Computer Science for Everyone, IDC1000

A new online course where students will learn about the 7 Big Ideas of Computing


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  • Computing is creative and engenders innovation
  • Abstraction reduces details and allows the solving of problems
  • Data facilitates the creation of knowledge
  • Algorithms express solutions to complex problems
  • Programming results in the creation of software
  • Digital devices and the internet have had profound effects on society
  • Computing enables innovation in other fields such as medicine, engineering, science, humanities


Students will also learn how to create computerAI2 programs using Python, and will design and program their own mobile Android apps using MIT App Inventor. In Python, students will learn basic programming techniques, including branching,loops, and calculations. In MIT App Inventory, students will learn how to make simple simulations, apps, and games.

Students will see the relevance of computing applications and simulations in various disciplines in the modern world.

About IDC1000

IDC1000 is an introductory course that could be taken at any time, freshmen through senior. However, it is most beneficial to students who are freshmen or sophomores, since the class will introduce them to the world of computing, and may serve as an inspiration to explore further classes in the School of Computing and Information Sciences, SCIS.

bitsThe first half of the course revolves around reading a book called “Blown to Bits,” an 8-chapter, thought-provoking book reflecting on the impact of computer technology in a vast variety of fields.  It involves reading, watching videos, participating in discussion boards, taking quizzes, and doing a couple of small projects.

pythonThe second half of the course introduces students to the world of programming. First, they learn a little bit of Python, how to install it on their laptops, and how to program very basic computing concepts such as if-statements, loops, and variables. After 3 weeks of Python, students spend the remaining 4 weeks learning MIT App Inventor. This is a tool that involves applying computing concepts to create apps for the Android operating system. Students go through 5 tutorials where they create basic apps, and then are given the opportunity to create an app of their own design, incorporating one of their favorite chapters in the “Blown to Bits” book. That way, they integrate what they learned in the first half of the course, with what they learn in the second half of the

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