Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

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9/10 stars
based on  246 reviews
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Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

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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.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22557 reviews

Course Description

This course is the first of a two-course sequence: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python, and Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science. Together, they are designed to help people with no prior exposure to computer science or programming learn to think computationally and write programs to tackle useful problems. Some of the people taking the two courses will use them as a stepping stone to more advanced computer science courses, but for many it will be their first and last computer science courses. This run features updated lecture videos, lecture exercises, and problem sets to use the new version of Python 3.5. Even if you took the course with Python 2.7, you will be able to easily transition to Python 3.5 in future courses, or enroll now to refresh your learning.

Since these courses may be the only formal computer science courses many of the students take, we have chosen to focus on breadth...

This course is the first of a two-course sequence: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python, and Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science. Together, they are designed to help people with no prior exposure to computer science or programming learn to think computationally and write programs to tackle useful problems. Some of the people taking the two courses will use them as a stepping stone to more advanced computer science courses, but for many it will be their first and last computer science courses. This run features updated lecture videos, lecture exercises, and problem sets to use the new version of Python 3.5. Even if you took the course with Python 2.7, you will be able to easily transition to Python 3.5 in future courses, or enroll now to refresh your learning.

Since these courses may be the only formal computer science courses many of the students take, we have chosen to focus on breadth rather than depth. The goal is to provide students with a brief introduction to many topics so they will have an idea of what is possible when they need to think about how to use computation to accomplish some goal later in their career. That said, they are not "computation appreciation" courses. They are challenging and rigorous courses in which the students spend a lot of time and effort learning to bend the computer to their will.

Reviews 9/10 stars
246 Reviews for Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

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student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 2 months ago
This course is the best Python course I've taken in terms of both breadth and depth. Seriously me in week 1 and me in week 12: 2 different people. I must warn you though - this course isnt's not for lazy students. At week 2 things get slightly complex, but it's just a sign that the hard work starts here. You'll have to spend great deal of time reading Python documentation and trying your hands in code. It took me about 20-25 hrs per week, more that I expected. But the reward when you submit your code and it works and does the things that you never thought you'd be able to create is just mindblowing. It's the best feeling imaginable. Espesially for someone who has very little prior coding experience like myself. I also have learnt things that are very important for every software developer: 1. Being carefull with syntax and semantics of programming language (course grader is merciless beast ;), if you're not carefull there's a lot of ... This course is the best Python course I've taken in terms of both breadth and depth. Seriously me in week 1 and me in week 12: 2 different people. I must warn you though - this course isnt's not for lazy students. At week 2 things get slightly complex, but it's just a sign that the hard work starts here. You'll have to spend great deal of time reading Python documentation and trying your hands in code. It took me about 20-25 hrs per week, more that I expected. But the reward when you submit your code and it works and does the things that you never thought you'd be able to create is just mindblowing. It's the best feeling imaginable. Espesially for someone who has very little prior coding experience like myself. I also have learnt things that are very important for every software developer: 1. Being carefull with syntax and semantics of programming language (course grader is merciless beast ;), if you're not carefull there's a lot of work to do), 2. Reading Python documentation. Such a pain in the beginning but you'll love it later, for it has all the answers. 3. To not give up when your code doesn't work. To take a break, think, write problem down, take it apart, go back and try it again until it works. MIT staff: Professor Grimsby is a teriffic teacher! Seriuolsy. All materials are so very clearly explained and lots of examples provided. And if you still need help there's a TA community in a student Forum section, they reply very quickly. Plus fellow students. I feel very priviledged taking this course and making it. Thank you all very much! Edx platform is superb: very efficient, simple and has not crashed once during my course(unlike some other MOOC websites, which we'll not mention, that would crash the day you're about to submit your work.) So overall experience is great. I highly reccomend this course for any hard working student who is aming for the 1st class knowldge. And I myself looking forward for 6.00 2 to start.))
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Igor Ivanov profile image
Igor Ivanov profile image

Igor Ivanov

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 2 months ago
I took this course when there were only 3 courses on edx, it was my first course and the best one. Great lectures, interesting homework,
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Thomas Biris profile image
Thomas Biris profile image

Thomas Biris

9/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 3 months ago
That MOOC is the one that got me into online self learning, and boy what it made me discover. I had a little experience with coding before, and i can say that even with being a little frustrating at first, it is something that one should definitelly do. The worload per week is tougher than most other MOOCs, but i think that an online course should have at least a 10 hour workload if it is to be worth taking. 2-4 hours workload/week MOOCS are not worth taking for me, cause you cannot take them seriously and because the time is no enough for to learn things. I think you should try this one, its one of the best MOOCS out there and dont be daunted by the workload, after a point you WILL want new material to be released every week.
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Arjun Mahishi profile image
Arjun Mahishi profile image

Arjun Mahishi

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 3 months ago
This is the best course I have ever taken including the once I have taken offline. The content was perfectly designed to make the students the basic concepts of programming. The best part about the course is professor Eric Grimson. He is the best programming instructor I have ever encountered. This course not only taught me python, but also the basic disciplines of programming that I had got wrong. The course has opened a lot of windows and changed my life. A respectful solute to Professor Eric Grimson and EDX.
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prashant singh profile image
prashant singh profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 10 reviews
  • 8 completed
3 years, 4 months ago
+After this course you really feel that you have done some programming +Assignments are VERY MUCH interesting.!!! +Course is very rigorous.!!! +Eric Grimson not only teaches how to program but also teaches you in and out and why and how of python programming !!! +World Best course for beginners :)
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Julio Raygoza profile image
Julio Raygoza profile image

Julio Raygoza

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 3 months ago
This is the class that started it all for me. Professor Grimson know's how to teach those who know nothing about programming, like me, very well.
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student

4/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 3 months ago
although it is marked as an introductory course , it is extremely difficult for a student without programming experience . the lectures are often short as if you already know the concepts and the exercises are really difficult . so if you do not know about programming at all it is not recommended.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 3 months ago
It was my first MOOC(2012) and the best! I was addict at the first video. It's not just a CS course, it's much more! Hope you'll have fun with it too.
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 profile image

10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
3 years, 5 months ago
Excellent course. This is the course that sets the bar in my opinion. THe lectures are concise and entertaining. The examples are simple enough for teaching, but real enough to be useful.
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Leandro Gonçalves de Oliveira profile image
Leandro Gonçalves de Oliveira profile image

Leandro Gonçalves de Oliveira

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 5 months ago
This course isn't about Python, it's about computer science and how can we resolve (real) problems using computers. Congratulations, Eric Grimson and staff, by the best course available on EDX platform.
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Jacques Boucher profile image
Jacques Boucher profile image

Jacques Boucher

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
This was a really good course. The instructor has an excellent way to teach. The pace is certainly not for a complete newbie to programming. If you are new to programming, I would strongly suggest going to codecademy or some other similar self paced site to learn the basics of Python before attempting this course. You will get a lot more out of it if you have the basics coming into this course.
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William Vicars profile image
William Vicars profile image

William Vicars

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
Simply the best computer science introduction out there. I learned a ton. Thank you MIT and edX for making this material available!
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Hao Dong profile image
Hao Dong profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
3 years, 6 months ago
This is the best course for those have little experience in python but have ambitions. Thanks professors that they provide us such a brilliant course with a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy it too.
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NIKILESH BALAJI profile image
NIKILESH BALAJI profile image

NIKILESH BALAJI

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
THIS COURSE IS BY FAR BEST AVAILABLE COURSE IN Edx AND AS BEGINNERS I THINK THIS COURSE PROVIDES A WHOLE LOT OF INFORMATION.THE CONTENT IS GOOD FOR UNDERSTANDING AND DEVELOPING OWN PROGRAMS USING PYTHON
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Mukhammad Karimov profile image
Mukhammad Karimov profile image

Mukhammad Karimov

8/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 9 months ago
Basic yet complete and friendly Introductory course to Computer Science. I really like the content. Interesting as well as challenging problems.
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Nick Papasavvas profile image
Nick Papasavvas profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
3 years, 9 months ago
This course's team has put a lot of effort to deliver a great course. You have to complete finger exercises and progressively more difficult weekly assignments that help you learn and retain the material. You will need around 20 hours per week for the course but at the end you will be greatly satisfied for what you have learned.
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MARK LEONARD FELICIANO profile image
MARK LEONARD FELICIANO profile image

MARK LEONARD FELICIANO

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
A very good course for novice programmers. I recommend this to learners who want to gain confidence in their CS skills as this course provides lessons that have good balance of theory and practice.
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Vignesh Raghavan profile image
Vignesh Raghavan profile image

Vignesh Raghavan

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
For all those of you considering taking this course, I would highly recommend you to enroll in a VERIFIED CERTIFICATE option. Although, this is a intensive course, it is worth your efforts. Professor Eric delivers what is promised in this course : Introduction to python, simple algorithms and their complexity. The course materials are excellent and lecture videos are clear and easy to understand. Finger exercise, Problem sets, Quizzes and Exams test and complement your understanding of the lectures. At the end of this course, I am sure that people will be interested in taking the sequel to this course. By far, this is one of the best course available on edX!
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Mario Pinto profile image
Mario Pinto profile image

Mario Pinto

9/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
This course provides a good introduction to computer science and programming. The course is well structured and the content quality is very good for most sections. Completing the course does require one to put in significant effort. Many in-lecture questions and interesting problem sets ensure that the concepts are thoroughly understood. I will definitely recommend taking this course.
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Ruxana Eleanu profile image
Ruxana Eleanu profile image

Ruxana Eleanu

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
Excellent course, much better than Harvard's CS50 course. This course makes sense, is concise and teaches real programming skills.
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Sajid Zaman profile image
Sajid Zaman profile image

Sajid Zaman

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
The course contents were pretty much hard and tricky, especially the quiz and final exam, yet they seemed fruitful and makes you realise that programming can be fun and enjoyable. Those who have no prior experience in programming, I definitely urge you all to give this course a try. The instructor seemed logical and instructed the course at ease, but should try to deliver lectures at a steady pace. Overall the course was awesome and fun.
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Dev Verma profile image
Dev Verma profile image

Dev Verma

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
Such an amazing course... Thank you so much MIT for providing me with an opportunity to learn from the world's best university! And thank you so much Professor Grimson for such clear explanations with practical best-suited examples... Thanks a lot... One day I will be at MIT... I am only in Grade 8, so some years left for me to gear up!
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Koushik Vikram Kuduva Gopal Kabirdoss profile image
Koushik Vikram Kuduva Gopal Kabirdoss profile image

Koushik Vikram Kuduva Gopal Kabirdoss

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
I am an Electrical Engineer with little programming experience. Whenever I had to deal with programming in courses like Computer Architecture, Embedded Systems and Digital Signal Processing, I found myself lagging. This course has given me confidence in programming and I can already notice that I am finding it much easier to read and write code than before. Thank you MIT !
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
good course, forces you to think. be ready to spend a lot of time on some assignments. I had intro class in my college last fall, which was way worse (easier) than this one. You will learn basic use of general python during this course. GUI wasn't covered((.
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Ryan Sukdeo profile image
Ryan Sukdeo profile image

Ryan Sukdeo

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 7 months ago
Excellent course, I would recommend to anyone interested in an introductory course in Python and computer science. I am not new to programming but I still learnt a ton from this course!!!
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Elizabeth McInerney profile image
Elizabeth McInerney profile image

Elizabeth McInerney

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 7 months ago
I have taken quite a few online courses through both edX and Coursera. Many have been excellent, but this is the first course where I have not sped up the videos. Professor Grimson is as concise as a well written piece of Python code! I was expecting to speed up the videos for this course in particular, because I already know some Python, but he minces no words and the pace is perfect. Great course, I am learning a lot so far, thank you!
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Matthew Pearson profile image
Matthew Pearson profile image

Matthew Pearson

9/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
Really helpful and thought through course design makes this not only enjoyable but easy for anyone no matter your programming experience.
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Bruno Paler profile image
Bruno Paler profile image

Bruno Paler

6/10 starsDropped
3 years, 8 months ago
I suspect that after I signed for the class I started getting bunch of spam emails I have not received before.
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student

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 8 months ago
Challenging and rewarding. Your hand won't be held through this course but you'll learn to teach yourself.
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Aditya Thati profile image
Aditya Thati profile image

Aditya Thati

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
This was my first MOOC and I have to say the experience was awesome. I didn't miss even a single lecture even when I knew the topic because the explanation provided by the instructor was worth listening. Also, the problem sets and exam questions were really challenging. Great course to learn python and some important computer science concepts for a beginner as well as someone with informal exposure.
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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.