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Learn to Program: The Fundamentals

Jennifer Campbell, Paul Gries University of Toronto @Coursera
Class Start: TBA
Duration: 10 weeks
Approximate Workload: 6-8 hours/week
Certificate: Yes
Level: beginner
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Behind every mouse click and touch-screen tap, there is a computer program that makes things happen. This course introduces the fundamental building blocks of programming and teaches you how to write fun and useful programs using the Python language.
Categories: [Computer Science]

Reviews
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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
I loved this class. I learned string and list manipulation, modular arithmetic, list mutations. I was very happy with the learning experience and plan to take the second half of the class when it is offered.

I also took Introduction to Interactive Programming via @Coursera @ Rice. This Toronto class is a little bit better for absolute beginners and focuses a little bit more on fundamentals, like the title suggests. If you were going to take both classes, I would take this Fundamentals class first as the Rice class can have a big workload for beginners who don't have these fundamentals.

2 people found this review helpful
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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-10-11
I just finished the Fall '13 course offering and am quite happy with the design of the course and support I got on the forums. I'm a beginning programmer and found the first four weeks "leisurely" but very informative. the instructors used the Python Visualizer to show what's happening behind th scenes in memory stacks which helped a lot. Starting in week 5 things picked up with 6 being a tough week. I would suggest the instructors move the file open topic from week 6 to week 4 for balance. Also, adding a lab assignment in weeks 3 and 5 would help people get more comfortable with the Idle shell sooner in the course. I learned a lot and would recommend this to anyone that wants to learn beginning Python.

1 person found this review helpful
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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-09-09
If you decide to take this class, don't go to the forum.

Every time you will say something in contrast to the majority of the people there, they will start insulting and deriding you, and never replied to your requests.

The TAs, far from helping, are just encouraging this behaviour, and joining the snarky comments.

1 person found this review helpful
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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-03-07
I've started several MOOCs. Finished only this one and awaiting eagerly the follow-up. The professors know precisely what they are doing - both in the field of CS-teaching and in the field of conducting a MOOC. LTP1 is an exemplary course in every respect!

1 person found this review helpful
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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
This was a fantastic class. The instructors were thorough and interesting. Concepts were very clearly explained, and it gives a very good basis for learning how to program. Loved it!

1 person found this review helpful
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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
This class was Excellent. It had a good emphasis on understanding and was one of the few courses that claimed to be suitable for complete beginners that actually was. Everything was explained so patiently and in lots of detail.
One of the things I liked the best was that the instructors had written test suites for the programming assignments so we could have instant results when submitting the fortnightly projects. The quizzes also gave instant feedback.
The course was guide was also a reasonably good estimate fo the time required each week.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
The perfect course for programming beginners.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-16
Fantastic intro to Python programming. Course material well presented. The pace of the course is perfect for beginners, and lays a firm foundation for future advancement.

Video Lectures, written notes, peer discussion forum, regular assessment exercises and assignments.

Highly recommended.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-16
Jennifer and Paul are both World Class professors who hit a home run with their course. They have proven that a properly architected online class is a superior form of leaning. Their video lectures were understandable, efficient , and relevant and were not overdone or too long. The exercises and quizzes were challenging and effective. Through all of this they bridged the cyber world and physical world by making you feel as though you were sitting right in their office and they were giving you personal instruction in programming. I am proud of both of them and can't thank them enough for what they have done. They are the new breed of education Rock Stars and deserve the ultimate praise.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-12-18
The Best Glass for beginners.I have learned a lot

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Sean Rattigan , 2013-12-17
This is a truly excellent introduction to programming in Python, particularly for anyone that has little or no programming experience. I recommend this course to anyone beginning programming, and the follow up course "Crafting Quality Code".

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-12-17
A really enjoyable learning experience.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-12-16
.

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Heather Nuffer , 2013-12-16
Solid introduction to Python.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-12-16
A good place to start for those who have no prior programming experince

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Ann Weidmann (Sleaford) , 2013-12-16
A great introduction to programming in Python. My first experience of a MOOC and this course got me hooked.

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Haider Ali , 2013-12-16
This is THE Class for people without any programming background. This course will give you the best grounding for understanding basics of Python which will come handy when you are doing other introductory and advanced courses on Coursera and Udacity.

I will say that other introductory courses on Coursera and Udacity are advanced when compared with this course. However, if you want to learn the basics of a programming language and progress in a structured manner this should be the first course on your list.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-11-06
very good course

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Prabhakar Undurthi , 2013-09-30
This class is good enough to learn fundamentals in programming with python.
worthy to spend your time

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2013-08-10
excellent introductory course, if you are looking to learn the baseics this is the course for you.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-24
You will learn A LOT in this class. This is the best introductory programming class I have taken, and they don't mess around. You will learn everything you should learn to get started with Python 3.3 (and of course the principles apply to other languages as well). They go over things that other courses don't really mention, like good documentation, how to design a program, and how the computer runs through the program and handles the memory. Truly enlightening. It is rather fast paced, and I think it really helps to have at least a tiny bit of experience in programming, a total newbie who doesn't know the difference between an integer and a floating point will probably struggle to keep up.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-24
Excellent basic programing class in Python language. The professors are presenting the topics in a very simple manner so that I who never had programmng experience previously could easily learn Python. Mind you, if you are a newbie, it will need more than 8 hours per week, but it is worth it if you are interested in Python. Thanks Jen and Paul.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-24
The main take away for me from this class was the structured nature in which it was presented. The examples presented for breaking down tasks in functions and writing programs to a specification to handle data. The lecturers done an excellent job with their selection of material and pacing and it was topped at the end with a certificate, which gives a sense of accomplishment. I took the RICE Python games programming course at the same time and may have found it more challenging if the basics weren't covered here first.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-23
Excellent introductory course, great base for deep diving into programming. Slow paced, very concise, these guys did great job creating this course. Fully recommended. Both thumbs up.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-20
This class is an excellent way to learn how to program, both teachers were really good at explaining topics. And I totally recommend this course to the kind of person who doesn't knowe anything at all about computers as well as beginners in the field.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-19
This class was good: it focused on very basic things and focused on good code writing style. It's useful if you are just starting out.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-19
Prior to starting this course I had practically no knowledge of programming, and none is necessary. The course material is really well presented and delivered, and with some effort I think you can expect to be reasonably adept at writing some handy code in Python by the time you're finished. I'm using what I learned to work my way through the problems on Project Euler (www.projecteuler.org) and I'm amazed with some of the problems I've been able to solve by applying the course material.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-19
A good introduction. I liked that there were quizzes built into the video lectures, it helped keep me focused.
Started the course as a rank beginner and learned a lot.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-19
This was a great class! As many have said, the pace was set for beginners, but the assignments were still interesting and provided some challenge to a student with a little programming experience. I appreciated the fact that this course offered a certificate. I am definitely looking forward to "Crafting Quality Code!"

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
Very good class. A great first step to learning how to program. Instructors were very clear in presenting concepts and ideas. Lectures were well reinforced with quizzes, assignments an in-video questions with immediate feedback.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
This is a great class on introduction to programming with Python. Great pace, great contents, great instructors! You really learn to program plus you get a certificate. All of these somehow make you feel like the effort you put in really pays off.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
Great class . Good pace for beginners.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
Great class for those who want to learn the basics of python. Well explained videos and it's filled with examples and homework which teach you a lot. This is great for beginners and those who just want to go back to basics.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
An excellent course. Very much appreciated the simple to install tools (IDLE). It's more a beginners course, but as a professional programmer it served as an easy way to get up to speed on Python. Looking forward to the future course on "Crafting Quaity Code" !

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
I you have zero knowledge of programming, this course is a great place to get started.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
An excellent beginner's class that taught sound fundamentals. This enabled me to take other classes with good basic knowledge in place.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-18
This is a fantastic class. The professors are very good at explaining how things work. It builds the foundation of python programming. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes. Thank you professors for your hard work and providing the free class.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
This is a great course for anyone wishing to learn python programming. The instructors Jen and Paul do a fantastic job of walking you through the fundamentals of Python programming. This course gives you a good foundation to build on for moving into other programming courses. A great course which I highly recommend for anyone who wishes to learn programming in general and Python in particular.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
This was my first programming course and it helped me understand the basics. The teachers did an excellent job of explaining things at beginner level. I'm looking forward to their next course!

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
The course is an excellent choice for beginners. The teachers were great. I really appreciated Visualizer. It did help me a lot in understanding how the program works step by step. It's a great tool for beginners.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
This is a great class for anyone who wants to learn programming. Jen and Paul are great instructors, they explain things in a way that everyone can understand. I really loved this course!

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
I highly recommend this for anyone beginning to program or the people who like to start programming in Python.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
This is a phantastic course, almost perfect! Thanks to the very professional teaching of the professors the course is also very accessable for absolute beginners. In a few weeks you learn a lot about programming in Python, and programming in general. The professors offer a very good structure for programming, that's also usable in other languages.
Jenn and Paul, thank you! I'll follow also your coming courses.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
I really loved this course. the pace is just right, with a little challenge, but not as hard that you want to bang your head in the table and then just quit. (although I almost did that in some of the weeks but not because the professors didn't teach the class well or the assignment was too hard, It's just that I over think the solutions.)

So if you have no prior experience in programming and want to learn. (really want to learn) then you should try this out. and one tip I can give is as I have said earlier, do not over think the answers.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
This class was a really great introduction to programming in python. The professors were fantastic and they both did a really good job explaining the material very clearly. I recommend this class very highly.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
Terrific introduction to programming. Don't be fooled by the short lectures, in which every sentence is packed with information you can't afford to miss. If you've never programmed before, and want to be challenged some, this is for you.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
Took this simultaneously (sort of) with the Interactive Python class (Coursera - Rice University). Both classes were great. This class truly started at the beginning, and the instructors were wonderful. I WILL take the followup course they are offering next year.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
The instructors had some great explanations and examples of concepts that I had previously had a difficult time understanding. This was a great introductory class.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
Very good introductory class. I feel like I got a very good fundamental understanding of Python and enjoyed learning from Jennifer and Paul.

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Anonymous (Singapore, Singapore) , 2012-12-17
This was a really good introduction to python and programming. I took this course and An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python at the same time. This class started a little ahead of the other class and really helped me to grasp the concepts in the other class quickly. I recommend both these classes to anyone interested in programming.

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