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Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python is intended for students with little or no programming experience. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems and to help students, regardless of their major, feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals. The class uses the Python 3.5 programming language.

Goals

  • Provide an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems.
  • Help students, including those who do not plan to major in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, feel confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals.
  • Position students so that they can compete for research projects and excel in subjects with programming components.

Textbook

The textbook is Buy at MIT Press Buy at Amazon Guttag, John. Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python: With Application to Understanding Data Second Edition. MIT Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780262529624. The book and the course lectures parallel each other, though there is more detail in the book about some topics. It is available both in hard copy and as an e-book.

Lecture and Recitation Attendance

A significant portion of the material for this course will be presented only in lecture, so students are expected to regularly attend lectures.

Recitations give students a chance to ask questions about the lecture material or the problem set for the given week. Sometimes, new material may be covered in recitation. Recitation attendance is encouraged but not required.

Problem Sets and Quizzes

Each problem set will involve programming in Python. There will be 6 problem sets in the course. There will be two quizzes. All quizzes will be closed-book, though you will be allowed to bring one page of notes to the first quiz and two pages of notes to the second quiz. Pages must be letter-sized, double-sided, either handwritten or typed.

 

Course Curriculum

Lecture 1
What is Computation? 00:50:00
Lecture 2
Branching and Iteration 00:50:00
Lecture 3
String Manipulation, Guess and Check, Approximations, Bisection 00:55:00
Lecture 4
Decomposition, Abstraction, and Functions 00:55:00
Lecture 5
Tuples, Lists, Aliasing, Mutability, and Cloning 00:55:00
Lecture 6
Recursion and Dictionaries 00:55:00
Lecture 7
Testing, Debugging, Exceptions, and Assertions 00:55:00
Lecture 8
Object Oriented Programming 00:55:00
Lecture 9
Python Classes and Inheritance 00:55:00
Lecture 10
Understanding Program Efficiency, Part 1 00:55:00
Lecture 11
Understanding Program Efficiency, Part 2 00:55:00
Lecture 12
Searching and Sorting 00:55:00
Assignments and projects
Problem Set 1 00:00:00
Problem Set 2 00:00:00
Problem Set 3 00:00:00
Problem Set 4 00:00:00
Problem Set 5 00:00:00
Final Test
Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python Test 03:00:00

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