Introduction to Computer Science

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9/10 stars
based on  163 reviews
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edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
18760 reviews

Course Description

This is CS50x, Harvard University's introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming for majors and non-majors alike, with or without prior programming experience. An entry-level course taught by David J. Malan, CS50x teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Languages include C, Python, SQL, and JavaScript plus CSS and HTML. Problem sets inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. As of Fall 2016, the on-campus version of CS50x, CS50, was Harvard's largest course.

Students who earn a satisfactory score on 9 problem sets (i.e., programming assignments) and a final project are eligible for a certificate. This is a self-paced course–you may take CS50x on your own sche...

This is CS50x, Harvard University's introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming for majors and non-majors alike, with or without prior programming experience. An entry-level course taught by David J. Malan, CS50x teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Languages include C, Python, SQL, and JavaScript plus CSS and HTML. Problem sets inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. As of Fall 2016, the on-campus version of CS50x, CS50, was Harvard's largest course.

Students who earn a satisfactory score on 9 problem sets (i.e., programming assignments) and a final project are eligible for a certificate. This is a self-paced course–you may take CS50x on your own schedule.


HarvardX requires individuals who enroll in its courses on edX to abide by the terms of the edX honor code. HarvardX will take appropriate corrective action in response to violations of the edX honor code, which may include dismissal from the HarvardX course; revocation of any certificates received for the HarvardX course; or other remedies as circumstances warrant. No refunds will be issued in the case of corrective action for such violations. Enrollees who are taking HarvardX courses as part of another program will also be governed by the academic policies of those programs.

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Reviews 9/10 stars
163 Reviews for Introduction to Computer Science

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ezix profile image
ezix profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 4 months ago
First of all, I need to say that I had previous knowledge in programming languages, and even though I hadn't written in pure C for almost 2 years, it might have been easier for me. I've learned everything I know about CS on the internet and tried most of the different types : \- Written tutorials, some small around one notion, others on a whole language. \- Walkthroughs and videos (like The New Boston). \- Interactive and gamified tutorials (Codecademy's Python, Codeschool, CodeAvengers, and many others). \- iTunes U lectures (Stanford's CS193P - iPhone development) \- Online courses such as Coursera's CS215. \- I've never bought books and never had the need to. And yet, none of this was quite like CS50x. # The lectures The lecture are one of the most important parts of the course, David J. Malan is a great lecturer. He uses clever real life examples to make complicated notions easier, in fact, you don't need any programming experien... First of all, I need to say that I had previous knowledge in programming languages, and even though I hadn't written in pure C for almost 2 years, it might have been easier for me. I've learned everything I know about CS on the internet and tried most of the different types : \- Written tutorials, some small around one notion, others on a whole language. \- Walkthroughs and videos (like The New Boston). \- Interactive and gamified tutorials (Codecademy's Python, Codeschool, CodeAvengers, and many others). \- iTunes U lectures (Stanford's CS193P - iPhone development) \- Online courses such as Coursera's CS215. \- I've never bought books and never had the need to. And yet, none of this was quite like CS50x. # The lectures The lecture are one of the most important parts of the course, David J. Malan is a great lecturer. He uses clever real life examples to make complicated notions easier, in fact, you don't need any programming experience and it's still useful in non- programming jobs. Unlike many other programming courses, there is a balance between explanations and the actual code itself, not just slides without any context. Because Malan writes the code during the lectures, there are some unexpected events, bugs and typos. And indeed making errors is an important part of the process, so by showing mistakes we can encounter that makes the lectures interactive and close to real life programming. Moreover, there is an emphasis on explaining how stuff really works under the hood while most programming tutorials don't provide this kind of knowledge. There is here little focus on syntax but more on the logic behind computers. # Problem Sets Without a doubt, psets were the other important part of the course. They always involved finding a solution to a given problem, making some task easier using technology, and there often tackled new notions around CS like the structure of a bitmap or how corrupted data is retrieved. The use of the CS50 Appliance, a virtual machine made with all the necessary tools built-in, avoids all the pain related to cross-platform compatibility so we can focus of the code. Like a real life course, you can't gloss over some requirements. The psets are always challenging but doable because we are always taught how to break it down and given a starting point. In the specifications, we are aslo encouraged to write efficient and elegant code. The psets are the core of the course but can even make great challenges for a programmer outside this context. Most of the time is spend using, applying and actually working with the notions so we end up naturally knowing them. I used to struggle a bit with pointers and now they look so easy. # Additional Content Sections: I haven't watched any of them, I guess they are different way of learning. Shorts: They were an in-depth look at either one of the lecture's notions or a new one. Their short format made them interesting to watch. Walkthrough: I never used them for the first half of the psets, but once we moved to harder stuff they were very useful as a guide for the code design and never gave up the solution. # Community The lecture and psets elements already made it a great course, but the novelty here and the important part was making it an online course. And the community part, CS50x Discuss was available on EdX's website, made it the closest you can get to real-life course. There's this real spirit of help that brings people together to find solutions to the psets or discuss around the course's content. What you will learn (among other) \- C \- PHP \- MVC \- Data Types \- Search and sort algorithms \- Asymptotic notation \- Scratch It was memorable and much more than any other learning experience I've ever had online because it successfully managed to make it a journey. CS50x isn't just the quintessential Harvard course, it's now the quintessential online course.
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Man Bh profile image
Man Bh profile image

Man Bh

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 days, 7 hours ago
I m from Nepal. I want to learn programming and all these related. Will you be able to send me the certificate if I complete the course successfully?
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Chris Bermudez profile image
Chris Bermudez profile image

Chris Bermudez

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 week, 6 days ago
Hi, Edx team. i'd like to know if it is neccesary (requirement) to submit the final project (week11) to obtain the verified cerificate from edx. thanks
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Ms Fatma profile image
Ms Fatma profile image

Ms Fatma

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 weeks, 3 days ago
This is for everyone including everyone's efforts. When you join CS50, you feel like as part of IETF group or something. Group norms, discussions, comments always are towards making sure that the course is accessible, achievable, and awesome. Only 300K people under umbrella but I really believe the exposure is more than a million. Keep on growing/expanding CS50@Harvard&Yale
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Venu Reddy profile image
Venu Reddy profile image

Venu Reddy

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 month, 2 weeks ago
Sir I am from india,Andhra Pradesh would u able to send the certificate I will enroll,how I want to pay and what I want to do to get the certificate
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Rob van der Heij profile image
Rob van der Heij profile image

Rob van der Heij

10/10 starsCompleted
1 month, 2 weeks ago
Taking the class was a true pleasure. The material is very well designed and touches a wide ranges of subjects; still goes deep quick in each of them. David Malan does an amazing job. The online IDE for working on the problem sets is very effect.
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dan jennings profile image
dan jennings profile image

dan jennings

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 month, 2 weeks ago
does the certificate have Harvards name on it? it would be awesome to have something like this for a resume, anybody know?
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Chewe Mbonshi profile image
Chewe Mbonshi profile image

Chewe Mbonshi

2/10 starsTaking Now
1 month, 2 weeks ago
i would like to enroll but have no certificate in compters. how much will I be charged aftercomplition of the course?
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Deepak Kushwaha profile image
Deepak Kushwaha profile image

Deepak Kushwaha

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 month, 2 weeks ago
More then awesome, David J. Malan is awesome, pset are challenging. it will be great if cs51x will come to edx.
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Brian Owino profile image
Brian Owino profile image

Brian Owino

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 months, 2 weeks ago
i like the institution as it provides best facilities in learning quality computer science and information technology.
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join Adm profile image
join Adm profile image

join Adm

4/10 starsCompleted
3 months, 3 weeks ago
I would like to make a great thank you For this distinguished site in computer science, I wish you the best of time.
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kewin spristin duran guevara profile image
kewin spristin duran guevara profile image

kewin spristin duran guevara

10/10 starsCompleted
4 months ago
me parece una gran oportunidad para las personas que desean seguir sus estudios yo que deseo un avance mas halla de lo que deseo me gustaría seguir estudiando y mas si es el la Universidad Harvard
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mat fay profile image
mat fay profile image

mat fay

10/10 starsDropped
4 months, 3 weeks ago
Fine. At least from view of an unacademic learner.it's nice to see things in good vibrations. Matter of fact it itself a great phenomenon, an important factor.
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Kaidong Shen profile image
Kaidong Shen profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 0 reviews
  • 0 completed
6 months, 2 weeks ago
I think it is great. This is my first time to take course online and I also hope to learn some computer science knowlage. So this course give me a lot. For me I think the biggest problem is English. The teacher speaking so fast that I hard listen clearly what he say, So I think student who is Non-native language and who want to take this course better to improve English first. After that you can enjoy this course.
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Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
6 months, 2 weeks ago
Not much to say...One of the best teachers I ever seen, a great team that support the class, overall a great course. Despite the fact that it was my first time to write a single line of code and I found it a bit difficult, I feel very lucky... The most important thing I learned is the explanations of what is going on "under the hood" and how my PC is "thinking". Thank you.
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Nikolaos Stougiannos profile image
Nikolaos Stougiannos profile image

Nikolaos Stougiannos

9/10 starsCompleted
6 months, 4 weeks ago
If you are interested in Computer Science, this is a must! Even if you are in an Intermediate or even Advanced level.
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Daniel Petkov profile image
Daniel Petkov profile image

Daniel Petkov

10/10 starsTaking Now
7 months, 1 week ago
That was one of the best expirience for me beouse the instructor allways in easy way show us how the mashine heart works after our code.Thank you!
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sameh malak profile image
sameh malak profile image

sameh malak

8/10 starsCompleted
7 months, 4 weeks ago
That was the best experience i have so far in programming .. it was great for me to study this course and i hope that the course's psets to be improved a little bit just to be perfect
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Leonard Bode profile image
Leonard Bode profile image

Leonard Bode

10/10 starsTaking Now
8 months, 3 weeks ago
Being a self-taught geek myself, this course has filled in the gaps and helped deepen my understanding of topics already understood. David J. Malan is an excellent instructor and the covered topics are relevant, interesting, and challenging. Wish I had come across this sooner, and would recommend it to anyone with beginner/intermediate computer science experience.
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Leyang Wang profile image
Leyang Wang profile image

Leyang Wang

10/10 starsTaking Now
9 months, 2 weeks ago
This could be one of best course to get your foot in to the door of programming and everything about CS field. But rember CS50 is offered by Harvard even it is an online course, it is not easy! If you are not acadmic focused, or you would rather just learn how to code, this course is not your choice just yet,I would say learn some higher level programming like Java/C# first, onece you understand what is going on then dive into this course to learn more.
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hanan ibrahim profile image
hanan ibrahim profile image

hanan ibrahim

10/10 starsTaking Now
9 months, 2 weeks ago
it is a good course.it is nice to learn An introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming.
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Molly Pfaff profile image
Molly Pfaff profile image

Molly Pfaff

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 1 month ago
I began with practically no coding experience, and yet at no point in this course was I totally or hopelessly lost. Frustrated? Yes, but that's just the nature of the material. Everything is explained very well, and they made sure all the resources you need are there if you're willing to take advantage of them. If you're hesitating, just do it.
Was this review helpful? Yes3
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cuthbert Chukwuemeka profile image
cuthbert Chukwuemeka profile image

cuthbert Chukwuemeka

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year ago
Its a scientifically oriented program which affords the enrollees the unique opportunities to be first hand ambassadors of solutions proffers to the society and world at large
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Omar fawzy profile image
Omar fawzy profile image

Omar fawzy

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year ago
I like to way of teaching this course it's so cool, and I have to say thanks so much for anyone who's sharing this course and help some students to be a better problem solver in real live
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Omar Ahmed profile image
Omar Ahmed profile image

Omar Ahmed

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year ago
It's awesome staff and comprehensive course to get a background solid in Computer Science. I think it's future to learn how to program and solve real problems in your life.
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student profile image
student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 3 months ago
Just finished the assignments. Currently working on final project. If this course doesn't get you buzzing about CS, nothing will. Loved it! Thank you Harvard for sharing.
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Nick m profile image
Nick m profile image

Nick m

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 3 months ago
Absolutely fantastic course! Fun and engaging with challenging problem sets. The IDE used to program on is a fantastic tool as well. I went from knowing nearly nothing about coding beyond a little HTML and some basic concepts to feeling proficient enough to take on my own projects and continue learning. Besides programming fundamentals and thinking how to solve problems as a computer would. you will also get a decent handle on C programming as well as PHP and a little Java. No matter your skill level there is content here for you. For the less comfortable the problem sets will walk you through, for those more comfortable there are hacker editions which go beyond the base problem sets.
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Manu Sood profile image
Manu Sood profile image

Manu Sood

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 3 months ago
It took me 6 weeks to have my 'aha' moment and I had only got to end of the 3rd week. It is a tough course cause; I am an older student and studying alone from home. Its hard to get set up, get motivated and get your mind working on logic; especially frustrating because I can solve the problems in Excel in minutes. However, it is a very rewarding experience after you finally solve the assignments! And it looks easy afterwards. I got bored from other learn to program methods I tried. Notes are very detailed, plenty of videos of lectures that you can pause and rewind and there are many support forums etc.
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keegan kapepe profile image
keegan kapepe profile image

keegan kapepe

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 4 months ago
CS50 is the detailed course have ever taken in My life. from the time i knew coding, i did not know a lot of things, that i only discover when enrolled for CS50,.. i like all the instructors , they are helpful , friendly,ever guiding , Good instructors.. Thanks a lot for giving me opportunity to Study CS50 through Edx
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Javi Mar profile image
Javi Mar profile image

Javi Mar

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 2 months ago
I am not going to repeat what my online peers have written. Just want to say this is a fantastic course. I am CS graduate, but during the years I "forgot" how to code as I used to, but by taking this course, everything is coming back, and most importantly, the way is taught, is simply great. Contents are simply outstanding, and David Malan is a great professor and lecturer. Thanks HarvardX to make such a fantastic course available to everybody for free.
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.