Introduction to Computer Science

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9/10 stars
based on  181 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
24442 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.


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

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Philip Weisshuhn profile image
Philip Weisshuhn profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
Just incredible, can’t speak highly enough about this course and do not believe that there could be any better introductory course on CS. This is a difficult class with emphasis and in detail teaching as well as practicing algorithms on C, a sturdy and conservative, not object-orientated, programming language. Later in class and in accordance with the evolution of programming languages, more object-oriented programming languages, building on C, are introduced: PHP, JS, and applied to web programming where one learns also HTML and CSS. Teachings by Prof. DJ Malan are flanked by a whole army of young teaching instructors that could go easily on themselves as full tenure professors on their subjects. The best about CS50x are the challenging problem sets that make one go over the excellent course material (lectures, shorts, sections, walkthroughs) many times until one really understands it and finds the clues to solve the problems. S... Just incredible, can’t speak highly enough about this course and do not believe that there could be any better introductory course on CS. This is a difficult class with emphasis and in detail teaching as well as practicing algorithms on C, a sturdy and conservative, not object-orientated, programming language. Later in class and in accordance with the evolution of programming languages, more object-oriented programming languages, building on C, are introduced: PHP, JS, and applied to web programming where one learns also HTML and CSS. Teachings by Prof. DJ Malan are flanked by a whole army of young teaching instructors that could go easily on themselves as full tenure professors on their subjects. The best about CS50x are the challenging problem sets that make one go over the excellent course material (lectures, shorts, sections, walkthroughs) many times until one really understands it and finds the clues to solve the problems. Solving those problem sets gives one a real feeling of satisfaction and may take a lot of days or even weeks per problem set. This was my first and till today my favorite MOOC. It took me around 8 weeks full-time to complete it (w/o cheating) and think that the $90 for the certificates is a bargain. I have done MIT’s CS courses on Python and Andrew Ng’s MOOC on machine learning and others as well, but feel gratitude towards Professor Malan’s CS50x for grounding me decently on this subject. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like EDX has been able to cater for the life after CS50x. I am missing courses of the same intensity. I guess Berkeley’s „Artificial Intelligence“ or „An Analytics Edge“ from MIT, or Caltech’s „Learning from Data“ would have been decent courses to follow, but they have not been renewed so far. Missing those courses actually takes the edge out of EDX and to my understanding is just another example of scientific excellence being watered down by management decisions. At least CS50x continues...
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Andrew Cojucari profile image
Andrew Cojucari profile image

Andrew Cojucari

8/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 6 months ago
I think CS50 is a wonderfully constructed course for anyone who is clearly determined to pursue a hobby of career in programming.
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Jose Antonio da Silva profile image
Jose Antonio da Silva profile image

Jose Antonio da Silva

10/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 6 months ago
I always dreamed of being able to write a small program that was, already 53 years old , I still have hope in learning , because in Brazil all schools teaching program are paid , I I have no financial resources to realize my dream . Thank EDX
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Achille Fokou profile image
Achille Fokou profile image

Achille Fokou

10/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 7 months ago
i as a beginner can really attest on the huge quality, content and type of teaching being given here is excellent and i really recommend those still doughting to get it and they're gonna enjoy
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Dee long profile image
Dee long profile image

Dee long

8/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 7 months ago
I felt violated for the simple fact I'm from a small town and it seems like everytime I take a course like this I don't get the right information at the right time in my career
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Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 7 months ago
just great. i will be doing CS next year in uni and this is great preparation. the best part is this doesnt even feel like school. i am enjoying every minute of it and i really feel that everyday i am becoming a better and more knowledgeable person. i hope this will be the start of a new and successful life for me
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Jack Antunes Rosa profile image
Jack Antunes Rosa profile image

Jack Antunes Rosa

8/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 7 months ago
The school is to be congratulated, excellent teaching method facilitates and inserts the knowledge to people who can not attend physically. show
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Emanuel Mendez profile image
Emanuel Mendez profile image

Emanuel Mendez

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 7 months ago
CS50 is great for people interesed in Computer Sciences. It's a wonderful starting point in the area and it's great for developing good programming habits. The course is indeed fun and challenging at the same time. I've really enjoyed it.
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ahmed Elghanam profile image
ahmed Elghanam profile image

ahmed Elghanam

8/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 7 months ago
It is amazing course i have learned from it more than i think i like the method of learning and well done evry body take part in this programm
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Hossein Paysepar profile image
Hossein Paysepar profile image

Hossein Paysepar

10/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 7 months ago
My son is taking it and I hope this course encourages him to continue his education in computer science.
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Ali Haider profile image
Ali Haider profile image

Ali Haider

8/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 7 months ago
Best course on introduction to Computer Science but not the best for those who are going to persue data science they should see courses which are in python specially python for everybody (Coursera specialization) or MIT 6.00x
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Anirudh K M profile image
Anirudh K M profile image

Anirudh K M

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 7 months ago
VERY demanding, and really hard. A little more time into JS,and AJAX would have made it easier. Excellent course, but requires a LOT of time and effort.
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vaisakh bs profile image
vaisakh bs profile image

vaisakh bs

10/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 7 months ago
This is the best course with the best instructor and the best content!!! Hats off to David J Malan and all other TF's. This is AWESOME CS50!!!
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Ben Love profile image
Ben Love profile image

Ben Love

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 8 months ago
Amazing course. If you start in January, you have a full year to complete, though I did it in about a semester's time. CS50 is by far the best class I have ever taken - high school through grad school, in person or distance/online. Highly recommended if you have any interest in computer science at all.
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Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 9 months ago
This course is a marvel. Professor Malan has an incredible skill to teach and bravo for all the TF's. You will learn a lot and it won't come effortless. The learning curve is intimidating but it is doable with 10 to 15 hours a week; most of the time fun but you will have those moments pulling your hair and gritting your teeth. You will see the world differently after this...
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Ole Isak profile image
Ole Isak profile image

Ole Isak

10/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 9 months ago
I would without doubt rate this course 5/5, because it is extremely instructive and it is actually fun as well.
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Abhishek Poonia profile image
Abhishek Poonia profile image

Abhishek Poonia

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 9 months ago
The Best ever introductory course ever to get head start into the arena of Computer Science and Technology!
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Hesham Adel profile image
Hesham Adel profile image

Hesham Adel

9/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 9 months ago
Well i am graduated from CS Shrouck Academy Egypt, and i have to say this course did cover almost all what i have studied in the four years and more, not mention it give a solid understanding of the basics of CS.
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Piyush Deshmukh profile image
Piyush Deshmukh profile image

Piyush Deshmukh

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 9 months ago
I had taken this course back in 2014 and then found that this was one of the best courses available online. It is great to hear David Sir when he tries to explain the stuff with all the energy in Universe just focusing to push things to your mind. The course also has a great facebook and SE community 24*7 for help. Just start by spending few minutes on first week and then you will start loving what Computer Science is!
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Waveman Daniel profile image
Waveman Daniel profile image

Waveman Daniel

6/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 9 months ago
Having the passion for a computer knowledge, l have been around on many web platforms that taught computer course But when l first watch the week0 introduction of CS50 l know it that there is no other course than it.
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Crimson Lasso profile image
Crimson Lasso profile image

Crimson Lasso

1/10 starsDropped
5 years, 10 months ago
This course is not for beginners and requires a lot of experience. Even though the marketing department of CS50 did a great job, as a computer science course this doesn't have a lot of value. The course is incredibly unstructured and assumes you to know many different functions beforehand. The problem sets are not explained well and ask you to do things most students can't do yet. The printed 3D elephants are nice, but if that's all that CS50 has to offer, I'll gladly pass and go back to Codecademy.
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student profile image
student profile image

student

4/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 9 months ago
I had never had a problem taking a class in school, in terms of difficulty. The concepts here are no different, it is rather easy to understand everything in terms of basic CS terms. The problem is the programming!!! I understand that programming involves a lot of searching/googling to find out what to do, but if I am taking a CS course I want to learn some basic language stuff I will need to use in a Pset. I think sites like CodeAcademy need to be used in conjunction with this class, or classes that actually teach programming. It is also very difficult to motivate yourself unless you do this class with a partner or need it for a job.
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Student

2/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 10 months ago
The flair and marketing of this course is amazing, but the content is horribly structured and illogical. I learned more programming in less time from another course called Think. Create. Code and from Codecademy. In CS50 there's too many repetitive videos, irrelevant videos and the pset instructions are way too long. For a ~300 hour course it's rather disappointing compared to other (free!) online material.
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Martin Gibson profile image
Martin Gibson profile image

Martin Gibson

7/10 starsDropped
5 years, 9 months ago
This is a really engaging course that gives a great understanding of key concepts in computer science. I found the lectures well structured and the short instructional videos very helpful. I would highly recommend it but warn that the time needed to complete the exercises shouldn't be underestimated. The exercises were interesting but took longer that I had expected. I found little things held me up for an inordinate amount of time. In a class, this could have often been quickly overcome simply by asking a question but a lack of simple direct interaction with the instructors hampered me. There may have been ways around this but I didn't find them. Unfortunately, I had to drop the course due to external factors that required a lot of time and attention. I may try again in future when I have more time available.
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student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 9 months ago
Absolutely awesome experience. Makes learning cs fun. Highly recommended! A++ content, instructors and provider.
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Manveer Singh profile image
Manveer Singh profile image

Manveer Singh

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 9 months ago
Loved It! Amazing course for everybody. I think they trick you into a trap which states "Solve some amazing problems, in fun and at the end they will tell you - Congratulations you are a computer programmer even if you thought it as fun."
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Alex Madinger profile image
Alex Madinger profile image

Alex Madinger

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 10 months ago
I've taken a stab at entering the world of computer science a few times, and CS50 is what finally got me over the hurdle. Fun, intelligent, and well-paced, I have and will continue recommending CS50 to anyone interested in being a programmer.
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Fuyang Liu profile image
Fuyang Liu profile image

Fuyang Liu

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 10 months ago
Simply the best course I've ever had in my life, until now. Very informational and super high energy. Problem sets are very challenging but doable. They made learning extremely fun. Great work!
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Magda Yusuf profile image
Magda Yusuf profile image

Magda Yusuf

10/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 10 months ago
computer science is so diffucult to me i hope this course will help me to learn more about computer science
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Caue Rego profile image
Caue Rego profile image

Caue Rego

7/10 starsDropped
5 years, 10 months ago
I taught myself how to code at about 12 year old, around 1993. I code since 6 year old or so, but I've done it without understanding a thing - just copying game books into MSX to play them. There were no courses about it where I lived (in Brazil) as far as I recall. Still I learned a thing or two from this course, before dropping it in lesson 3 or 4. The content is good. David is also a great presenter, very academic, as you'd expect from some Harvardian. Don't expect the course to be for someone with no experience whatsoever. You'll probably be disappointed. The tools being used require some familiarity or a lot of free time to learn about them. Then again, learning about Computers do require a lot of will... You should learn how to learn by yourself, anyway. It is too much to absorb. Still, there could be much better ways... The school, however, imho, is doing almost everything wrong - just like most schools. It excels all of 'em... I taught myself how to code at about 12 year old, around 1993. I code since 6 year old or so, but I've done it without understanding a thing - just copying game books into MSX to play them. There were no courses about it where I lived (in Brazil) as far as I recall. Still I learned a thing or two from this course, before dropping it in lesson 3 or 4. The content is good. David is also a great presenter, very academic, as you'd expect from some Harvardian. Don't expect the course to be for someone with no experience whatsoever. You'll probably be disappointed. The tools being used require some familiarity or a lot of free time to learn about them. Then again, learning about Computers do require a lot of will... You should learn how to learn by yourself, anyway. It is too much to absorb. Still, there could be much better ways... The school, however, imho, is doing almost everything wrong - just like most schools. It excels all of 'em just because it could charge a huge chunk of money and re-invest it, but... It's not even democratic yet, to begin with. And it's still charging way too much for most things. I also have a personal hurdle against academic field, who can't give me a single test and certificate my knowledge before going through all the bureaucracy of it, despite my knowledge, and so I get ostracized in the market. I could never bother to spend time learning whatever makes no sense to me, and I'm a huge student up to this date (34 now). And I'll always be. Yet, I'm no academic material, so... Yeah, that's my "small" rant against Harvard and academia in general.
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