Jul 15th 2014

CS101: Computer Science 101 (Stanford Online)

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CS101 teaches the essential ideas of Computer Science for a zero-prior-experience audience. Computers can appear very complicated, but in reality, computers work within just a few, simple patterns. CS101 demystifies and brings those patterns to life, which is useful for anyone using computers today.

In CS101, participants play and experiment with short bits of "computer code" to bring to life to the power and limitations of computers. Everything works within the browser, so there is no extra software to download or install. CS101 also provides a general background on computers today: what is a computer, what is hardware, what is software, what is the internet. No previous experience is required other than the ability to use a web browser.


- The nature of computers and code, what they can and cannot do

- How computer hardware works: chips, cpu, memory, disk

- Necessary jargon: bits, bytes, megabytes, gigabytes

- How software works: what is a program, what is "running"

- How digital images work

- Computer code: loops and logic

- Big ideas: abstraction, logic, bugs

- How structured data works

- How the internet works: ip address, routing, ethernet, wi-fi

- Computer security: viruses, trojans, and passwords, oh my!

- Analog vs. digital

- Digital media, images, sounds, video, compression

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