Udacity CS 101: Programming

Alright here we are on the second installment of the Udacity CS 101 module! Hope all of us have done pretty well in the First Quiz, and even if you did not, do not get disheartened, good times are ahead!

Programming is really the core of Computer Science

Professor Evans gives a very interesting example, a toaster, haven’t heard of such an example too but I’ve got to say its pretty creative and his drawing is drawsome!

In summary of what Professor Evans has explained (in a very humorous way), a computer is an ultra-fast, instruction processing machine, that does nothing on its own. Seems pretty amazing how we can do almost everything on the computer, surf the net, play video games, watch movies, and yet on its own, a computer is powerless!

And then we are formally introduced to the programming language, Python.

Python logo, courtesy of http://www.python.org

So Python is a program that acts like a middleman between us, the programmers (to-be), and our computers. We code our programs in a human-readable format, i.e. python language, and python will convert our instructions into code that computers understand. In this way we can say Python is an interpreter.

Just a side note, Python is not the only programming language around, though it is really one of the more popular ones. And in the video Professor Evans mentioned a term “high-level programming language”. Basically this term refers to a programming language that is largely human-readable. To get more information you can check out the Wikipedia entry, or check out other lower-level programming language, or if you dare, machine code. Be careful when checking the links, you might be so overwhelmed with information that you will not want to continue learning Python! But rest assured, Python was chosen for CS 101 for a reason, and we will begin to find out.


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