The future belongs to coders. I’m not the first to say this and I won’t be the last. Eventually, all people will know how to code, regardless of their job. That’s just where we’re headed.
Coding opens doors and gives new ways to kids to express themselves. They can build worlds and solve problems and bring their imagination to life for other people to see. While you can find many free ways to get coding under your belt, moving forward beyond Scratch and simple Basic with a strong foundation for learning how to manipulate the code like an expert is key.
Andrea Whitson will teach both beginning and advanced students computer science concepts to give them a fuller and deeper understanding of how the computer world works.
Many classes exist today in order to teach our gifted kids how to program. Most push for skill development in the language du jour, but very few teach our kids the computer science concepts that underlie all programming languages. In this class, we will work from the basics of “what is an algorithm?” moving to “how do I build a good one?” and even “how do I design an algorithm that utilizes Dijkstra’s Algorithm to traverse a web?” Don’t let the advanced concepts scare you away! Students can work in any language they choose; complete beginners can use Scratch to work on weekly problem sets. (See scratch.mit.edu for more information about this free and fun tool for programming with drag and drop tools.) Many assignments will require no coding at all, just a lot of thinking.
The book we will use is fun and uses allegory to make the concepts memorable. We will follow Princess Ann on her quest to save her kingdom in Computational Fairy Tales, written by a former member of the Cornell Robotics Faculty and a current senior programmer at Google. This course will supplement the book with lectures and weekly assignments. In addition, the instructor will be available to help with the assignments during the week at online office hours.
Sign up for the course here.
Check out other course offerings here.