Principles of Computing
Principles of Computing 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. This course demystifies and brings those patterns to life, which is useful for anyone using computers today.
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. The course 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
This course is self-paced and is provided free of charge. There are no due dates, and course participants are welcome to work through as much or as little of the material as they wish. There is no instructor involved, and no credit, Statement of Accomplishment, or any type of verification or certification of completion is given. The course is simply here for people who want to learn more about computing.
Zero computer experience is assumed beyond a basic ability to use a web browser.