How to Program: Computer Science Concepts and Python Exercises [TTC Video]
04 June 2016, 17:49
Course No 9151 | M4V, AVC, 640x360 | AAC, 256 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 12.02GB
Learning a new language opens a wealth of opportunities. But there’s one language family that provides benefits like no other: the languages of computer programming. Now widely taught in schools—even in elementary schools—programming is an eminently learnable skill that gives you unrivalled problem-solving power you can apply in all areas of life. Programming is also a fun, creative activity that imparts deep insights into how we control the devices that influence virtually every aspect of our lives.
Writing computer code has truly gone mainstream in recent years. Simple, general-purpose computer languages that resemble English can be readily used by anyone, thanks to fundamental building blocks that allow even complete beginners to write short pieces of working code, while also taking the mystery and complexity out of more complicated scripts. Remarkable advances in hardware and in user interfaces mean that skills that were once highly technical, complicated, and difficult to learn are today within the reach of everyone who is willing to engage with a computer.
And now a pathbreaking guide is available with How to Program: Computer Science Concepts and Python Exercises. These 24 engaging and information-rich half-hour lessons use one of the world’s most accessible, popular, and powerful computer languages, Python 3, as a gateway to the universe of programming. Taught by Professor John Keyser of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, one of the top-ranked computer science programs in the country, this unique video course offers the following advantages:
- From the very first lesson, Professor Keyser plunges you into Python coding and the concepts of computer science, with a friendly and accessible style that has won him numerous teaching awards.
- The Python computer language (named after the comedy troupe Monty Python) is ideal for beginners, with code based on ordinary English words and the flexibility to create many useful and creative programs.
- The course covers fundamental ideas with clarity and depth, teaching you programming from the most basic commands to the techniques that help you develop ambitious pieces of software.
- Professor Keyser focuses on practical problem-solving, presenting dozens of real-life examples and exercises, walking you through solutions, and helping you practice and build your skills.
Following some of the lessons, Professor Keyser leads you through supplementary problems that reinforce key programming strategies. In addition, the guidebook that accompanies the course features dozens of additional drills and practice exercises, always with answers, together with a reference section that includes definitions of computer science terms, important Python commands, and other useful information. No matter what level of experience and skill you have with computers, you can rest assured that this course will suit your needs from the first step: walking you through how to install Python 3 and the programming editor PyCharm, both of which are available free online.
Programming Made Crystal Clear
Assuming no prior background in computer science, Professor Keyser’s lessons are so clear, carefully paced, and comprehensive that they will appeal to both novice and experienced programmers. Even those who use Python often will learn new and useful tips that fill gaps in their understanding, clarify concepts that were previously obscure, and broaden one-task tricks into versatile tools. As a result, this course is perfect for
- beginners and students—from teenagers to retirees—who have never written a line of code;
- self-taught programmers who want to deepen their knowledge of program design and make their code more efficient and elegant;
- programmers new to Python, and Python users who want to upgrade their skills to the newest version of Python and more effectively exploit its many features;
- professionals at any stage of their career who recognize the benefits of better understanding the technology that modern businesses rely on;
- anyone wanting a fascinating insider’s perspective on how to think about all the ways we tell
- those who never dreamed that coding could be as exciting, intellectually stimulating, and rewarding as it truly is.
Build Your Programming Fluency
There are numerous programming tutorials and videos available online, but they are generally brief or narrow, giving you only specific and specialized instructions without context. How to Program is a college-level course with more than a semester’s worth of material explored over 12 hours of lessons that you can pause, practice, and watch again as you hone your skills, guided by an expert teacher. And while you can find snippets of pre-written Python code online that may or may not work for your needs, this course takes you from writing individual lines of code to designing and thinking about code like a programmer, teaching you broadly applicable rules and tools that you use to create your own custom-made programs.
Professor Keyser begins with the basic code commands, and you start programming with him right away. In Lesson 1, you write a one-line program knowing just one command! You quickly build from there, mastering core principles and tools, including operators and variables, conditionals and loops, strings and files, functions, modules, packages, and more. By the end of the first half of the course, you will have tried out all of the most important fundamentals of programming.
The first half of the course provides the foundation of programming, while the second half of the course explores a wider range of applications and deeper principles, both of which also help you further consolidate your understanding of programming fundamentals. Applications include the coding behind games and graphics, as well as teaching you how to analyze sports statistics, simulate a retirement fund, and direct the path of a simple robot. Along the way, you get a feel for when to use a top-down design or a bottom-up strategy. You discover the power of object-oriented programming and the trade-offs of sequential programming versus event-driven programming. And you see for yourself how data structures and algorithms make possible even more powerful programs. Best of all, these and many other concepts become second nature as your programming fluency grows.
Discover a New World in Coding
“I got hooked writing my first simple computer program back in third grade,” recalls Professor Keyser. This course will show you how fun, creative, and empowering programming can be. Professor Keyser’s approach is clear, practical, and engaging—it’s easy to see why his teaching has been honored so many times. Throughout the course, he offers tips on how to be a better programmer, hard-won lessons from decades of coding, and reflections on the aspects of programming that are most rewarding:
- Practical: Often it’s faster to write a program to perform a task, such as repeated calculations or opening two applications in tandem, than it is to track down an existing piece of software that does exactly what you need. And as your coding skill grows, you’ll find that you are creating unique programs that other people need.
- Exhilarating: Figuring out how to apply the tools to solve each programming problem is a unique challenge, a puzzle that often has several solutions—but which is fastest, simplest, most efficient? Even debugging offers new and exciting mysteries to solve. When the pieces finally fall into place, you get a wonderful feeling of accomplishment that a mental model has been turned into working software.
- Creative: Programming lets you express your creativity, allowing you to implement your ideas in code. And just as there is never simply one way to express a thought in a language, there are usually many ways to get a program to do what you want. A good design sense will point you to the optimum solution for your particular problem.
- Transformational: Programming transforms the way you think, training you to look at problems logically, develop plans that can be followed sequentially, and recognize how to break down a complex task into more manageable pieces. All of these are useful approaches in areas outside of computing.
So, as with any new language, programming opens up a new world, while also influencing the way you look at your old, familiar world. It may be that as you work through the enjoyable and challenging exercises in How to Program, the most important benefit you are gaining is not only a toolkit to help you create your own programs in Python 3—it’s also a set of enhanced mental tools for every sphere of life.
The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History [TTC Video]
04 June 2016, 17:20
Course No. 3890 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 7.63GB
January 10, 49 B.C.: Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon River into Rome, igniting a civil war that leads to the birth of the world's greatest ancient civilization. October 12, 1492: The Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus, weary after months at sea, finally drops anchor at the island of San Salvador and takes Europe's first steps into the New World.
September 11, 2001: On a calm Tuesday morning, a series of terrorist attacks on the United States of America ignites a global war on terrorism that continues to this day.
History is made and defined by landmark events such as these—moments that irrevocably changed the course of human civilization. While many of us are taught that anonymous social, political, and economic forces are the driving factors behind events of the past, acclaimed historian and award-winning Professor J. Rufus Fears believes that it's individuals, acting alone or together, who alter the course of history. These events have given us
- spiritual and political ideas,
- catastrophic battles and wars,
- scientific and technological advances,
- world leaders both influential and monstrous, and
- cultural works of unparalleled beauty.
Without them, human history as we know it today would be shockingly unfamiliar. In short, because of these events, our world would never be the same again.
Such is the approach of The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History, a captivating new course in which Professor Fears—a master storyteller and one of the most popular instructors on our Great Courses faculty—provides you with 36 of the most important and definitive events in the history of the world. It's an intriguing and engaging tour of thousands of years of human history, from the creation of the Code of Hammurabi (1750 B.C.) to the Battle of Lexington (April 19, 1775), to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream"speech (August 28, 1963), and beyond. And it's a chance for you to learn new insights about world history at the hands of an engaging historian.
An Expert's Guide to History's Greatest Moments
So what makes a particular historical event so defining?
Guided by his decades of immersion in the study of the past, Professor Fears narrows down the massive span of human history into 36 of its most powerful events. Using his expert knowledge and his impressive ability to draw out invaluable lessons from the past, he has chosen the events for The World Was Never the Same based on these three criteria:
- The event in itself fundamentally changed history.
- The aftermath of the event changed history.
- The event and its impact still resonate with us today.
The result is a comprehensive and authoritative selection of events, each of which played a crucial role in transforming human civilization. What's more: Professor Fears avoids the common pitfall of treating his subject as a mere catalog or laundry list of events—instead, he takes great care to make these lectures feel like a grand, epic narrative of human history.
36 Defining Events, 36 Captivating Stories
Right from the first lecture, Professor Fears takes you back to the dawn of civilization; from there, you hopscotch across more than 3,000 years of history around the world, from the ancient city-states of Mesopotamia and Greece to medieval Europe and colonial America to revolutionary Russia and China. In each instance, Professor Fears weaves a captivating story about each event: what led up to it, how it unfolded, and how the world was changed as a result. More important, he uses these 36 events as guides for both understanding the past and learning from it.
With The World Was Never the Same, you'll learn about the importance of events that seem like logical choices, such as these:
- The trial of Jesus in A.D. 36, in which the spiritual message of this religious leader was forever immortalized and would lead to one of the world's greatest world faiths
- The discovery of the New World on October 12, 1492, which ushered in a profound era of exploration and conquest that would revolutionize the economic and political balance of Europe and lead to the creation of the United States of America
- The Battle of Gettysburg on July 1–3, 1863, a pivotal battle in the American Civil War that would turn the tide in favor of the Union and the freedoms it sought to preserve
- The dropping of the first atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, which brought World War II to a swift conclusion but also signaled the start of the atomic age.
Professor Fears also makes compelling cases for events that you might not have considered to be so revolutionary:
- The creation of the Hippocratic Oath in 430 B.C., a pledge (still taken today) that reflected the intellectual freedom of Athens and the sacred mission of a doctor
- The opening of the University of Bologna in 1088, which was Europe's first university and whose structure provided the blueprint for many modern universities
- The inspiration for Dante's Divine Comedy on May 1, 1283, when the Italian poet first laid eyes on his beloved Beatrice, the woman who would lead him to write one of the greatest poems in the history of Western literature
- The Battle of Vienna on September 12, 1683, which pitted the Ottoman Turks against the Holy Roman Empire and laid the groundwork for today's tensions between East and West
Whether it's an obvious or not-so-obvious choice, Professor Fears takes great care to tie each event to the 21st century, pointing out just how influential these and other moments were in shaping who we are and how we live. As Professor Fears states at the start of his course, "The best reason for studying history is not the accumulation of facts. It is to use the lessons of the past to make decisions in the present and to look into the future."
History Taught by a Master
If you've taken a Great Course with Professor Fears before, then The World Was Never the Same is his most impressive course yet—the perfect way to reconnect with him and his unique perspective on the past. And if you haven't yet had the chance to learn with this master teacher and winner of more than 25 teaching awards, then prepare yourself for an engaging experience cherished by so many of our lifelong learners.
Witty, engaging, and always informative, Professor Fears is the consummate history teacher. He draws you deep inside each event with his storytelling abilities; in many instances, he makes you feel as if you're actually there alongside the ideas as they're being discovered, the conflicts as they're being fought on land and sea, and the powerful speeches as they're being delivered to crowds of thousands.
Perhaps the greatest reward of these lectures is that they provide fuel for further thought and discussion. Listening to Professor Fears's impassioned explanations of why these particular events rank as the most important in human history is sure to prompt you to think about how you yourself understand and interpret the past.
So join Professor Fears on this grand tour of history's greatest events. It's an intellectual journey that proves how a single event can forever change the tides of history.
More than just learning about history, you'll feel as if you're actually engaging with it.
Pompeii: Daily Life in an Ancient Roman City [TTC Video]
02 June 2016, 19:54
Course No 3742 | MP4, AVC, 640x480 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 8.05GB
On August 24, in the year A.D. 79, Pliny the Younger looked up and saw a spectacle the world would never forget. As he later wrote down, "A cloud was ascending, the appearance of which I cannot give you a more exact description of than by likening it to that of a great pine tree, for it shot up to a great height in the form of a very tall trunk, which spread itself out at the top into a sort of branches. It appeared sometimes bright and sometimes dark and spotted, according as it was either more or less impregnated with earth and cinders."
Thus opened the sole eyewitness account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius—one of the most iconic natural disasters in the history of the ancient world.
Most people are familiar with this story. Over three harrowing days, the inhabitants of Pompeii experienced the full force of Mother Nature's fury in the form of blasts of superheated gases, rains of pumice stone and ash, and rivers of scorching mud.
Yet while the account of the eruption is compelling, Pompeii holds a much more intriguing story for historians: a tale of everyday 1st-century life, flash-frozen in time under mountains of sediment. The tragedy left a rich record of daily life as it was experienced by all strata of Roman society; housewives, slaves, merchants, and politicians were stopped in their tracks on that fateful day. Through careful excavations of Pompeii, scholars have revealed the hidden complexities of ancient life, unveiling the everyday activities of commerce, agriculture, politics, and private life otherwise lost to modern eyes.
In Pompeii: Daily Life in an Ancient Roman City, gain a tantalizing glimpse into this world, as eminent classicist and Professor Steven L. Tuck resurrects the long-lost lives of aristocrats, merchants, slaves, and other Roman people in this imperial city. The result is an unprecedented view of life as it was lived in this ancient culture—and your chance to discover intriguing details that lay buried for centuries. In 24 enthralling lectures, Professor Tuck unearths these everyday truths to create a full portrait of daily life in the ancient world.
In-Depth Information and Unexpected Insights
In the opening lectures of Pompeii: Daily Life in an Ancient Roman City, you'll consider the geology and geography of this region and learn about the area's pre-Roman settlers. Next, you'll hear how the city was rediscovered in the 1700s, and examine the cutting-edge excavation techniques used to uncover the city's buried treasures.
Then, Professor Tuck takes you on an in-depth tour of Pompeii with a side trip to neighboring Herculaneum. Finally, you'll get an account of the eruption itself, re-created from ancient writings, archaeological evidence, and the latest scientific insights.
Along the way, Professor Tuck offers surprising facts and dispels long-held misconceptions, including these interesting insights:
- Only an estimated 5% of the residents of Pompeii perished in the eruption. Survivors can be traced as far away as Spain.
- Despite the searing heat of Vesuvius, 1,800 carbonized scrolls were discovered in an ancient library in the nearby city of Herculaneum, and more than 50,000 bits of writing have been preserved as graffiti scattered throughout the remains.
- The features that made Pompeii such an attractive site for human habitation—the richness of its soil, its mineral-rich hot springs—were the result of geologic forces that ultimately led to the city's destruction.
- The preserved ruins at Pompeii display evidence of a disaster that was a precursor to the eruption in 79—a massive earthquake that rocked the town in the year 62.
"At Pompeii, the Dead Do Speak"
As Professor Tuck delves into Pompeii's archaeological riches, long-silenced voices will sound loud and clear. You'll hear them as you meet a variety of Pompeii's original inhabitants. In a series of lectures, Professor Tuck selects actual Pompeian residents and reconstructs a typical day in their lives. Here are a few of the journeys you'll take:
- Follow Chryseis, a slave girl, as she accompanies her mistress to the public baths.
- Trace the steps of two city officials as they survey major civic structures and carry out their duties in local government.
- Attend the elaborate funeral procession of the exalted priestess Eumachia.
- Visit a fullonica—the ancient equivalent of a dry-cleaner—and meet the owner, a freed slave named Stephanus.
- Witness the rituals experienced by a young bride on the night before her wedding.
Taking the perspective of these diverse viewpoints, you'll gain remarkable insights into agriculture, commerce, civic planning, entertainment, local government, private life, and other aspects of the Pompeian experience.
Walk the Streets of an Ancient City
Professor Tuck also provides a virtual tour of the city that reflects the diverse lives of Pompeii's residents. As you visit cliff-top villas, local businesses, civic buildings, and private homes, you'll examine the intriguing clues these structures hold about the lives of everyday individuals.
Imagine, for example, the splendor of Pompeii's amphitheater, the site of gladiatorial games, and its Roman-style forum, seat of the city's government. You'll also explore commercial spaces, such as the only preserved brothel of Pompeii and the Praedia of Julia Felix, a massive rental structure housing baths, shops, and garden dining rooms.
To bring these structures to life, Professor Tuck shares exclusive photos he's taken of the surviving ruins and art, later artists' renditions of Pompeian life, videos, and remarkable computer reconstructions of these ancient structures, including the House of the Faun, home of the Roman Patron of the colony.
Your walk through Pompeii also reveals the marvels of Roman architecture and technology, as you explore the public baths, water systems, and other details of civic planning. Finally, you'll relive the cataclysmic eruption of 79 through computer reconstructions, images, and maps that trace the impact of Vesuvius on the surrounding communities.
Travel Back in Time to Ancient Pompeii
As Professor Tuck says, "The real treasure of Pompeii is how it can operate for us as a sort of time machine." You'll have no better guide than Professor Tuck. A noted scholar and expert on the classical world, Professor Tuck offers intriguing insights, allowing you to inhabit the lives of the people of the ancient Roman Empire.
Whether you're planning to visit Pompeii or you're simply curious about what ancient life was like, don't miss this rare opportunity to walk in the footsteps of these Romans whose city perished nearly 2,000 years ago.