of Computer Science: problem solving, networking, OS, computer architecture, algorithms, programming, the Internet, etc.
  • Accessible Content
    Updated to maintain accessibility for nontechnical students. The program can benefit students over a wide range of disciplines and educational levels.
  • Connect Across Themes
    The text weaves several fundamental themes together: Computer science is dynamic. It also uses abstract tools to control complexity. The text also repeatedly presents topics in a historical perspective.

Focus on Python

  • Continue with Python
    The 13th Edition continues to use Python code examples and Python-like pseudocode adopted in the 12th Edition.
  • Why choose Python?
    Python is a mature language with a vibrant development community and copious online resources for further study.
  • Industry-Ready Skills
    Python has seen a sharp increase for use in introductory computer science courses. It remains one of the top five most commonly used languages in the industry.
  • Apply Python Across Fields
    Python is widely used in other STEM fields, such as physics and biology, and as the language of choice for computational science applications.

New Features

  • Prepare for the College Board Advanced Placement® Computer Science Principles (CSP) Exam
    The 13th Edition highlights the intersections with the new College Board Advanced Placement® Computer Science Principles (CSP) exam. This program includes many of the big ideas and computational practices codified in the CSP framework.
  • Color for Modern Programming
    Full color printing in the 13th Edition emulates modern programming interfaces and renders figures and diagrams more descriptive. Syntax coloring clarifies code and pseudocode segments in the text.
  • Educate Digital Citizens
    Newly added ethical and legal aspects of areas such as Internet security, software engineering, and database technology teach students about safe, responsible technology use.

Access and interact with the Computer Science content to promote learning


Program Overview

See how this program provides essential tools for building future computer programmers.


Interactive eText Overview

Tour the engaging features of the Bookshelf by VitalSource® Student eText.

Online Platform for your Computer Science CTE Program


The Bookshelf by VitalSource eText platform features include search and navigation, bookmarking, note taking, creating personalized study tools and more. Students can access content anytime, anywhere, including 100% offline access. The latest enhancements to the platform include AI generated assessment questions called Bookshelf CoachMe®.

Additional Resources for Computer Science: An Overview

  • Downloadable Teacher Resources

  • Instructor Solutions Manual
  • Test Bank with TestGen®
  • Visual Aid Presentations

Downloadable Teacher Resources

Access the complete collection of Teacher Resources provided for Computer Science: An Overview, 13th Edition.

Download Teacher Resources

Instructor Solutions Manual

The downloadable Instructor Solutions Manual includes answers to chapter review problems, chapter summaries, and comments for the teacher.

Download Teacher Resources

Test Bank with TestGen®

Teachers can quickly select questions and create tests that align with the textbook. With customization available, creating multiple versions for academic integrity is an easy process.

Download Teacher Resources

Visual Aid Presentations

Available in PowerPoint® format, teachers can project key terms, concepts, and images during classroom instruction.

Download Teacher Resources

Frequently asked Questions About Computer Science: An Overview

  • What topics are included in the Table of Contents?

    Chapter 0: Introduction

    • 0.1 The Role of Algorithms
    • 0.2 The History of Computing
    • 0.3 An Outline of Our Study
    • 0.4 The Overarching Themes of Computer Science

    Chapter 1: Data Storage

    • 1.1 Bits and Their Storage
    • 1.2 Main Memory
    • 1.3 Mass Storage
    • 1.4 Representing Information as Bit Patterns
    • *1.5 The Binary System
    • *1.6 Storing Integers
    • *1.7 Storing Fractions
    • *1.8 Data and Programming
    • *1.9 Data Compression
    • *1.10 Communication Errors

    Chapter 2: Data Manipulation

    • 2.1 Computer Architecture
    • 2.2 Machine Language
    • 2.3 Program Execution
    • *2.4 Arithmetic/Logic Instructions
    • *2.5 Communicating with Other Devices
    • *2.6 Programming Data Manipulation
    • *2.7 Other Architectures

    Chapter 3: Operating Systems

    • 3.1 The History of Operating Systems
    • 3.2 Operating System Architecture
    • 3.3 Coordinating the Machine’s Activities
    • *3.4 Handling Competition Among Processes
    • 3.5 Security

    Chapter 4: Networking and the Internet

    • 4.1 Network Fundamentals
    • 4.2 The Internet
    • 4.3 The World Wide Web
    • *4.4 Internet Protocols
    • *4.5 Simple Client Server
    • 4.6 Cybersecurity

    Chapter 5: Algorithms

    • 5.1 The Concept of an Algorithm
    • 5.2 Algorithm Representation
    • 5.3 Algorithm Discovery
    • 5.4 Iterative Structures
    • 5.5 Recursive Structures
    • 5.6 Efficiency and Correctness

    Chapter 6: Programming Languages

    • 6.1 Historical Perspective
    • 6.2 Traditional Programming Concepts
    • 6.3 Procedural Units
    • 6.4 Language Implementation
    • 6.5 Object-Oriented Programming
    • *6.6 Programming Concurrent Activities
    • *6.7 Declarative Programming

    Chapter 7: Software Engineering

    • 7.1 The Software Engineering Discipline
    • 7.2 The Software Life Cycle
    • 7.3 Software Engineering Methodologies
    • 7.4 Modularity
    • 7.5 Tools of the Trade
    • 7.6 Quality Assurance
    • 7.7 Documentation
    • 7.8 The Human-Machine Interface
    • 7.9 Software Ownership and Liability

    Chapter 8: Data Abstractions

    • 8.1 Basic Data Structures
    • 8.2 Related Concepts
    • 8.3 Implementing Data Structures
    • 8.4 A Short Case Study y
    • 8.5 Customized Data Types
    • 8.6 Classes and Objects
    • *8.7 Pointers in Machine Language

    Chapter 9: Database Systems

    • 9.1 Database Fundamentals
    • 9.2 The Relational Model
    • *9.3 Object-Oriented Databases
    • *9.4 Maintaining Database Integrity
    • *9.5 Traditional File Structures
    • 9.6 Data Mining
    • 9.7 Social Impact of Database Technology

    Chapter 10: Computer Graphics

    • 10.1 The Scope of Computer Graphics
    • 10.2 Overview of 3D Graphics
    • 10.3 Modeling
    • 10.4 Rendering
    • *10.5 Dealing with Global Lighting
    • 10.6 Animation

    Chapter 11: Artificial Intelligence

    • 11.1 Intelligence and Machines
    • 11.2 Perception
    • 11.3 Reasoning
    • 11.4 Additional Areas of Research
    • 11.5 Artificial Neural Networks
    • 11.6 Robotics
    • 11.7 Considering the Consequences

    Chapter 12: Theory of Computation

    • 12.1 Functions and Their Computation
    • 12.2 Turing Machines
    • 12.3 Universal Programming Languages
    • 12.4 A Noncomputable Function
    • 12.5 Complexity of Problems
    • *12.6 Public-Key Cryptography


    • A: ASCII
    • B: Circuits to Manipulate Two’s Complement Representations
    • C: Vole: A Simple Machine Language
    • D: High-Level Programming Languages
    • E: The Equivalence of Iterative and Recursive Structures
    • F: Answers to Questions & Exercises


    * Asterisks indicate suggestions for optional sections.

  • What grade levels is this text appropriate for?

    Grades 9-12
  • What types of courses is this text best suited for?
    This course is best suited for AP® Computer Science Principles courses.
  • What Student Resources are available?
    Available student resources include the print Student Edition and Student eText on Bookshelf by VitalSource®.
  • What Teacher Resources are available?
    Available Teacher Resources include the downloadable Solutions Manual, TestGen® Test Bank, and PowerPoint® presentations.
  • What are the digital license options?

    Student eText on Bookshelf by VitalSource® can be purchased for 1 or 6 years.

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AP® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these products.

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