LP: CS50x – Harvard’s Online Computer Science Course

Today, I’m going to introduce to you a new series to my blog, entitled “Learning Project”.  Basically, every so often, I will undergo a learning project, where, along with everyone, I will try to learn something, be it a new language or how to dance. Every Learning Project I will undertake will be affixed with the abbreviation LP along with its title(Which happens to be CS50x in this case.) Starting now, I will post my very first LP, entitled CS50x, where I will try to complete  Harvard’s Online Computer Science Course.

What is CS50x?

CS50, or Computer Science 50, is Harvard College’s Introduction to Computer Science 1 course. The ‘x’ appended on the end denotes it as an edX course, edX being a non-profit enterprise for interactive online learning. Basically, the good guys at Harvard made their class available online! Excerpt:

Introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming. This course teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include abstraction, encapsulation, data structures, databases, memory management, software development, virtualization, and websites. Languages include C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and XHTML. Problem sets inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. Designed for concentrators and non-concentrators alike, with or without prior programming experience

Should I take it?

Hate computers? Not to worry! CS50 is Harvard’s most popular course on-campus, and everyone, yes even non-concentrators, take the course.

CS50 is designed not only for concentrators in computer science but also for non-concentrators. More than just teach you how to program, this course teaches you how to think more methodically and how to solve problems more effectively. As such, its lessons are applicable well beyond the boundaries of computer science itself. That the course does teach you how to program, though, is perhaps its most empowering return. With this skill comes the ability to solve real-world problems in ways and at speeds beyond the abilities of most humans.

Ready to Learn?

You can register at edX and take up CS50x, if it is still available at the time of this writing. You can also view it at CS50.tv. This course is Free.

Do note that edX awards certificates upon completion of a course.

The Importance of Independent Learning

Independent Learning is a philosophy whereby a learner acquires knowledge by his or her own efforts. Instead of someone else explaining new concepts to the learner, the learner leverages the accrued information from his/her lifetime to grasp new concepts.

Why is Independent Learning important?

There are some people who underestimates the importance of learning independently, and if they do, typically do not know what they’re missing out. Here are a few reasons why independent learning is important:

It fosters Creativity

Independently learning a hard concept might take time, but you will be forced to think about it more critically than if someone had just taught it for you.

It “sticks” in your mind

Learning something by your own gives your mind much more connection to work with if you ever need to recall it. If you fail to remember something, recalling your discrete learning process can give your mind the extra nudge it needs.

Its Effective

One of the greatest problems students have in grasping “failure-rate subjects” such as Calculus and Computer Science is methodology. It’s not that those subjects are hard to learn, its just that students learn it improperly.

Its Efficient

Independent Learning is a craft once mastered, can let you learn a topic much faster than a traditional method.

World, Hello

I’d like to give you a warm welcome for stumbling upon my blog! This is my very first entry for my efficient learning site where I share my experiences in learning new things.

I go by the name “labber”, and, as a teenager of many interests, I have found myself addicted to learning and making myself better. When you have a thousand things you want to learn and only a limited amount of time to actually sit down and study, you learn specialized tricks to absorb as much material as possible.

This site is about sharing them.

Join me, and all of the learners worldwide as we proceed to learn!