What does one do in Computer Science 1?

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squareroot
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What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby squareroot » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:27 pm UTC

-That is, the first year of a standard high school "computer science" course. 'Nuff said..
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby fazzone » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:26 am UTC

Programming. As in, not computer science. It is extremely unlikely that you would be doing anything considered computer science, i.e. data structures / algorithms. Then again, I've heard of schools having classes taught in Scheme, where I suppose you would learn a lot more computer-sciency stuff. But, in all likelihood, all you will be doing in your first year (especially in high school) is learning basic Java.
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby squareroot » Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:19 am UTC

Well, I'd guessed that... I have yet to meet one other kid my age who knows what a class is. I'm just curious how far the actually gets.
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby Sagekilla » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:13 am UTC

I had the luxury of going to a private school where the one computer science class was essentially a joke.

We were taught history. Nothing really wrong with that, just not what you'd expect in a CSC class. Then after that, we learned BASIC. Yes, BASIC. I took this class my senior year in high school, which was 3 years ago now.

Hopefully, with all luck you'll have much better luck and even if you just learn how to use a programming language it'll be something like Java.
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby squareroot » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:26 am UTC

Well, the thing is I've already taught myself Java - a lot of it, in fact. (With the aid of Google and these forums, of course). I've gotten as far as interfaces and generics - I think I've pretty much got all the syntactic constructs... Now I'm working through the USACO training pages, trying to understand various sorting algorithms and graph searching algorithms, more complicated data structures, etc...

My school does have a pretty good computer science program, from what I understand; it's all taught in Java, and every year the CS department helps program a robot that the school enters in the FIRST robotics competition - and we've always done pretty well.

The thing is, it's just now occurring to me if there will be anything really new in the class next year. :?
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby Sagekilla » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:48 am UTC

Sometimes it does help to go back to the basics, even if you've already learned it.

I did a internship in the Physics department at my Uni back in summer of 2009 (I'm Physics/Comp Sci major), and I essentially wrote a matrix library to do some eigenvalue stuff.
I spent a good year (including that summer) learning C++ to get a good understanding so I wasn't flying blind when I had to do the simulations.
The next year, I took the C++ course my university offered and even though it was an intro class, I picked up a couple of things I didn't see the first time through learning it on my own.

So, even if you've had some good experience with Java, the class certainly won't hurt (Unless your teacher forces you do things a bad way). You may learn some useful things or it can clarify some things.

I'm jealous though, that your high school is even that good w.r.t a computer science education.
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby walkerm930 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:01 am UTC

you're lucky.
My year one comp. sci. consisted of doing some ergonomics writeups for the first 2-3 weeks then some simple programs in Visual Basic using Visual Studio 2005 in 2009. Java wasn't available until grade 12.
Man was that thing outdated. (this may not seem that outdated, but things have changed alot since than)
By simple i mean: do this function(you may or may not have made) when the user clicks this button, with theses parameters, from these various text boxes.
The course was more about string parsing than anything else.
Sometimes you had do do more than one level of indentation. those ones were really hard :roll:
The hardest program was a blackjack game (it's not that complicated of a game when you think about it) where the computer's cards were determined at the beginning of the hand.
There were only 2 players, you and the computer. No pressure to use any kind of structures, EVERYTHING was in event handlers
Of course that was after me and my friend (we were the same type of people as you) were put in the next course up on account of being to good :roll:
We ended up finishing the course a month early.
[/rant]

Though on the other hand your school seems to have better classes.
Be aware though, there will be people who will be very slow and not get things, my advice is to be patient.
You probably won't be challenged that much in your first year so i wouldn't be worried.

What's the name of your course? Mine was "Introduction to Programming" which is what it was.
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby squareroot » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:31 am UTC

The name of the course I'm going to be in is "AP Computer Science". I really hope it's more interesting than yours, walkerm930... that sounds so sad... when I hear that type of thing, I realize how lucky I am to have the computer science class I do!

I guess that next year I'll just play along, and maybe I can get the teacher to allow me some independent study or something. I know I won't be the only one; I have a friend (who also reads xkcd) who did his 8th grade science fair project on file compression, it was CRAZY.
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby Dason » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:52 am UTC

In high school I think we may have had one web programming class. And by that I mean you learned horrible html habits. I never took it but I looked at the code from some of my friends pages were pretty bad. But this was... 6 years ago?
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Bipod
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby Bipod » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

squareroot wrote:The name of the course I'm going to be in is "AP Computer Science". I really hope it's more interesting than yours, walkerm930... that sounds so sad... when I hear that type of thing, I realize how lucky I am to have the computer science class I do!

I guess that next year I'll just play along, and maybe I can get the teacher to allow me some independent study or something. I know I won't be the only one; I have a friend (who also reads xkcd) who did his 8th grade science fair project on file compression, it was CRAZY.

I'm taking AP Computer Science right now, and it's mainly an introduction to Java, basic data types, etc. The most advanced it gets is mergesorts really. :? AP Comp. Sci. AB, which they stopped offering, would have gone into things like big-O and even things like heaps, stacks etc. The curriculum is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_P ... er_Science <-- there. I look at it like at least you get AP credit, right?

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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby kilik » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:00 pm UTC

Oh shoot right, I was wondering why you guys were quoting AP Comp sci as only going that far. I had forgot that since my Sophomore year in HS they dropped AB. Because we also went through Maps, Queue's, etc. Though Graphics (after the AP) was also pretty nice (though in class they just tought us how to use paint() and the Event interfaces with an applet to make simple programs).

Was still lovely and I'm glad I took it. A lot of it was simple but there were sufficient labs in which I was allowed -- if desired -- to actually go out and write the underlying stuff myself and do a proper UI with input checks and all. (Since then it's just been this mentorship thing where I work with a team to make a program for a year, which is lovely in itself and which I used as an outlet to study path finding and all that).

Good luck.

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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby Tirian » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:43 am UTC

Bipod wrote:I look at it like at least you get AP credit, right?


Maybe. It's up to the college you go to whether they will apply an AP grade as course credit. I can tell you that back in my day a 5 on the AB wasn't even good enough for Carnegie Mellon to waive the mandatory programming course for non-majors.

Of course, I'm sure a college is at least marginally happier knowing that you took an AP course than if you hadn't, and you have a taste of what a college programming course would be like.

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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby Bipod » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:44 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:Maybe. It's up to the college you go to whether they will apply an AP grade as course credit. I can tell you that back in my day a 5 on the AB wasn't even good enough for Carnegie Mellon to waive the mandatory programming course for non-majors.

(I'm assuming you speak from experience here.)
Ouch.

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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby walkerm930 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:19 am UTC

Yeah I probably should have mentioned that I live in Canada, specifically the Niagara region, in a city with 50 000 people...
Though i am happy that Waterloo isn't that far away :D
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:42 pm UTC

My high school was an arts school, it didn't have any sort of tech program.

Instead of my junior and seniors years of high school I'm now going to community college, which is nice in that I do get to do a computer science course earlier than I otherwise would, but isn't nice in that it's a community college computer science course. The necessary classes for the major are pretty much just "learn how to program in these languages you knew by the time you were 13." At the way later level there's actual computer science, but it's a couple semesters before I get there :/
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby stolid » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:56 am UTC

If it was anything like my class, you learn Java. I feel sorry for you in that case.

(I hate Java. The damn AP test ruined the class - the class before us got to learn C++. They even did OpenGL. :( )
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Re: What does one do in Computer Science 1?

Postby squareroot » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:15 am UTC

stolid wrote:If it was anything like my class, you learn Java. I feel sorry for you in that case.

(I hate Java. The damn AP test ruined the class - the class before us got to learn C++. They even did OpenGL. :( )

I like Java. It's feels... straightforward? I don't know. That does kind of suck that learned OpenGL and you didn't, though. :(
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