This course is an accelerated introduction to college-level computer science. Our Anticipated Frequent Questions explains how you get into the course.
In this course, we’ll be using a programming language called Pyret, in which we will practice functional programming. (We don’t assume you know anything about either, and will teach you both from scratch.) We will actually use only a tiny sliver of Pyret, not exposing you—much as we’d love to!—to its many powerful features, because this isn’t a course about Pyret. Rather, it’s a course about software construction, which means: being able to design programs, and being able to translate designs into implementations. Designing software means making wise choices about data structures, algorithms, and program organization. Implementing means more than just writing code: it means making wise decisions about systems and interfaces.
Spartan doesn’t mean we won’t have fun! We will write programs with images and animation; we’ll write games; and we’ll see how all these things can be done using just simple concepts. Indeed, it is precisely by engaging with these real-world computing platforms and phenomena with simple tools that you can best study the essence of the important ideas of computer science.