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Partnership with MIT Harvard edX

 Find your future now at MassBay Community College

New Course: Practical Python Programming


CS 270 resized


Register for this course! New to MassBay?

Click here for the registration form or call 781.239.2500 for more information and to register.
Returning Student?
  1. Meet with your Advisor or stop by the Academic Advising Center to ensure you are on track to fulfill the obligations of your program.
  2. Register for classes.

MassBay Community College has entered into a partnership with edX, the world’s leading online-learning initiative founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Along with Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MassBay has become the first community college to work with edX to bring revolutionary teaching models to the classroom. Through this first-of-its-kind program, edX will transform classroom education by helping community colleges connect the passion of on-campus students and faculty with resources developed by leading online professors throughout the world.

This fall, we will be offering a course entitled “Practical Python Programming,” CS 270-750.  This course is a mix of in-class and online learning and will be taught by a seasoned MassBay professor, Harold Riggs, PhD., using edX course materials and virtual tools.  Students who complete the course will earn three (3) MassBay college credits, which may be applied toward some MassBay certificate or degree programs, and may transfer to many baccalaureate programs. Students meeting academic requirements also receive a Certificate of Completion from MITx.


No prior expertise with computers is required. Seats are limited.


CS 270-750  Practical Python Programming
Blended-Hybrid COURSE – FALL 2013

A MassBay Pilot Course based on MITx 6.00x 

This course is being offered in collaboration with edX

MassBay Instructor:

 
 Harold Riggs, PhD.


 
Class Meetings:




 
 Just 50 minutes in-class per week on the Wellesley Hills campus: starts September 3, 4, or 6, 2013
     Tuesday 11:00-11:50 am; OR
     Wednesday 11:00-11:50 am ; OR
     Friday 11:00-11:50am

 
Required Resources:





 
 A reliable, high-speed Internet connection.
A computer with Python 2.7 + matplotlib + numpy
     All free and freely-downloadable software;
     runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows machines
Suggested free text: (pdf version and html version)
     Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

 
Credits/Cost: 3-credit course;  $562 in-state; $1,180 non-resident;
Prerequisite: MA 98 Intermediate Algebra or equivalent


What is this course really about?
While it involves programming in Python, it is not primarily about learning to program in Python; rather it is about the process of using the computer to solve problems.  That said, this goal can only be accomplished by writing, reading, and understanding programs.


Why Python?
It is easy to learn and is used everywhere (gaming, 3-D graphics, business, biotech, animation, manufacturing, etc.)


What value does this course have for you?
The kind of precise but strategic thinking that is needed to write computer programs is similar to the kind of thinking needed to understand the arguments that appear in any field of study.  Perhaps this more than anything else can make what you learn in this course of lasting value.  Upon successful completion of this course you will have:

  • practical experience with a wide variety of computer science techniques
  • practice implementing these techniques using Python
  • the ability to write medium-size Python programs
  • practice with the simple mathematical reasoning required for a basic understanding of computer science algorithms
  • and finally, exposure to many real-world technical applications through the creation or modification of short Python scripts.

How does this course work?
This hybrid course is partially online and partially in class. It is based on edX's MITx 6.00x course entitled Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. You will register for the MassBay CS 270-750 course and be enrolled online in a version of edX's 6.00x course; watch the online videos; perform the online exercises (with instant scoring, feedback, and multiple submission attempts permitted); submit the online homework (with instant scoring, feedback, and multiple submission attempts allowed); and take the online tests (with instant scoring) just like any other edX 6.00x student. In addition, you will receive 50 minutes a week of orientation and in-class support at MassBay in order to ensure your learning success. The aim of the in-class sessions is to help you master the material.




About the MITx course on which CS 270 is based:
6.00x is a survey course that provides an introduction to using computational thinking to solve real problems. In this course you will be learning the basics of computer programming using Python, the fundamentals of computation, as well as getting the opportunity to implement your own Python functions.  

The goal of this course is to provide students with a brief introduction to many topics so they will have an idea of what is possible when they need to think about how to use computation to accomplish some goal later in their professional and academic careers. That said, it is not a "computation appreciation" course. It is a challenging and rigorous course in which the students spend time and effort learning to bend the computer to their will.


Course Prerequisites:
Algebra


Additional Requirements:
Regular access to a computer with reliable internet connection to view and complete edX online lecture sequences and exercises.




Disclaimer: This course is part of a special project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore how course curricula designed through edX, an online learning project from Harvard and MIT, can be offered in community college settings.  Students who enroll in this class will have the opportunity to participate in a group interview about their experience in the course.  Responses will be kept anonymous. All interviews will be conducted by an external reviewer not affiliated with MassBay, edX or MIT.

 


Register for this course! New to MassBay?

Click here for the registration form or call 781.239.2500 for more information and to register.
Returning Student?
  1. Meet with your Advisor or stop by the Academic Advising Center to ensure you are on track to fulfill the obligations of your program.
  2. Register for classes.