Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

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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.

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Sciences & Technology
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22637 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 starsTaking Now
4 years, 2 months ago
This course reflect the MIT's studying culture "Learning by Doing", you can find the contents in books and other courses but what you will gain here is a bunch of practical problems that will give your a good experience with coding.
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Tejas kd profile image
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Tejas kd

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 2 months ago
This course is really amazing! The best material, best lecturer (occasionally boring though) and very good problem sets. The only issue I am facing is the due dates. I am a full time student in India and I always have quite a lot of work to do. Hence i find this course to be a little hectic but at the end of the day, it is amazingly worth it. It is a must for those who have ample of time. It is a must for those who dont have time also! What I mean to say is this is a perfect course for everyone. If you do not have time and you take up this couse, I'll ensure to you that you are going to forget your sleep and solve problems! Its THAT interesting! A big thumbs up to MIT 6.00.1X team!:-)
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Paweł Zawadzki profile image
Paweł Zawadzki profile image

Paweł Zawadzki

9/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
Na niektóre proste zagadnienia poświęcone jest zbyt dużo czasu, dlatego czasem można się nudzić. Poza tym wszystko jest na odpowiednio wyważonym poziomie. Zadania są wymagające, lecz bardzo przyjemne. Polecam.
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Nikolaos Mavrakis profile image
Nikolaos Mavrakis profile image

Nikolaos Mavrakis

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
This course changed my life too. Python. Class. Think. Way of thinking. Soon I discovered Django (outside of this course) and automatically I realised that this is my path. The instructors were more than great. They use Python language for a tool to solve many different kind of problems (from probabilities to virus population rate!). They do not teach Python. They use Python to help you think more spherical and solve different kind of problems. What about EDX? EDX is great. With a great number of extraordinary courses from well-known universities. I never though I would be a (virtual) student of MIT. :) Best regards to all of you, Nikolas
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
It is a great course. You have to work a lot, which is the best part because you learn by doing. The excersices were great and very well organized. Thanks!
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
Having no previous programming experience, I initially found the course to be unnecessarily tedious and bothersome. It wasn't until a year after I took the course, when I actually began using python for some experiments, did I realize how well this course prepared me. The instructors waste no time in getting to the fundamentals of programming.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
Great course. Professor really drills down the computational thinking by elaborate examples. The assignments are challenging enough to keep you engaged and learn a lot. Waiting for the follow up module from the professor.
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Pedro Brito profile image
Pedro Brito profile image

Pedro Brito

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 2 months ago
Thanks for the opportunity to enroll in this course. So far the lectures are amazing with a lot of information and exercises to practice. I am dedicating three hours a day on the course. If you want to learn python this is the best course you can take.
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Rajesh Gupta profile image
Rajesh Gupta profile image

Rajesh Gupta

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
Great course for thinking computationally and learning to program correctly even if one is already an experience programmer,
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
This course is the best online course I have ever enrolled into. Emerged with a Confidence boost by the end of the class although I couldnt complete the later sections of course. If you are not motivated to learning Programming, you would still take this course to experience funfilled Challenging Learning.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
Great course! Particularly adequate for those not familiar with programming. I recommend it to everyone.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
One of the best courses I have taken online. I did this back in the fall of 8th grade (I am in 11th now) and it provided the basics to "thinking" like a programmer. Be wary though, it takes a decent amount of time and you have a risk of throwing your computer against the wall, but keep in mind that I was in 8th grade when I did this, so your experience might be better. Even if you don't plan on having a career in programming, its a good skill set to have in my opinion. And also, Python is a much better platform to learn on than the popularized Java.
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Abhishek M profile image
Abhishek M profile image

Abhishek M

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
One of the best courses I have taken online. I did this back in the fall of 8th grade (I am in 11th now) and it provided the basics to "thinking" like a programmer. Be wary though, it takes a decent amount of time and you have a risk of throwing your computer against the wall, but keep in mind that I was in 8th grade when I did this, so your experience might be better. Even if you don't plan on having a career in programming, its a good skill set to have in my opinion. And also, Python is a much better platform to learn on than the popularized Java.
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8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
This is THE EXCELLENT python course available on internet I believe. I got hard time to complete this as found challenging at the same time. My suggestion to add more contents to OOP . I found class concept hard to get , may be more practical exercise after lecture needs to be add , also some more lecture videos will help for that.
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Christopher Carley profile image
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Christopher Carley

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 3 months ago
A great course and I would recommend it to anyone! The instructors are great and it covers all aspects of basic programming and computer science! It does take a lot of effort but it is definitively worth it, ranging from 16-30 hours a week depending on the subject. Take this course and it will set you off on the right path towards becoming a good programmer since it teaches you important aspects that are very useful in multiple situations! 10/10
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Student

8/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 3 months ago
The course is excellent. Print outs are very good but could be a little more explicit. Rewiewing them without the talk may be a little difficult Clear and excellent understandable wording (for non english fluent). edx structure is wery good and affordable. Very versatile way of usage, changing speed of talk, screen enlaging,... Tooling for translation when available is not workable. Do not expect to teake the course if you are weak in english.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
This was an excellent introduction to the foundations of programming using a more friendly language (Python). It requires dedication and determination. I would definitely recommend it if you are an absolute beginner, or want to start learning programming but do not know where to start. The instructor is very clear and gives great practical illustrations for almost every topic. I look forward to the second part of the series!
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Ramiro Aznar profile image
Ramiro Aznar profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 27 reviews
  • 26 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
What a MOOC! As the instructor pointed out at the end of the course, have a look at the beginning and you would notice how much you have learnt. This is the course anyone has to start with in order to understand how to think in terms of computer science and programming. But also it gives you the tool (Python) to put it on practice. Next session do not hesitate to enroll in this course.
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Chase Kolozsy profile image
Chase Kolozsy profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
I had a great time taking this class. It was very rewarding to me and it took a heck a lot of my time. On average I spent 20 to 30 hours on it every week. Sometimes more than 30, sometimes less than 20. I had only completed Codecademy's Python tutorial before taking this class. I thought the first 3 weeks were the hardest. The class seemed to sail along after that. I think that is probably the time I got past the learning curve. I highly recommend this class. It is totally worth any time you put into it.
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Eslam Mohamed profile image
Eslam Mohamed profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
First of all, let's just agree that this course is MARVELOUS! The content of the course is great; covers everything on an introductory level. The instructor, Prof. Eric Grimson, is talented and organized. Everything is Fantastic. BUT keep in mind that throughout this course, u'll most definitely be challenged (especially if this is ur first exposure to CS). However, by the end of the course u'll amazed by ur accomplishments. In a nutshell, don't pass up this precious opportunity, stay motivated and never give up on the course when it gives u a hard time. u'll thank me later ;)
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Yasser El-azab profile image
Yasser El-azab profile image

Yasser El-azab

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 3 months ago
MOOCs from MIT are the pure meaning of parallel universe!! "600.1x" in one word >> (your programming experience will be raising in sharp exponential curve) about the content: it's very precise, the lectures are concrete and the most helpful part of them is the short exercises between the the lectures' segments. the lectures cover the most important algorithms, object oriented programming and simple data structures. the p-sets are the most powerful and motivating part of the course, you will implement simple programs, games like hang-man, encryption, classes and other complex programs the instructor: professor ERIC will manage the whole course lectures. he is the best one you will see who can trade off explicitness against implicitness, you have to perfectly focus when you're lectured, one missed word from him can close all doors. if you're really interested in this course, GO ahead right now 'cause you're Gonna love it. ... MOOCs from MIT are the pure meaning of parallel universe!! "600.1x" in one word >> (your programming experience will be raising in sharp exponential curve) about the content: it's very precise, the lectures are concrete and the most helpful part of them is the short exercises between the the lectures' segments. the lectures cover the most important algorithms, object oriented programming and simple data structures. the p-sets are the most powerful and motivating part of the course, you will implement simple programs, games like hang-man, encryption, classes and other complex programs the instructor: professor ERIC will manage the whole course lectures. he is the best one you will see who can trade off explicitness against implicitness, you have to perfectly focus when you're lectured, one missed word from him can close all doors. if you're really interested in this course, GO ahead right now 'cause you're Gonna love it.
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Alex Alampounti profile image
Alex Alampounti profile image

Alex Alampounti

9/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 3 months ago
A fantastic entry to python programming with very well though course and smart exercises that maximise how much you learn from each activity. Highly recommended course.
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O Z profile image
O Z profile image

O Z

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 3 months ago
For someone who is either refreshing their programming skills or someone who is new to programming altogether, this course is a nice albeit brisk introduction to programming methodologies and Python. I believe Python is a good choice: not as messy as Perl, has some structure (forces correct indentations), and almost instant feedback as opposed to writing and compiling in C or C++ (include iostream, main() etc etc -- just use the interpreter). Great Course.
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Rajesh Rajasekharan profile image
Rajesh Rajasekharan profile image

Rajesh Rajasekharan

9/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 3 months ago
It required substantial effort to work through this course, but in the end, it was such an engaging experience. The programming problems were the highlight of the course and getting it done on time was in itself a rewarding experience that can raise one's confidence to an elevated level. Many thanks to Instructors for putting this up and for edx for offering a great platform to learn. Highly recommended!
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Hamidreza Ahady Dolatsara profile image
Hamidreza Ahady Dolatsara profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
You need to dedicate good amount of time to be successful in this course but it is a real good course! The instructors did their best and showed the quality of MIT!!
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Deyan Nikolov profile image
Deyan Nikolov profile image

Deyan Nikolov

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 4 months ago
I previously had no experience with Python and no formal programming experience though I am experienced and exposed to coding in SAS and VBA. This course helped me gain better understanding of what I would be doing on a daily basis in the software I mentioned above and gives solid understanding of CS fundamentals and Python syntax. The fundamentals can also be used on other languages! Now I envy the ease of expressing your thoughts in Python and am looking at ways to add it to my work even though I am not nearly finished with the course. The fingers reinforce the understanding of the viewer through example and the task assignments give you a sense of urgency so you don't slack too much!
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Ismail Elezi profile image
Ismail Elezi profile image

Ismail Elezi

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 5 months ago
The best introduction to programming course that you can imagine. After this course you would be able to easily write short to medium (few hundreds of lines) of Python programs. Professor Grimson is fantastic and manages to explain even difficult concepts in very easy way. The assignments are quite difficult but satisfactory. The downside? Well, I like Coursera interface better than edX one, and the discussion forums aren't that great. On the bright side, there was a facebook page for the course when some good discussion occurred. Highly recommended to anyone!
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Dumitru Papana profile image
Dumitru Papana profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
This course as well as the 6.00.2x is the best introductory course into Computer Science. It gives an overview of concepts in an engaging and funny form. I really enjoyed it and will certainly follow all CS MIT courses, at least I'll finish the 6.00.x series. I would like to thank EDx and MIT for such a great experience!
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Tarun Goyal profile image
Tarun Goyal profile image

Tarun Goyal

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 5 months ago
Brilliant course!!
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Nil Name profile image
Nil Name profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 10 months ago
This has been one of the best Python Computer Science MOOCs I've taken. I'd say it is a challenging course especially for someone with not prior Python or coding experience. Prior to enrolling in this course it would benefit students with no programming background to complete the free Python course at codecademy.com . Eric Grimson is fantastic and provides very intelligible presentations for the material. The assignments and exercises are mostly well presented with decent instructions until the final assignment where there is a big conceptual leap to put previous work into practice. The final assignment gives little in the way of instructions and many things are left unclear. The student is expected is expected to fill in the gaps of poor directions with limited knowledge. This final step is a stumbling block that may cause students to fail the course if they had not scored well up to that point. One student pointed out this issue wi... This has been one of the best Python Computer Science MOOCs I've taken. I'd say it is a challenging course especially for someone with not prior Python or coding experience. Prior to enrolling in this course it would benefit students with no programming background to complete the free Python course at codecademy.com . Eric Grimson is fantastic and provides very intelligible presentations for the material. The assignments and exercises are mostly well presented with decent instructions until the final assignment where there is a big conceptual leap to put previous work into practice. The final assignment gives little in the way of instructions and many things are left unclear. The student is expected is expected to fill in the gaps of poor directions with limited knowledge. This final step is a stumbling block that may cause students to fail the course if they had not scored well up to that point. One student pointed out this issue with the final assignment in the discussion board; this was the response: "By kiwitrader COMMUNITY TA: If you want an easy course that doesn't require you to stretch for the assignments and want to be spoon fed every little instruction ... there are coursera courses run at Community College level designed just for that. This course has already been watered down enough from 6.00x. Check out the course philosophy to understand the objectives of this course. People who do well in this course should be justifiably happy with their results." However, I wouldn't say this particular Community TA was representative of all the Community TAs in the course.
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