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FREE ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE COURSES IN THE USA

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USA’s accredited institutes provide computer science education with the primary concentrations in the study of computational system, machine programming, computer programming languages, practical application, humans’ interaction with technology, and humans’ need for computer and other technology. Things were going fine. Everyone was getting all these increased retentions of computer science fundamentals in schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutes across all states of America, but Alas! Coronavirus has struck amidst this.

For Further Reading: ONLINE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE IN USA – TOP TEN INSTITUTES

Currently, the situation is not good in the USA, and traditional education is one of the most affected. The Coronavirus has dramatically changed the USA’s education scenario, and the kids are out of school because the pandemic has shut classrooms all across the globe. Adults, in general, and children specifically are staying at home most of the time.

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In this regard, e-learning or online education is becoming the need of the hour. So the curated list of free online computer science courses in the USA is arranged below to help a student improve his or her sophisticated technological and programming skills. These courses include free tutorials, pieces of training, free resources, certifications, and online classes as per students’ comfort. Below are a few examples of free online courses.

  1. CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science

CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science | edX

  • CS106A-Programming Methodology

Stanford Engineering Everywhere | CS106A – Programming Methodology

  • Fundamentals of Computing

Fundamentals of Computing Specialization – Rice Online Learning

  • CS50’s  Web Programming with Python and JavaScript

CS50’s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript (harvard.edu)

  • Python for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)

Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) | Michigan Online (umich.edu)

The Rise of E-Learning in the USA during Pandemic-2020

As we all know that 2020 has set in as a pandemic year, and the virus might stay forever in the USA and other parts of the world. Therefore education experts are focusing more on the e-learning alternative. In these trying times, free online computer science courses from USA’s accredited colleges and universities affiliated with other educational platforms such as edX, Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, etc. These courses come up as a great solution to the don’t-go-to-college problem. As the whole world is in a state of lockdown, prospective students have a golden opportunity to learn sophisticated skills from computer industry experts without spending a dime. Hence, all the world is witnessing The rise of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

Post-Pandemic E-Learning Scenario in the USA

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Computer Science

The shift from traditional classrooms to online learning of computer science education has wondered the United States’ education market primarily because of the quality education, practical implementation, enhancement of programming, and technological skills. Besides, the retention of cognitive and perceptual powers, absorbing information for problem-solving skills, and improving the memory faculty while taking less time is a fantastic treat for landing into the computer science industry.

Computer Science Courses

Following is the detailed description of the best free online computer science courses in the USA to cope with the trying times of pandemic while disseminating quality computer science education through online learning technology across the United States:

CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science- Harvard University

In collaboration with edX, Harvard University presents this course to help prospective learners get the fundamentals of intellectual enterprises of computer science with the add-on of the art of programming. It is a self-paced course to help students think efficiently and algorithmically after getting a robust understanding of computer science fundamentals.

Prerequisites

Students of any academic background can enroll in the course.

Level

The course is designed for beginners and covers introductory lessons through video transcripts in English.

Instructors

David J. Malan is the leading instructor of CS50’s course. He is serving at Harvard University as a professor of the Practice of Computer Science. Doug Lloyd and Brian Yu are also instructing this course. They both are senior preceptors in Computer Science at Harvard University.

Duration

The course is 12 weeks’ duration and is entirely self-paced on a learner’s time. A hardworking enrollee has to put in his/her 6-18 hours effort per week.

Curriculum

This HarvardX course curriculum includes algorithms, abstraction, data structures, software engineering, resource management, security, and encapsulation. The course teaches programming languages such as SQL, JavaScript, Python, C, HTML, and JavaScript plus CSS.

Course Fee

The course is free of cost. A prospective student can cover the course within 12 weeks and performs satisfactorily on nine sets. In the final project, that student is eligible to apply for the verified certificate, which is paid.

Certificate Fee

The certificate demands $199 for the institution’s logo and instructor’s sign for the official verification of the student’s achievement. 

Skills You Will Gain
  • Computer programming languages
  • Dynamic programming
  • Basic computing

CS106A-Programming Methodology- Stanford University

The CS106A is an introductory programming course offered by Stanford Engineering Everywhere Online to teach Java programming language and its built-in facilities. It is one of the most extensive courses offered by Stanford. Therefore, it requires considerable hard work and dedication to earn the certificate.

Prerequisites

A prospective learner with any educational background can earn the CS106A certificate. The course requires no prerequisites or previous background in computer or programming.

Level

It is an introductory computer science course of programming for beginners.

Instructor

Instructor Mehran Sahami is instructing the course to serve as a computer science professor at Stanford University in the Department of Computer Science. 

Notes

The course uses a laptop or a computer with Python version 3 installed to do more extensive exercises.

Curriculum

Topics cover an introduction to the engineering of computer applications, object-oriented design, and basic programming. Also, the curriculum includes hands-on projects on abstraction, testing, encapsulation, and decomposition. Students can download the syllabus, course materials, handouts, assignments from the website at no charge.

Flexibility of Course

 This course is flexible enough to provide lectures, assignments, handouts, midterms, and exams. Students can access all the enlisted study materials from any place or any time as per their comfort. The course covers 28 lectures delivered through video transcripts which are available online. Students have to complete the mid-terms and final exams to earn the certificate.

Course Fee

The course is entirely free of cost and does not charge a single USD for the course materials or certificate.

Skills You Will Gain
  • Basic computer programming
  • Java programming language

Fundamentals of Computing- Rice University

Rice University, a private research institute in Texas, USA, offers Fundamentals of Computing in partnership with Coursera to help its learners enhance their sophisticated programming skills from the ground up and later apply their Python skills in the computer industry.

Prerequisites

Students should have high-school mathematics backgrounds such as algebra and pre-calculus to enroll in this course. Besides, a student with an enough knowledge of writing small programs in dictionaries, lists, and classes that consist of 100+ lines in Python will be considered eligible for getting enrolled in the course.

Level

The course is self-paced and specifically designed for beginners. Computer experts and intermediate computer or programming learners can also enroll in the course to enhance their programming knowledge.

Instructor

Dr. Joe Warren and Dr. Scott Rixner are the instructors of this course. Both are professors of Computer Science at Rice University.

Curriculum

The curriculum covers all the fundamentals of Python and elemental concentrations of computing. Included courses are:

  • An introduction to interactive programming in Python part 1
  • An introduction to interactive programming in Python part 2
  • Principles of Computing part 1 
  • Principles of Computing part 2
  • Algorithmic thinking part 1
  • Algorithmic thinking part 2
  • The fundamentals of computing capstone exam

Duration

The course is 26 weeks duration, and an enrolled student has to do the workload of approximately 5 hours per week.

Course Fee

The course is free of cost. If a student enrolls for viewing and reading the content, he/she can audit the course for free. For specialization, graded exams, and certificates, one must have to pay the subscription fee of Coursera. Those who want to complete the specialization and have no money can apply for the financial aid available by Coursera.

Skills You Will Gain
  • Python programming
  • Algorithms
  • Dynamic Programming

CS50’s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript- Harvard University

In partnership with edX, Harvard University offers this course for engaging computer and technology enthusiasts into the robust understanding of practical implementations. The course also focuses on learning and using web applications with JavaScript, SQL, and Python. It also helps the learners using frameworks for these programming languages such as Bootstrap, Django, and React.

Prerequisites

The course requires prior programming background to dive more deeply into the course specifications.

Level

This course is for intermediate-level computer science learners who have basic knowledge of computers and programming beforehand.

Duration

A student has to work hard for 12 weeks long, approximately 6 to 9 hours per week.

Curriculum

The curriculum covers programming topics such as scalability, database design, security, user experience, Python, JavaScript, web design, SQL, APIs, Flask, CSS, Git, and HTML. Students are provided with hands-on projects to learn APIs and for creating interactive UIs.

Instructor

David J. Malan, along with Colton Ogden, instructs this 12 week’s long course.

Course Fee

The course and course materials are entirely free of cost by Harvard University.

Certificate Fee

A student has to score at least 70% in the course and final project and pay $199 for the verified certificate from edX. EdX aims to deliver quality online education across the borders through this certificate cost.

Skills You Will Gain
  • Leverage cloud services such as GitHub and Heroku.
  • Interactive UIs Creation
  • Use of APIs

Python for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)- University of Michigan

This course is offered by the University of Michigan in partnership with Coursera, which aims to teach learners the basic knowledge of how to program computers using Python.

It is a self-paced course for even beginners who have not programmed before. If a student signs in for specialization with Coursera, he/she has to complete a final capstone project.

Prerequisites

The program requires no prior background in computer programming except basic mathematics.

Level

It is a mixed course both for beginners and intermediate level learners.

Duration

The course demands a student complete approximately seven weeks and 19 productive hours per week to earn the completion certificate from Coursera.

Instructor

Charles Severance, clinical professor at the University of Michigan in the School of Information, instructs this course.

Curriculum

The course curriculum describes all the basics of Python, installing and using Python programming language, writing programs, core programming tools, calculating information, using variables to store the information, and retrieving the information from Python.

Students have to read 1-5 chapters of the book Python for Everybody during the course. The topics in the chapters include:

  • Why We Program?
  • Installing and Using Python
  • Variables and Expression
  • Conditional Code
  • Functions
  • Loops and Iteration

Course Fee

The University of Michigan offers this self-paced course at no charge. However, a student must pay for the specialization and verified certificate to get graded assignments, peer feedback, and graded quizzes from the instructor.

Skills You Will Gain
  • Basic computer programming language
  • Python programming
  • Python syntax and semantics

Conclusion

Everything considered online learning or e-learning is providing flexible opportunities for learning. Free online computer courses in the USA for prospective American students while balancing their personal and professional obligations and academic studies in this quarantine period.

Among all, Fundamentals of Computing offered by Rice University is the perfect treat for beginner-level learners at no charge. Students who want to join a specialization course can pay the Coursera subscription fee to earn a verified certificate. Besides, CS50’s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript by Harvard University is suitable for beginners and intermediate level learners because it enhances the robust understanding of programming languages.


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