June 20, 2013

Introduction to Computer Science : Create a web search engine

Today, we have a VERY interesting website for learning and teaching yourself in many fields (Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics,…) with a lot of tutorials, with experts in each field.
Let’s not go further, and say it : it’s Udacity.

Below is a presentation of one of the first two courses that was launched with that platform. It is an Introduction to Computer Science that shows you step by step how to create a search engine (like Google !!), and gives a lot of information about history,  concepts, and basis of Computer Science.


Class Summary

In this course you will learn key concepts in computer science and learn how to write your own computer programs in the context of building a web crawler.

What Should I Know?

There is no prior programming knowledge needed for this course. Beginners welcome!

What Will I Learn?

At the end of this course, you will have learned key concepts in computer science and enough Python programming to be able to write programs to solve problems on your own. This course will prepare you to move on to more intermediate-level courses in CS.


Lesson 1: How to Get Started

Your first program: Extracting a link

Lesson 2: How to Repeat

Procedures, decisions (if), loops; finding all of the links on a page

Additional Lesson: How to Solve Problems

Universal techniques for solving programming problems

Lesson 3: How to Manage Data

Lists; crawling the web

Lesson 4: Responding to Queries

Complex data structures; building a reverse index to do searches; networks

Lesson 5: How Programs Run

Reasoning about cost; hash tables (Dictionary)

Lesson 6: How to Have Infinite Power

Recursive definitions; ranking search results

Lesson 7: Where to Go from Here

Past, present, and future of computing; exam

Extended Units

(These units were not part of the original (7-week) course, but have been added to the course.)

Lesson 8: How to Learn New Things

Lesson 9: How to Manage Complexity

Lesson 10: How to Reuse Classes

Lesson 11: Programs in the Real World

Now, let’s start building our search engine.

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