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Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

An introduction to computer science as a tool to solve real-world analytical problems using Python 3.5.

There is one session available:

1,431,990 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Jan 26, 2022
Ends Mar 30, 2022
Estimated 9 weeks
14–16 hours per week
Instructor-paced
Instructor-led on a course schedule
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

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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 lecture videos, lecture exercises, and problem sets using Python 3.5. Even if you previously 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.

Please note : edX Inc. has recently entered into an agreement to transfer the edX platform to 2U, Inc., which will continue to run the platform thereafter. The sale will not affect your course enrollment, course fees or change your course experience for this offering. It is possible that the closing of the sale and the transfer of the edX platform may be effectuated sometime in the Fall while this course is running. Please be aware that there could be changes to the edX platform Privacy Policy or Terms of Service after the closing of the sale. However, 2U has committed to preserving robust privacy of individual data for all learners who use the platform. For more information see the edX Help Center.

At a glance

  • Institution: MITx
  • Subject: Computer Science
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:

    High school algebra and a reasonable aptitude for mathematics. Students without prior programming background will find there is a steep learning curve and may have to put in more than the estimated time effort.

What you'll learn

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  • A Notion of computation
  • The Python programming language
  • Some simple algorithms
  • Testing and debugging
  • An informal introduction to algorithmic complexity
  • Data structures

About the instructors

Frequently Asked Questions

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About Charter Oak State College Credit-Eligible Courses:

We're partnering with Charter Oak State College, Connecticut's public online college, to provide students with a unique opportunity to be awarded transferrable credit for work completed in selected edX courses. This partnership will give students from all backgrounds an affordable and flexible way to earn college credit, track their accomplishments and work toward a degree. Students who enroll in the Verified Certificate track and pass the course with an 65% or higher are eligible to receive Charter Oak State College credit. **

Credit details:

Number of credit hours for this course: 3 credit hours
_
Cost: $300 USD ($100 USD/Credit Hour) - pay for credit earned after passing the course with a 65%or better.
Eligibility:**_

  • Learner must enroll in the Verified Certificate option to be eligible for credit upon completion of the course.
  • Learner must abide to all course and academic integrity policies throughout the entire course.
  • Learner must receive a passing grade of a 65%or better in the course

FAQ

  • What type of computing environment do I need for this course?
    • You need to have a computer running one of the following operating systems:
    • Microsoft Windows, version XP or greater (XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7)
    • Apple OSX, version 10.2 or greater
    • Linux - most distributions that have been released within the past two years should work
    • In addition, you will need the ability to download, install, and run software on your computer.
  • Is there a course textbook?
  • What browser should I use?
    • We strongly recommend that you use the Chrome browser while visiting the edX site. This site is optimized for viewing in Chrome.
    • If you cannot use Chrome, you should use the Firefox browser. Be advised you may have trouble with site functionality if you choose to use an alternate browser.
  • What programming language(s) will this course use?
    • 6.00x will be using the Python programming language, version 3.5.
    • You are not expected to have any prior programming knowledge - this course is intended for students who have little to no experience with any programming language.
  • What is the format of the class?
    • The class will consist of lecture videos, which are broken into small chunks, usually between eight and twelve minutes each. Some of these may contain integrated "check-yourself" questions.
    • There will also be programming assignments and standalone exams/quizzes, which are not part of the video lectures.
  • Will the text of the lectures be available?
    • Yes, transcripts of the course will be made available.
  • Do I need to watch the lectures live?
    • No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure - you do not need to watch the lectures at any set time.
  • How much does it cost to take the course?
    • Nothing: the course is free.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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