Coursera Programming Languages Course

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136 Replies - 62029 Views - Last Post: 30 March 2013 - 02:47 AM

#31 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:25 PM

View PostLemur, on 18 January 2013 - 02:18 PM, said:

Notes are definitely the faster way, but the videos will be good for newer people.


You've got a point there. I just can't imagine spending three hours watching that guy type code, but if you're new to functional languages it might be helpful.

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I'm committing blasphemy against the almighty vim to do this course...


It's interesting learning a new set of reflexes. I never needed a user's manual for vi, though. I've got two inch thick book on my desk to go through for Emacs.
And I'm starting to really want foot pedals for control and meta.
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#32 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

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How is everyone doing? I have about 4 videos left to watch and then I will start on the homework due next Thursday.


Finished the lectures. Plan to do the homework sometime soon.
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#33 rgfirefly24  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:51 PM

I'm getting a late start on it, but I've been listening to the lectures. I plan to go through the lecture notes this weekend and hopefully get the homework done Monday or Tuesday. Being a solely VS guy up til this point it has been interesting setting up and using EMACS.

This post has been edited by rgfirefly24: 18 January 2013 - 01:51 PM

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#34 nick2price  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

Quick question. I have signed up to a course and I cant wait to start. The problem is though, I just want to go through the videos in my own time, and not be forced to meet a homework/test deadlines. I am not interested in accreditation or anything, I just want to have a bit of fun learning. Can I take these courses without doing the homework or tests? I have a lot on my plate atm, so I cant really meet deadlines. Basically, I just want to watch the videos and read the notes.
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#35 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

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Quick question. I have signed up to a course and I cant wait to start. The problem is though, I just want to go through the videos in my own time, and not be forced to meet a homework/test deadlines. I am not interested in accreditation or anything, I just want to have a bit of fun learning. Can I take these courses without doing the homework or tests? I have a lot on my plate atm, so I cant really meet deadlines. Basically, I just want to watch the videos and read the notes.


Yes, they won't disable your account or anything.
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#36 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

View Postnick2price, on 18 January 2013 - 05:21 PM, said:

Quick question. I have signed up to a course and I cant wait to start. The problem is though, I just want to go through the videos in my own time, and not be forced to meet a homework/test deadlines. I am not interested in accreditation or anything, I just want to have a bit of fun learning. Can I take these courses without doing the homework or tests? I have a lot on my plate atm, so I cant really meet deadlines. Basically, I just want to watch the videos and read the notes.


Absolutely. At least, most course materials seem to stay up after the courses are finished, so you should be able to work through the stuff in your own time.
On the other hand, I find the deadlines very helpful - it means I actually do the stuff instead of endlessly meaning to do it. And in most cases the assignments are quite reasonable ones. If you can do them at all, you should be able to muscle through them on the course schedule, assuming you have time to work on the stuff at all. So maybe it makes sense to set yourself the challenge of meeting the deadlines - if you miss the challenge, then you're still pretty much where you're planning on being now, and if you make it, then you've learned the material faster, which seems like a win.
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#37 nick2price  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

How I would love to meet the deadlines, and I will try my best to do so. Its quite difficult though when you are spending about 16 hours a day working (full time job plus several private jobs). I have also signed up for the database course I think Blackcompe posted about, and seeing that this is the area most of my work is based around these days, I think this course will hold more value to me.

I'm not going to lie, but most of my time over the past 2 years has been spent around web development. I am worried that I will start to lose my knowledge of programming languages altogether, which I dont want to happen because I love languages like Java (I should really step out of the box). In my line of work though, there is not really any opportunity to apply these languages. I just need something like these courses to keep me fresh and up to date.

It would be cool if we could get a subforum or something going, with a load of different threads each representing a different course, where we can just discuss the courses with each other. I would love to expand my knowledge in mathematics, but something like this can be difficult when working alone. I think Mac should run his own maths course on here ;-)
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#38 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:26 PM

This course has a pretty heavy functional lean, so fair warning.
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#39 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:21 AM

It's funny, at first the sml syntax seemed sort of heavy and clumsy, but now that I'm writing my tests, I'm finding that I'm really enjoying it. Starting to get the flow of it, I guess.
The emacs part is still a little weird, though.
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#40 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

emacs is a little strange, I use vim at work for most things in linux, but I am getting the hang of it now. I learned more than I wanted to know about how emacs is configured file system wise over windows and linux when trying to set it up at work on my offline box. All good learning experiences I suppose. It is just good knowing I can pick something new like emacs and ML with ease.
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#41 .Aaron  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:56 PM

View Postnick2price, on 18 January 2013 - 09:27 PM, said:

It would be cool if we could get a subforum or something going, with a load of different threads each representing a different course, where we can just discuss the courses with each other.



I'd love to see that happen. Jumping in threads to talk about the material with people is a good way to stay motivated at times. The course forums on coursera are a little too packed though for that to work, at least for me. Here you could keep up with the discussion and have a decent part in it, where on coursera you could have an hours worth of reading if you leave for 20 minutes to grab something to eat.

This post has been edited by .Aaron: 19 January 2013 - 11:56 PM

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#42 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:03 AM

So how's it coming then?
I'm just about ready to turn in the homework - really overdoing the testing I think, but it's interesting. Found some subtle bugs, which I would have just turned in if I hadn't been writing tests.

I just have to test the challenge problems and I'll be good.
(yeah, I'm writing my tests after I've got the code written - bad form, I know)
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#43 .Aaron  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:35 AM

I've got one more lecture to watch, then I'll probably start on the work when i get more time Monday. I started Drugs And The Brain two weeks late and the last quiz is up, so I've been rushing through that course's material the past few days.
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#44 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

Just starting the homework and racking my brain already. I thought I had a good solution for the first problem but apparently not. Back to the white board. I think I need to think less about solving it in the fewest lines of code and just get it done first then see how I could simplify the solution.
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#45 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Coursera Programming Languages Course

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:57 AM

Yes, that's usually the best way. It's easier to improve a working solution than to come up with the perfect one first thing. It's possible that your first go will show you another way to do it that works better - in that case, you can just write another version. For the first one, there's a direct approach, which just asks a set of questions about the two dates, and there's a recursive approach, which asks the same question for each item in the comparands.
The recursive approach requires a helper method to convert a date into a list: this is just a matter of building a list, which is done by putting the terms you want in brackets.

One thing I discovered, which is annoying, is that although you can access members of a tuple as #1, #2, etc, there seems to be no way to access #i, where i is some int variable.

That is, this doesn't work:
let val i = 2
in 
  #i my_tuple
end


which is why the conversion to list.

There is probably an idiom in the langugage to deal with this.
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