Professional Course

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

edX, Online
5 weeks
59 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
5 weeks
59 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

Do you want to learn more about data and gain programming experience? If yes, this is the right course for you to start!

“Big data”, “data science”, “data-mining” and “artificial intelligence” are all popular terms that are often encountered nowadays in the academic and in business worlds.

Computer Science is a field where the usage of computers and “computations” have continuously evolved. As computational power increases, computation becomes an indispensable tool for solving complex problems and making predictions. We are now able to “compute” various things from DNA sequencing to aerodynamics simulations and weather forecasting.

In this course, you will learn the essence of computer science. You will obtain an overview of cutting-edge computer science as well as learn the basics and introductory level knowledge of computer science, while experiencing, designing and writing your own simple programs. This revised course consists of 5 weekly units. A separate course covering the same content is also offered where the lectures are given in Japanese.

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

Start anytime

  • Self-paced Online
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?



Training content


  • Who is Professor Watanabe?
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Instructions for learners on how to study this course

Unit 1: What is Computation?

Learning Objectives

  • What is computation?
  • Data is Numbers
  • Inside the Computer
  • Programming with Ruby
  • Time to Practice 1
  • Quiz 1

Unit 2: What is Programming? (Part 1) Arrays

Learning Objectives

  • Arrays, Basic Concepts
  • How to Use arrays
  • Time to Practice 2
  • Quiz 2

Unit 3: What is Programming? (Part 2) Characters and Strings

Learning Objectives

  • Characters and Strings
  • Caesar Encryption
  • Time to Practice3
  • Quiz 3

Unit 4: What is Programming? (Part 3) Functions and Subroutines

  • Functions and Subroutines
  • Cryptanalysis
  • Time to Practice 4
  • Modern Encryption
  • Quiz 4

Unit 5: Summary and Appendix (Introduction to Research on Computation)

Learning Objectives

  • Brief Summary of this course
  • Appendix 1.1: On the Nature of Computation, Computability
  • Appendix 1.2: On the Nature of Computation, P ≠ NP Conjecture
  • Appendix 2.1: Applications of Computation, Simulation
  • Appendix 2.2: Applications of Computation, Data Mining
  • Appendix 2.3: Applications of Computation, AI (Artificial Intelligence)
  • Quiz 5

Course delivery details

This course is offered through Tokyo Institute of Technology, a partner institute of EdX.

2-3 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$59
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • What is data (corresponding to an atom of data)?
  • What is a computation (the one that corresponds to the atom of the computation)?
  • Basic information security: encryption, decryption, and crypto-breaking
  • Private key cryptosystems and public key cryptosystems
  • Representative examples of utilization of computations in present society (Computer simulation, Data mining)
  • Installation of software and the programming environments (editor, shell)
  • How to use the programming environments (editor, shell) for computations
  • Basic programming using “Ruby on Rails,” a programming language

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