Sunday, January 5, 2014

Computer Science and Technology

Harvard University - CS50X: Introduction to Computer Science - Professor David J. Malan - One of our favorite computer science courses, Harvard's excellent Introduction to Computer Science, CS50x, is starting a new term this month, and if you're at all interested in learning to code, now's the time to sign up. When freshmen arrive at Harvard looking to study Computer Science, this is the course they land in first, and you can take it online with them. In this class you'll learn the basics of computer science, learn to code from the ground up, and study languages like C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and HTML. You'll solve real problems in biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. It's demanding, but it's an amazing course. Plus, you can earn a certificate from Harvard for successfully completing it. Supplimental material is available at Udacity - Mobile Web Development - Professors Chris Wilson and Peter Lubbers - Developing for the mobile web isn't easy, and it's not just because of smaller screens. You have to consider touch as a primary interface for your site or application, variable screen sizes, users using your service in desktop mode on a mobile device, and more. This course—one we've mentioned before but is still one of our favorite classes for mobile web development—will teach you how to build mobile web experiences that enrich your users and visitors, and even use open APIs available for mobile devices, like geolocation, accelerometer access, and more. You'll also learn how to evaluate mobile performance, so you can make sure your apps and tools work even when network access is spotty. University of Reading Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game - Professor Karsten Ă˜ster Lundqvist - If you're eager to code because you want to build mobile games or start a business building mobile apps, this course can get you started building Java-based mobile games. The aim of the class is, of course, to give you an introduction to programming, specifically in Java, using mobile games and gaming as a hook, and it's beginner-friendly at that. No specific knowledge of programming is required to get started, and this seven week course (starting near the end of January) will have you building and playing mobile games before it's all over and done. University of Maryland - Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems - Professor Adam Porter - If you're looking for a more rounded approach to building a mobile app for Android, this course (from my alma mater!) will have you up and running in no time. You don't have to have an Android device to participate (you can use an emulator), but the full syllabus for the course is already posted, and it'll walk you through the basics of the Android platform, resources available to Android developers, application design and frameworks, graphics and animation, using device sensors, and more. Stanford University - Networking: Introduction to Computer Networking - Professors Philip Levis and Nick McKeown - If network administration or engineering is more your interest (as opposed to software development and coding), then this course will teach you the basics of connected information networks, most notably the largest one on the planet: the Internet. You'll learn everything from the ground up, including how popular technologies like BitTorrent and HTTP work, but you'll also study the basics of network design and protocols. You'll read RFCs, study them, and then discuss them with classmates, and the course even touches on current events and internet issues like net neutrality, DNS security, and wiretapping. University of Michigan - Internet History, Technology, and Security - Professor Charles Severance - There are still a lot of us who remember the early days of the internet, when the public was just becoming aware of this vast resource of information available at our fingertips. However, the history of the internet extends far past when consumers and the public got on board, and new users or today's beginners may have no idea how the internet was born, what it was originally designed to do, and the technology that powered (and in some cases, still powers) it. This course will give you a primer to all of those topics and more, including current events and topics of identity, personalization, data collection, individual and corporate security, and more. By the end of the course, the professor explains, you won't take the internet for granted. University of Oklahoma - Power and Elegance of Computational Thinking - Professor Amy McGovern, PhD - If you have absolutely no programming experience (and aren't interested in learning to code) but you're still interested in how computers work and how systems "think," this course will help you understand computational thinking, start thinking that way yourself, and apply basic computational principles in real-world exercises. By the end of the course, you may very well be more interested in computer science. University of Southampton - Web Science: How the Web is Changing the World - Professors Leslie Carr and Susan Halford - The web is very different from the Internet, although the two have largely become mingled because so many people live on the web. There's more to the picture, but the web—the World Wide Web, precisely—shouldn't be discounted in the way it's changed the way we live our lives. Everything from the way we shop, the way we plan major life events like weddings, vacations, jobs, and moves, and the way we entertain ourselves have all changed drastically thanks to the web, and in this course you'll examine the history of the web, the technology that drives and powers it, and learn about the people who made it what it is today. You'll also study key questions of democracy and freedom when it comes to the web versus information control, networking principles, the economics of the web, and of course, how you can get in.

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