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CS 1110: Introduction to Computing Using Python

Fall 2014

Alternatives to CS 1110

CS 1110 is a 4 credit course designed for freshmen and sophomores. While it offers an introduction to computer programming concepts, it goes a lot deeper than that. It also emphasizes techniques of problem analysis and the development and analysis of algorithms. Depending on your needs, you may find that other classes are a better fit.

CS 1133: The Short Course

CS 1110 is not an ideal class for graduate students who need to learn some programming for their research. It involves a significant amount of work both in and out of class; the typical graduate student does not have time for all this work. In our experience, most graduate students drop the course in the first month.

CS 1133 is a 1-credit course that focuses on the basics in programming in Python. It does not include a lot of the computer science material that CS 1110, but it is enough to get you up and running in Python, if you need to use it for another class. This is the course that we recommend for graduate students.

If you look at the Course Catalogue you may see that CS 1133 requires experience in another language. This is no longer the case. We have revamped this course so that it assumes no previous programming experience.

Other Introductory Courses

CS 1112 is the primary alternative to CS 1110. Both courses are designed to prepare students for CS 2110 and future computer science courses. CS 1110 has a slight emphasis on software application development. CS 1112, which uses MatLab, and has a slight emphasis on scientific computation. While CS 1113 assumes not programming experience, it does require a firm background in mathematics and at least one semester of calculus. If you are engineering student whose interests lie outside the digital major cluster (CS, ECE, ORIE, ISST), you might consider that course instead.

In the fall semester you may also take CS 1115, which is a faster paced version of the MatLab course that includes graphical user interfaces. This allows it to focus on topics such as scientific visualization that are beyond the scope of CS 1112. This course requires some previous programming experience (in any language).

In the spring semester, you may take CS 1114, a fast-paced introduction to computer science using camera-controlled robots. As with CS 1115, this course requires some previous programming experience (in any language).

You should refer to http://www.cs.cornell.edu/ugrad/FirstCSCourse/index.htm for more information about these courses.

Nontraditional Alternatives

If you are shopping around for a "first course" to take in programming or computer science, it is worth examining some of the offering by the Information Science department. INFO 1100 covers many of the same topics as CS 1110, but does it through "Media Programming". Media Programming is a very visual programming style that focuses on manipulating images and creating media. If you are an art or architecture student, this course might be more appealing to you than CS 1110.

INFO 1300 is a course on design and programming for the web. This course does not cover as many computer science concepts as either CS 1110 or INFO 1100. However, it does an excellent job emphasizing program design, and is one of the best courses available for this.

Course Material Authors: D. Gries, L. Lee, S. Marschner, & W. White (over the years)