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1) I will be doing MIT 6.00x course. Are the materials (contents) for this course the same as for MIT 6.00? Answer: The material will be similar if not identical to the material provided for 6.00. The material can be found here: For 2008: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-00-introduction-to-computer-science-and-programming-fall-2008/ For 2011: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-00sc-introduction-to-computer-science-and-programming-spring-2011
2) I find it hard to believe that I can take a class online and learn without creating a debt I will never be able to pay off. Do we really get feedback in the form of an actual grading system? Answer: Even though it's a free online course, there will be an actual grading system as described in the syllabus of the course. I have copied the relevant section below for your convenience! Grading Policy In this course there will be many types of assignments. Your final grade will be a weighted average of the following: • Finger exercises (available within each lecture video sequence) – 5% • Problem sets – 15% • Midterm exam 1 – 20% • Midterm exam 2 – 20% • Final exam – 40% In order to earn a certificate for 6.00x, students must pass the course with a grade of C or better. The following grading breakdown will apply: • >= 80%: A • >= 65%: B • >= 55%: C The syllabus for the 6.00x course can be found here: https://www.edx.org/static/content-mit-600x~2012_Fall/handouts/6.00x_syllabus.5c9cae040ec5.pdf
3) I know the book isn't required and I can use another simple python resource, will any suffice? Answer: Taken from the course's syllabus: A textbook for 6.00x is now available for purchase ($24.99) - expect the book to take at least 10 days to arrive (North America; rest of the world may take longer). The book and the course lectures parallel each other, though there is more detail in the book about some topics. The book is NOT required. We will not be referring to it in assignments or depending upon it to cover holes in the lectures. If you choose not to purchase this book, you will probably find it useful to buy or borrow another book that covers Python - you might check your local public library's resources, or search online for a free Python text, such as this one.
4) I am just a beginner to computer science and have no prior experience with programming. How should I approach? Answer: Just read the material as they come along. The 6.00x course does not assume any prior knowledge in computer science or programming! The only prerequisites mentioned in the syllabus are the following: "High school algebra and a reasonable aptitude for mathematics."
5) How are they going to compute our hours per week? Is there any website that we should log the hours we study? In the About page of the course it mentions 12 hours/week estimated effort. Answer:The 12 hours/week mentioned in the About page of the course is indicative of the effort we need to spend on the course. There is no website to log the time we spend on studying or going through the material. No one will be checking upon you. This is a free online course that anyone who wishes to learn can register and it is up to the individual to decide the effort and hours put on this course.
6) What is the format of the class? Answer: The class will consist of lecture videos, which are broken into small chunks, usually between eight and twelve minutes each. Some of these may contain integrated "check-yourself" questions. There will also be programming assignments and standalone exams/quizzes, which are not part of the video lectures. *This whole question/answer has been taken from the FAQ section within the About page of the course.
7) Do I need to watch the lectures live? Answer: No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure - you do not need to watch the lectures at any set time. *This whole question/answer has been taken from the FAQ section within the About page of the course.
8) How can I register to the 6.00X course? Answer: Please use the following link and press the "REGISTER FOR 6.00X" button at the top of the page: https://www.edx.org/courses/MITx/6.00x/2012_Fall/about
9) FAQ from the About page of the course What type of computing environment do I need for this course? Answer: You need to have a computer running one of the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows, version XP or greater (XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7) Apple OSX, version 10.2 or greater Linux - most distributions that have been released within the past two years should work In addition, you will need the ability to download, install, and run software on your computer. What is the format of the class? Answer: The class will consist of lecture videos, which are broken into small chunks, usually between eight and twelve minutes each. Some of these may contain integrated "check-yourself" questions. There will also be programming assignments and standalone exams/quizzes, which are not part of the video lectures. How can I learn more about the course content? Answer: Please watch the video on this page that we recorded especially for this offering of the course. Will the text of the lectures be available? Answer: Yes, transcripts of the course will be made available. Do I need to watch the lectures live? Answers: No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure - you do not need to watch the lectures at any set time. How much does it cost to take the course? Answer: Nothing: the course is free. The recommended textbook is not free However, this textbook is not required. Please see the top of this page, under the section "About 6.00X", for more information about the textbook. Will certificates be awarded? Answer: Yes. Online learners who achieve a passing grade in a course can earn a certificate of mastery. These certificates will indicate you have successfully completed the course, but will not include a specific grade. Certificates will be issued by edX under the name of either HarvardX, MITx or BerkeleyX, designating the institution from which the course originated. For the courses in Fall 2012, honor code certificates will be free. What programming language(s) will this course use? Answer: 6.00x will be using the Python programming language, version 2.7. You are not expected to have any prior programming knowledge - this course is intended for students who have little to no experience with any programming language. Is there a syllabus available? Answer: Yes. A syllabus is available here: https://www.edx.org/static/content-mit-600x~2012_Fall/handouts/6.00x_syllabus.5c9cae040ec5.pdf. Additional information about the course will be posted when the course starts, on October 1st. If you have any questions about edX generally, please see the edX FAQ. If you have any further questions about 6.00x that are not answered in this or the edX FAQ, please email email@example.com. *This whole section has been taken from the About page of the course. Please visit the About page of the course at https://www.edx.org/courses/MITx/6.00x/2012_Fall/about to follow the links available.
10) What are the key dates for the course? Answer: - Start Date: 1 October 2012 - Midterm Exam 1: 1 - 4 November 2012 - Midterm Exam 2: 6 – 9 December 2012 - Final Exam: 10 – 14 January 2013
11) I don't want to pay for a python book. Are there other alternatives that I can get for free? Answer: If you choose not to purchase this book, you will probably find it useful to buy or borrow another book that covers Python - you might check your local public library's resources, or search online for a free Python text, such as this one: http://www.greenteapress.com/thinkpython/ *This answer has been taken from the About page of the course.
12) Which version of python should I be using? Answer: 6.00x will be using the Python programming language, version 2.7. You are not expected to have any prior programming knowledge - this course is intended for students who have little to no experience with any programming language. *This answer has been taken from the About page of the course.
13) Where can I download the correct version of Python from? Answer: You can download Python 2.7.3 from the following location: http://www.python.org/download/releases/2.7.3/
Chris, PSET1 for Fall2012 6.00X says the class will use the Enthought Python distribution, not the one from python.org. The link is this: http://www.enthought.com/products/epd_free.php I haven't read ahead enough in the course materials to know for sure, but people usually use Enthought because a bunch of python packages for scientific computing (SCIPY, NUMPY, IPYTHON, MATPLOTLIB, TRAITS, & CHACO) are pre-integrated. So, if those are used in the course at all, people will be confused if they start out with the python.org release.
there is at least one pset in the 2008 and 2011 courses that use matplotlib
I have had problems since installing Enthought sweet on macs running latest OSX See my previous posts! Enthought were unable to solve probs and suggested it was a problem with Mac OSX