Course Information for Fall 2015
Time: MWF 11-11:50
Place: Lovejoy 215
Prof. Bruce Maxwell (Lectures)
Office: Davis 112
Email: b maxwell _at_ colby _dot_ edu
Office hours: whenever his door is open, Monday evening after orchestra rehearsal, Thursday evenings 7-10pm.
Prof. Stephanie R. Taylor (Labs)
Office: Davis 114
Email: s r taylor _at_ colby _dot_ edu
Office hours: TBA
By appointment (email me), and whenever my door is open
This course is an introduction to computational thinking: how we can describe and solve problems using a computer. The Science Applications section will focus on reading, writing, managing, and analyzing data for scientific and social science applications. These applications will motivate how and why we would would want to write procedures, control the flow of information and processes, and organize information for easy access and manipulation. Through lectures, short homeworks, and weekly programming projects, you will learn about abstraction, how to divide and organize a process into appropriate components, how to describe processes in a computer language, and how to analyze and understand the behavior of their programs. While the projects are focused on scientific and data management applications, the computational thinking skills you learn in this course are applicable to any type of programming or program design you may undertake in the future.
- Students can read a simple program and correctly identify its behavior
- Students can convert a problem statement into a working program that solves the problem.
- Students understand abstraction and can break down a program into appropriate procedural and object-oriented components
- Students can generate an approximate model of computer memory and describe how an algorithm affects its contents.
- Students can communicate the result of their work and describe an algorithm
Links to Python Resources
- Python.org -- This is the main source for all documentation on Python. This documentation can be downloaded to your computer so that you don't need web access to view it. Note that we will be using Python 2.7 in lectures and labs.
- Free Online Books on Python
- How to Think Like a Computer Scientist (Python)
- A Byte of Python
to Think Like a Computer Scientist, Interactive Edition.
This book has video lectures and it has editors where you can write, run, and test code
- Python Practice Book
- The Art and Craft of Programming
- Building Skills in Programming
- Welcome to Python for you and me
- Free Online tutorials in Python
John Zelle, Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science, 1 ed., Franklin Beedle & Associates, 2003.
Note: This textbook is not required. Also note that there is a second edition, but that it is geared for a different version of Python.