Computer Science W61A

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The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs 61 series is an introduction to computer science, with particular emphasis on software and on machines from a programmer's point of view.

  1. CS 61A concentrates on the idea of abstraction, allowing the programmer to think in terms appropriate to the problem rather than in low-level operations dictated by the computer hardware.
  2. CS 61B deals with the more advanced engineering aspects of software, such as constructing and analyzing large programs.
  3. CS 61C focuses on machines and how they execute programs.

In CS 61A, we are interested in teaching you about programming, not about how to use one particular programming language. We consider a series of techniques for controlling program complexity, such as functional programming, data abstraction, and object-oriented programming.

CS 61A primarily uses the Python 3 programming language. Python is a popular language in both industry and academia. It is also particularly well-suited to the task of exploring the topics taught in this course. It is an open-source language developed by a large volunteer community that prides itself on the diversity of its contributors. We will also use two other languages in the latter half of the course: the Scheme programming language and the Structured Query Language (SQL). Mastery of a particular programming language is a very useful side effect of CS 61A. However, our goal is not to dictate what language you use in your future endeavors. Instead, our hope is that once you have learned the concepts involved in programming, you will find that picking up a new programming language is but a few days' work.

There will be four online lecture videos posted each week, as well as two lab and two discussion sections that are held via video conference. Some participation in the online sections is a scored part of the course, just as participation in the section is a scored component of the on-campus course.

An example course syllabus that describes the course and grading policies and further information about the online format.

Class Number: 15830
Final Exam: Thursday, August 15, 2019 from 5 p.m.- 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PT)
Register/Add Deadline: Friday, June 21, 2019 at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (PT)