Coursera Programming Languages Course

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#1 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:43 AM

Is anyone doing the programming languages course on Coursera? It uses Racket, Ruby and ML as vehicles to teach some advanced programming concepts. I'm looking forward to the introductions to the three languages as well as learning more about programming in general.

The course starts on Monday and I'm pretty excited about it. It might be cool to set up a DIC study group if there are a few of us doing it. There's also still time to sign up if you are interested.

https://class.course...001/class/index

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#2 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:05 AM

I signed up for the course. i have been looking for something like this to expand my knowledge without the normal just get the book and go through it. I like structure and deadlines and it is always fun to work with others. A study group sounds good to me, hopefully some more will sign up.
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#3 AnalyticLunatic  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:26 AM

I would sign up for this course, but unfortunately I have my own college courses beginning again on Tuesday. Basically I'll be working 7-4 and in class 5:15-10:30 on Tuesdays/Thursdays, so I don't think I'll have the time to devote to it this time around.

Still, I had never heard of Coursera before, so thanks for the link and I'll keep my eye out! ^^
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#4 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

Cool. I'm just done installing emacs and sml. Getting impatient for Monday now!

AnalyticLunatic: I get the impression that a lot of coursera courses get repeated. I think the instructor intends to repeat this one too and there is always the possibility that the material will remain online.
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#5 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

Looks interesting. Not that I don't have enough to do, but I'll at least be following along.

As always, I'm extremely frustrated by the lack of assigned reading material. The idea that you can get anything useful out of a college-level course without ever being asked to crack a textbook seems insane to me.
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#6 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:48 AM

Yeah I was expecting to see some more reading material. The course notes hint to some pdf files that will contain instructor notes and notes on the videos, but I guess no actual textbook like material.
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

View Postcfoley, on 11 January 2013 - 11:27 AM, said:

AnalyticLunatic: I get the impression that a lot of coursera courses get repeated. I think the instructor intends to repeat this one too and there is always the possibility that the material will remain online.



Most coursera courses are left up, and the grading machinery is left in place, so you can always take the course. You don't get the "certificate of achievement" unless you take it in real time, but that's really not worth the paper it's printed on - and it's not even printed on paper.

@cfoley - what does a "study group" look like to you? If I take the course for realsies (along with Crypto 2? Mmmmaybe) I'd definitely want to have someone to bounce the material off of.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 11 January 2013 - 09:50 AM

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#8 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:19 AM

I'd sign up but I'm doing the networking and EE fundamentals course. Coursera is really taking off! There are so many awesome courses. It's hard to choose.

Quote

@cfoley - what does a "study group" look like to you? If I take the course for realsies (along with Crypto 2? Mmmmaybe) I'd definitely want to have someone to bounce the material off of.


I doubt I'll take Crypto 2. It was a good class, but it got boring after a while. All those 'Alice and Bob' scenarios were a bit mind numbing and all that theory was quite a bit to digest.

This post has been edited by blackcompe: 11 January 2013 - 11:23 AM

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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:31 AM

Again, a good text made a huge difference. I got hold of Schneier and Ferguson's book Practical Cryptography midway through the class, and I wish I'd had it from the start. They get all of the ground work out of the way, so you can actually learn something from the lecture.

The math still kicked my ass, but that's to be expected. I don't know math, of course it's going to be hard.
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#10 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:48 AM

Quote

The math still kicked my ass, but that's to be expected. I don't know math, of course it's going to be hard.


The number theory lectures were rough.

Quote

You don't get the "certificate of achievement" unless you take it in real time, but that's really not worth the paper it's printed on - and it's not even printed on paper.


EdX just introduced proctored exams that you can take at any authorized testing center.
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#11 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

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@cfoley - what does a "study group" look like to you? If I take the course for realsies (along with Crypto 2? Mmmmaybe) I'd definitely want to have someone to bounce the material off of.


What would one look like? I haven't really thought through the specifics so I'm open to suggestions. What would be great is to get a nice group of us together to regularly talk about the material. A good peer group is at least as valuable as a good instructor.

I'm writing as I think here but it might be good to have a thread going, not specifically for getting help, but as you say for bouncing ideas off each other. If we make a commitment to each other to post our thoughts regularly, we could all learn a lot.
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#12 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

Well, it looks interesting. The material for the first week is up, so I'm going to take a look now.

I've also pulled my copy of Essentials of Programming Languages off the shelf, which looks like it might parallel the material nicely. If there isn't going to be a proper textbook, maybe I can make this work.

As for the study group, keep me posted. I'll have been through the material by some time tomorrow evening, if you want to have a blather about it over whatever channel, I'm game.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 13 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

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#13 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:35 PM

I am with jon on this. Just let me know. I am willing to share my thoughts on the course. Downloading the materials and required software now.
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#14 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

About halfway through the lectures. So far: ML seems like a great language to have gotten away from.
Interesting to see how much it's influenced Scala, though.

Don't think I can take much more of this dragging pace. I'm going to fade back to the lecture notes before I fall asleep.
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#15 .Aaron  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

I just started this too. Actually in the middle of lecture, and found this topic will browsing the site ti keep myself from getting bored as they went over all the overly basic stuff. Though after reading this all I think we need a cryptography study group more. :sarcasm: I'm planning on starting up that one as well.
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