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Introduction to Computer Science

David Evans @Udacity
Class Start: always available
Certificate: Yes
Level: beginner
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In this course you will learn key concepts in computer science and learn how to write your own computer programs in the context of building a web crawler. At the end of this course you will have a rock solid foundation for programming in Python and built a working web crawler. This course will prepare you to take many of more advanced courses. There is no prior programming knowledge needed for this course. Beginners welcome!
Categories: [Computer Science]

Reviews
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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-21
Great course on the fundamentals of computer science. The course begins with line parsing to an eventual final project of building a search engine. On this journey, you start with the basic building blocks of constructing a program, then reintroduced with better building blocks. For example, we learn about while/for loops, but later on learn about recursion. Also we try to store the keywords in lists, but later on we learn about hash tables. This is nice way to learn different approaches to tackle the same issue, and then investigate why these approaches work better in certain circumstances. Dave is very thorough as steps through each concept. For example drawing out the 3 levels of a Fibonacci tree or diagram how networks work using ancient Greece as an example. Dave also steps back into the history of computer science and gives tribute to those who pushed the discipline forward. I learned about Grace Hopper's nano stick, and Alan Turing's machine model. The course is basically a hand-holding of finishing the search engine.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-16
I really enjoyed this class. Prof. Evans teaches you string processing, functions, lists, dictionaries and hash functions as you build a web crawler to harvest URLs, then an index to store them, then a search engine based on the famous (Larry) Page rank algorithm that formed Google's first search engine.

I liked his sense of humor and I liked the self-paced aspect of the class. Highly recommended for Python beginners.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-10-16
This course builds a solid foundation on how to program. The lectures are very memorable with interactive quizzes.
Homework assignments involve a lot of thinking and problem solving -- two or three star ones are quite challenging.
Use discussion forums if you're stuck, excellent community of learners!
If you're more game oriented I would suggest coursera's "Interactive Python" course though.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2014-02-11
A good beginning course in Python. It can be frustrating when your code doesn't work and the feedback from the interpreter is not very helpful. Making use of the discussion boards is essential in those cases. Don't obsess over the assignments, because only the final exam counts for credit.

A good choice for those who can't install Python software on the computers they use. Though having Python installed would be convenient, it is possible to submit everything through their interpreter with no special software required.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-12-18
I really loved this class. It is self paced, very well organized, with lots of exercises. I highly recommend it to everyone new to programming,, because it starts from the scratch. But as with all self-paced courses, you have to apply a bit of a discipline in order to finish it.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-12-17
It was fun to learn how to make own web search engine.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-11-16
Awesome class. Great Content-Great Learning Experience !!

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-10-05
The best class i join it ever. Prof. David Evans really worked hard to make all information and materials in this course simple as possible.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-05-29
Very good class

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-02-01
Really good course that teaches Python essentials and prepares for other Udacity courses. It doesn't include OOP though.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-01-14
I've tried multiple introductory courses and completed only this one. Many thanks to designers of the course!
It;s using interactive programming environment that is pretty neat and great for learning purposes but you're not going to have it in the real life. Having some references to how to set up dev. environment in the real life would be nice to have.
Overall, the course is great and highly recommended.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-01-08
Ability to take it at my own pace is very important to me. Great course design, informative lectures, meaningful and consistent material. This is a complete package, no additional resources needed to complete the course requirements.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-29
Great class for beginners, although it doesn't delve much into Class definitions or other object-oriented aspects. All assignments are very helpful, and a very complex working product is constructed at the end, which in hindsight is quite impressive.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-25
This was an excellent introduction to python as well as a look into how search engines work.
Excellent class

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-23
Very solid class. Well worth the effort. David Evans is able to explain ideas very well. The frequent quizzes are helpful. The problem set are well constructed.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-19
I also like Udacity's model. The lectures are very engaging, for international students who may have difficulties understanding English, there are captions. Just click cc on the video player and pick your language. And there is no pressure of deadlines or any stress. Discussion forums are maintained and comments are tagged well. Most of the time, I was able to find an answer to my question using forum's search (it may seem obvious but it's not the case on other sites where I cannot find even my own post). Very convenient IDE, built in quizzes, and plenty of homework exercises. I also like that they have * (star) challenges to push you further. Overall, I think that Udacity's platform is the best of all MOOCs so far.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
Really recommended! The instructor is brilliant while presenting every detail of the class. His explanations are clear and neat, and you definitely learn how to program on Python. What I really like about Udacity courses in general is that you are not constraint to schedules, you learn to your own pace, contents are updated, you learn a lot, and you can even get a certificate.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
very important class , and really useful , thank you Udacity.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
This was my first programming course of any kind. I thought the pace and the topics were well thought out and covered many programming topics in a serious way. The coding interface works well and the forums were very friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend this course!

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
Really great for understanding using lists in python, and overall programing in a geek way. And understanding why is line written this way and not other. Showing how memory is involve etc. If learning a program which will work for you this is a class for you. I think that this class will give you deep understanding of programing any language. If you are leaning more toward games I would recommend Rice University - which is great for OOP and first experience with GUI .

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
Great intro to programming course where by the end you have actually built something substantial.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
Excellent introduction to Python for beginners and those new to python. He teaches some great tools including recursion with cacheing. It was my first programming course and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

He is a great teacher.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-12
Although building a search engine using Python is the project to complete by the end of the course, the main outcome is to learn general programming concepts.
This is basically what final exam is testing, but don't worry, it's impossible not to learn well as the course has many quizzes and exercises.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-11
Important course for CS students. It starts from the basic such as data types to functions, lists, dictionaries , indexes, and algorithms. Search engine is used as the example of application, but assignment have more exercises.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-10-03
Prof. Evans introduces Python is a clear and thoughtful way; the end result is a function search engine. Highly recommended for anyone wishing to learn to program or requiring a quick introduction to the language.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-09-24
Very good start for programming in python, liked it!

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-29
Great instructor and content.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-19
I got a very good knowledge in python programming.

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