Class information

Provider Coursera logo
Institution Rice University
Code N/A
Language English
Next session To be announced
Estimated workload 7-10 hours/week
Level N/A
Categories Computer Science
Computer Science: Software Engineering
Instructors Joe Warren
Scott Rixner
John Greiner
Stephen Wong

Sessions

Start date Duration
Past Sept. 15, 2014 9 weeks
Past March 24, 2014 9 weeks
Past Oct. 7, 2013 9 weeks
Past April 15, 2013 9 weeks
Past Oct. 15, 2012 8 weeks

Note that archives might still be available for past sessions.

Description

Note that this course is currently being offered in two consecutive parts. You may access part 1 of this split version here.

This course is designed to help students with very little or no computing background learn the basics of building simple interactive applications. Our language of choice, Python, is an easy-to learn, high-level computer language that is used in many of the computational courses offered on Coursera. To make learning Python easy, we have developed a new browser-based programming environment that makes developing interactive applications in Python simple. These applications will involve windows whose contents are graphical and respond ...

Read the full description on Coursera

Prerequisites

A knowledge of high school mathematics is required. While the class is designed for students with no prior programming experience, some beginning programmers have viewed the class as being fast-paced. For students interested in some light preparation prior to the start of class, we recommend a self-paced Python learning site ...

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936 posts

  • urmi halder
    Written 5 months, 1 week ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    the course is too good. its fun learning python.
  • Khoa Le
    Written 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Reasonably Easy
    Successfully Completed
    This is my first online course, so the review can be less critical, but the honest is assured. I have finished this course for self purposes, not for certificate. With some former knowledge in C programming this class isn't challenging and seems pretty easy for me. However, to prepare for my future study where I need to other concepts about OOP, this course provides me some solid understandings to begin with. Depend on what you need, you might find it harder for you. The course is packed with clear explanations a elegant mini project, and it also has the fun and joy.
    The course is well designed with difficulty increases each week. Codeskulptor is definitely a very unique and powerful teaching tool for this class. Every materials I am taught here, I can apply here. It's kind of more desirable for me than how schools teach me many stuffs that I don't even know if I need it in a chosen career path. Most of my time was dedicated in mini projects where new abstract concepts and theories were applied and tested. This is when their knowledge becoming yours.
    Professors are funny, helpful and fluent speakers. They prepare well for the course and for your time, and that makes them inspiring so much.
    You will get a lot values out of this class if you are a beginner. The course is all set up and ready for you to study, you just need some dedication and a little more self researching if needed to get even more than they can offer. Getting your hand dirty with mini projects will be the most enjoyable work where you feel like you can produce practical products. A little warning: You might be inspired and decide to dig further into game programming and get stuck with this path :). Enjoy yourself.
  • RG
    Written 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    Fantastic course. Great instructors. Great content and most of all - fun!
    Note that depending on your experience, your desire to dig further into the concepts, and will to complete all optional exercises, you will need to invest a significant amount of time - especially in the final few weeks. Definitely worth it though.
    Highly recommended.
  • PK
    Written 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    I really enjoyed taking this course. Event driven programming is taught and all the projects were games. Although I'm not looking into game development, the concepts taught were eye-opening and relevant beyond programming games. I could tell that the instructors care about the subject and sharing their knowledge. They want the students to be successful and enjoy themselves. I can tell that a lot of time and care went into developing and creating this course. I've taken a few online beginner programming courses and I thought that this course did the best job of presenting the topic from a computer science perspective. They went beyond teaching the syntax of the programming language. I highly recommend this course.
  • Yan Hua
    Written 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Reasonably Easy
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    Two common issues people often raise when talking about online courses are: 1) Lack of discipline/ learner withdrawal; 2) lack of human touch and interactivity.

    In this course, I firmly believe they succeeded in surpassing the top-rank face-to-face teaching in both aspects:

    First, I felt much closer to Joe and Scott than many of my university lecturers and supervisors, not only because of their personal charm and humorous ways of teaching, but also because of their understanding and care of where students might feel confused, and how they have taking action to make sure we complete each week's course with clarity and a sense of achievement. I can tell there were a lot of hard work behind such accurate learner-insight and the right amount of challenge - which really made this course (and others in the series that I have taken) addictive.

    Second, I used to hate peer-review assignments as often the criteria were too loose and vague to be useful in learning from others. However, this time I loved it, a lot. After doing a challenging piece of work, I just want to see how others made it work - and every assignment showed me different thinking, and I learned so much from it. I felt close to my classmates because we have shared the growth from such challenge. I would probably not feel this way had the course content been easier or the pace been slower.

    Thank you so much for giving us such wonderful learning experience. It is life-changing initiative for many like myself, and you are the ones that make this scary first-step fun and fulfilling.

    It would be nice to see the same team teaching higher level university courses - ideally I love to complete my full Computer Science degree online with you!
  • guoguo
    Written 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Interested
    My first python class, honestly, my first coding class. I definitely will take more class.

    the materials was a little hard for me, as a new student. I need to follow other's template to move on.

    overall, I like this class very much, I like programming games too.

    Thanks
  • gwwny
    Written 5 months, 4 weeks agoFeatured
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed
    Through the development of non-trivial games, this course did an superb job of teaching python, interactive programming in general, and the basics of good programming practice in any language. Employing most of the data types, instructions, and facilities provided in python to build functional, realistic programs was an excellent way to not just present, but to really teach, the use of python. This was an outstanding course, and a fine example of how good computer-based instruction can be.
  • Elazar Newman
    Written 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    I found the course interesting,challenging and extremely well organized. Codeskulptor is a truly fantastic and convenient tool for such a course. The ready templates, though making the programming much easier and taking away some of the challenge, allowed writing relatively advanced programs (i.e. complicated and interesting games) . Also Joe's and Scott's good natured humor provided a pleasant atmosphere to the course. That said, I think there is room for improvement in the video lessons. While Scott's lessons were clear ,logical and very well prepared , the same cannot be said about Joe and John’s. Apart from plain downright mistakes they tend to forget that they are explaining new concepts and run through the material leaving the viewer with only a very general idea of what they are talking about. When for example John introduces the concept "list comprehension" in one of his videos , he fails to explain what “list comprehension actually means ! Similarly in his lesson on the "viz mode" in Python 1 he fails to show how this mode interpretates code commands visually (something which could have been very useful during the course) and just runs through a few examples with no real explanation of what the viz mode does and how it works. Joe's videos suffer from similar problems. Though his videos on the mini projects are good, in his lessons things tend to go haywire. Apart from swallowing words and saying "kind of ..." every few seconds, he makes lots of mistakes and leaves the viewer with a very vague idea about the lesson subject..(His lesson “sprite animation” is an example of this). I finished both courses with a 100% on every single assignment but I had to relearn a lot by myself due to these "holes" in Joe and John’s videos and some things still remain rather vague in my mind.
    So bottom line-excellent course and I’m grateful to all three lecturers for their efforts, but constructive criticism should be taken seriously.
  • Lichen Wang
    Written 6 months ago
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed
    Very good class! Very suitable for beginning programmer! It has lots of help coming from the forum and the TAs. I would highly encourage all of you to take this class.
  • Artyom
    Written 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Reasonably Easy
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    It was really interesting! You can learn Python in 2-3 week as much as possible to build some interesting games!
  • Nipun Sood
    Written 6 months, 1 week ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Successfully Completed
    The content of the course is awesome. Learn a lot new concept which might not be possible to learn so quickly without the course.
    Just love the course and the instructors. They really make Hard things learn easy .
  • Piotr
    Written 6 months, 2 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    Gentle, yet powerful. The course is really well constructed and it's run by great instructors. It's super exciting and if you like nerdy jokes now and then it's a course for you. The first project may not be challenging if you had previous experience, but the final one will blow your mine.
  • Written 6 months, 3 weeks ago (edited)
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    Great class, very good teaching and rewarding projects to complete every week - highly recommended!
  • HerrGill
    Written 6 months, 3 weeks ago
    Materials: Good
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Audited
    I enjoyed the course and the instructors. I felt that there was too much material covered each week. The course should be twice as long. Also I would have liked some written material to Supplement the videos. I am an 81 year old retired electrical engineer and do not need a certificate. Therefore I audited and did not receive feedback as to how well I was doing on the tests and projects. Other Coursera courses have allowed me to take the exams and do the projects without paying for the certificate.
  • Don Roderick
    Written 6 months, 3 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    The most important point I want to re-iterate from Prof. Warren is that for those (such as myself) who have done some programming, but not object-oriented programming, will find that portion of the class a bit difficult, which I certainly did.

    The course is EXTREMELY well laid out. What is expected of the student as well as what to expect in the next lectures are very clear. The instructors are 2 of the best ever. I wish more of my instructors in college had been this nice, interesting, and well-spoken.

    Between many helpful tips and guidance as well as the online help from peers, even a novice programmer should be able to succeed with the proper amount of effort.
  • zr wen
    Written 6 months, 3 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    It is awesome
  • phantom
    Written 7 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    I loved this course, and I have learned valuable things through it.
  • Ashok Yadav
    Written 7 months ago
    Materials: Good
    Difficulty: Easy
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    This course is very good for people who are learning to code. For people who already have a good command on some programming language, it tends to be very easy.
  • PretoriaS
    Written 7 months, 1 week ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Audited
    This is the best class to learn Python from a computer science point of view. The instructors not only introduce language features, but discuss a series of contents like types of variables and object, OO-programming, physics of object moving, GUI design and a lot more.

    All the lessons are very clear, the quality of the videos (specially the sound) is very high. The projects are very fun and with the right amount of challenge for an introductory course.

    In short is the best intro for Python as a general purpose programming language that I've found.
  • Frank the Flower
    Written 7 months, 3 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed
    Fabulous MOOC course. Superb teaching manner, great tools, extremely effective learning experience. A few things stand out that contribute to the quality of this course.
    1. Instructors are terrific. Verbal presentation is easy on the ears, plus the instructors are having fun.
    2. CodeSkulptor runs Python in your browser (seems to work better in Chrome).
    2A. CodeSkulptor's simpleGUI library
    2B. CodeSkulptor has great built-in documentation
    2C. CodeSkulptor even has a debugger called Viz Mode, though I rarely used it.
    3. Practice exercises have templates, solutions, and (for many exercises but not all) an automated checker.
    4. Teaching event-driven programming is a great enabler for many interesting and satisfying projects, leading to great sense of accomplishment.
    Rice Univ team has done a superb job of building this course, and have given painstaking attention to every detail. The world is a richer place for their effort.
  • Garlic Jar
    Written 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    This course is so great! I cannot count how many times I laughed out loud when I was watching videos. The projects are also with lot of fun and definitely worth the time spent on!
  • Mike
    Written 8 months, 1 week ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Successfully Completed
    Amazing class. After taking the quick Code Academy Python course to learn basic syntax, I had no idea where to start to learn to apply that knowledge. I am so glad I landed on this course. I learned so many things in such little time. I will definitely be taking the next courses in this Specialization.
  • Satyam Singh
    Written 8 months, 1 week ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed
    Basic Course provided with all required content .
    Easy to learn even without any programming background .
    Learned many mathematical concepts along with python .

    Good Work by Coursera in providing and organizing the material .
    Scott and Joe are awesome instructors .
    No Cognitive Load while understanding .


    There should be few lectures teaching about the deep concepts
    like why list tuple mutate or not (i.e. on pointer level)

  • Written 8 months, 2 weeks ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    What a treasure these courses are! I've been interested in taking an MOOC for a while - specifically Python programming. I heard about Udacity, but then a programmer friend of mine highly recommended Rice/Coursera's course.
    The instructors are superb, and Codeskultptor - the web-based programming environment created by one of the instructors - is unsurpassed for its ease of use & clarity, not to mention that there's no need to download any software; you can pick up from any other desktop or laptop from where you left off.
    There is also an amiable and good-humoured dynamic throughout. I am rather surprised at how much I learned over 8 or 9 weeks, and I can only doff my hat in appreciation to this course being offered. Oh, projects are really fun, though I didn't find them a piece of cake. But that's a point isn't it, we are here to challenge ourselves too.
    Joshua Ben-Arie ;-)
  • Josh Green
    Written 9 months, 1 week ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    Very high quality class! The instructors are great, the projects are moderately difficult if this is your first foray into coding, and the skills apply beyond just this course. This is the best programming MOOC I've taken so far.

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