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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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.

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Kaccie Li profile image
Kaccie Li profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
As of today (12/15/2013), I've completed 6.00.1x with 95%. It wasn't all that difficult, but I gave a "hard" rating because I think this course would be extremely difficult for someone without real programming experience. I think this is accurate because the course description did not include any hard prerequisites. Let's just say that if this was the first course on the subject taken in undergrad, I would have failed for sure! 6.00.1x taught me many areas of computer science that I did not previously think about which I found quite nice. Some familiar topics to me, like state variables and graphs came up but was presented under a much more abstract context which was quite interesting. The problem sets were thorough, and the structure of presentation and evaluation made it so that I didn't slack off. Anyways, I have PhD from Berkeley where I have had to write a lot of "research-grade" code in environments like Matlab and LabView, and... As of today (12/15/2013), I've completed 6.00.1x with 95%. It wasn't all that difficult, but I gave a "hard" rating because I think this course would be extremely difficult for someone without real programming experience. I think this is accurate because the course description did not include any hard prerequisites. Let's just say that if this was the first course on the subject taken in undergrad, I would have failed for sure! 6.00.1x taught me many areas of computer science that I did not previously think about which I found quite nice. Some familiar topics to me, like state variables and graphs came up but was presented under a much more abstract context which was quite interesting. The problem sets were thorough, and the structure of presentation and evaluation made it so that I didn't slack off. Anyways, I have PhD from Berkeley where I have had to write a lot of "research-grade" code in environments like Matlab and LabView, and I've still found some of the concepts confusing and/or challenging. At times, I believe the confusion was simply due to a cursory explanation in the lectures and/or poor exercise design, but that was somewhat rare and I'm sure the course staff will iron that out as this course evolves!
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Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 9 months ago
This is my first Computer Science course and it is a great experience. It teaches you the principles of programming and computational thinking apong with some Python. Overall it is a great experience especially with edX interface. I love the excercises after each lecture although sometimes they are require knowledge not yet taught in the previous lectures.
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Anna profile image
Anna profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 10 reviews
  • 8 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
The course is quite difficult and assignments are challenging for a beginner. I could complete this course only because I completed Fundamentals of programming from University of Toronto. Otherwise I would be lost from the very first lecture. The lectures and explanations of the material could be clearer and deadlines could be less strict.
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Arnold Lau profile image
Arnold Lau profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 8 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
This was an excellent course, half of a first course in computer science covering basic algorithmic thinking, functions, loops, recursion, debugging, searching and sorting, orders of growth, object-oriented programming and trees. This is less of a programming course than it is a computer science course, because a lot of programming details (syntax, built-in functions, etc) is only briefly mentioned and you're expected to do some research yourself using the Python documentation, etc. This was a nicely difficult course that included interesting problem sets where you build something step by step. CONS: \- There were a few errors in the lectures and some very ambiguous wording in the problem sets, but most of the time the course staff took an attitude of "we're always right and you're probably just doing it wrong" towards the students. I can't blame them, though, as there were also a lot of unjustified complaints by students. \- I have ... This was an excellent course, half of a first course in computer science covering basic algorithmic thinking, functions, loops, recursion, debugging, searching and sorting, orders of growth, object-oriented programming and trees. This is less of a programming course than it is a computer science course, because a lot of programming details (syntax, built-in functions, etc) is only briefly mentioned and you're expected to do some research yourself using the Python documentation, etc. This was a nicely difficult course that included interesting problem sets where you build something step by step. CONS: \- There were a few errors in the lectures and some very ambiguous wording in the problem sets, but most of the time the course staff took an attitude of "we're always right and you're probably just doing it wrong" towards the students. I can't blame them, though, as there were also a lot of unjustified complaints by students. \- I have to mention it again: some of the problem sets, exams, exercises, etc. had very poor (sometimes contradictory) wording, such as a problem concerning family trees on the final exam. As a result, a lot of people made mistakes not because they didn't understand course concept, but because they were wrestling with how the specifications were worded, trying to guess what the grader was looking for. \- During the first run of this course, edX graders frequently crashed during exams. The course staff would move deadlines to get around this, but it was inconvenient for many people with a tight schedule who could only take the exam during a small window of time. With that said, I hope that the next offering of this course cleans up errors instead of just recycling everything. This was an excellent and rewarding course to take, but it definitely leans more towards the theoretical, math-heavy side of computer science.
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Jeff Winchell profile image
Jeff Winchell profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 91 reviews
  • 66 completed
4 years, 8 months ago
I took the 6.00 class earlier this year but had to drop it due to my time constraints. Now they appear to have chopped the class into two parts (perhaps with some additional material). The class is as well taught as last time. I definitely recommend it. The homework problems are fun. Sometimes creating little games.
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Chewe Mbonshi profile image
Chewe Mbonshi profile image

Chewe Mbonshi

6/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 9 months ago
I would like to know how much the course costs please. How many modules are in each course and an advise of how to take the course.
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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.