From Coursera to Udacity Computer Science 101 courses

Feeling confident after Nick Parlante’s more general introduction to Computer Science, I began a new class from another Stanford faculty member and a faculty member from the University of Virginia. This Computer Science 101 course from Udacity uses Python, a web scripting programming language as a tool to build a search engine.

Sample of Udacity video instruction page

Sample of Udacity video instruction page

After beginning in the Spring of 2012, I have yet to complete it. It is less introductory than a 101 classification would imply and demands a lot more involvement in solving problems and building upon the information learned earlier in the course.  Even though it is unfinished its focus on a practical application, like building a search engine, has helped me better understand how web crawlers, like the ones that Google uses, search and gather information about websites.

It also helped me better understand Python and gives me hope that I may be able to someday understand how it works enough to use the python library, pycdm, that Shawn Averkamp created at the University of Iowa to use with CONTENTdm.

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