CS50: Introduction to Computer Science
Harvard's CS50 course is a tour de force exploration of computer science and programming starting with understanding the bit and then advancing to applications in the domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics and gaming. You can complete this highly demanding course at cs50.tv on your own, but being part of a community and being able to ask for help at any time is far more relaxing and enjoyable.
The class is targeted at working adults with or without prior exposure to programming. It is also likely to be suitable for highly interested high school students.
We've catered 11 office hour sessions for you to cover the entire CS50 course material. It is going to be fast-moving, requiring you to be highly self-directed and committed to completing the course material and problem sets.
This is not so much a class as a study group/office hours/community where members learn together and motivate one another to the finish line. We'll be spending most of our time in class going through the trickier concepts and rendering assistance to folks who get stuck.
The class will run on Fridays, 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the centrally located IDA Labs@National Design Centre (opposite National Library). The dates of the sessions are:
- 14 August
- 21 August
- 4 September
- 18 September
- 25 September
- 2 October
- 9 October
- 13 November
- 20 November
- 4 December
- 11 December
You will require your own computer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the class difficult?
YES, it is. We've run this once before and everyone has remarked how difficult it is. Each problem set will take you anywhere from 4 to 20 hours to complete, not because there is a lot of material, but because you really have to spend the time to figure out and solve the problem sets. If you are completely new to programming, expect to spend a lot more time debugging.
We started with 10+ people in the first class, and ended it with only 3 dedicated individuals still slogging away at the problem sets. The rest had dropped off. For this run, we are spacing the sessions further apart to give you more time to get the problem sets done.
I've done programming before. Will this class be worth it?
This class is especially well-suited for folks who have picked up programming before on their own without learning formal theory, and for folks who find their programming skills rusty.
I'm going to miss a couple of sessions. Is that ok?
Missing two or three sessions should be ok, but you will be falling behind unless you put in the effort to keep up. More than that though, and maybe you should take this class next year or find alternative community supports. Try http://reddit.com/r/cs50
Can I find a job as a programmer at the end of CS50?
Nope. This is not General Assembly or another coding school. CS50 is a steep learning curve in itself but there's still lots more to learn. Once you can complete CS50 though, you will find it easier to pick up other languages and platforms like iOS/Android programming. CS50 gives you a good foundation, but it is only the beginning of a much longer journey.
There is free online community support. Why should I take this course?
Well, we think the biggest attraction is that the regular physical meetup sessions will force you to commit the time required to complete the course. Having to pay for it also motivates you to get your money's worth by sticking to the end of the course :)