Is there any way for me to connect my Sony Alpha 550 Digital SLR to my computer so that I can, for example, view live view images on the computer screen, control the settings using the computer, or even set up timed photos?
No, except for the Live-View part.
For that you would need a HDMI capture device with monitoring function.
The DSLR-A550 can not be controlled from the PC. You can use some wireless remote control units and a HDMI cable to connect to an external monitor, but changing camera settings is not possible via a remote.