Questions tagged [education]

General questions regarding learning computer science disciplines and CS education

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What is the difference between a Task-Specfic Programming (TSP) language and a Domain-Specific Language (DSL)?

As a software engineer, I am familiar with "domain-specific languages" (DSLs), such as PCRE and SQL, which aim to eschew complexity by only providing functionality specific to a given domain ...
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2 answers
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What is a good path for self-study of CS foundations/fundamentals?

I’m a self-taught software engineer who’s been working in industry for 12 years. I don’t have any formal education in CS and math was never my strong suit (although I’m willing to do the work to make ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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MOOC recommendations for learning algorithms based on topics covered in Daspupta, Papadimitriou & Vazirani

I would appreciate some advise/mentoring on self-study of algorithms. Based on my several years of work as a software developer (non CS background), I have some good grip on standard data structures (...
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How does a computer direct the processing of information

So I'm reading Introduction to computing systems:From bits and gates to C and beyond, and the author states that a CPU is the mechanism that ...directs the processing of information. Which is ...
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Best operating system for a computing degree? [closed]

Not sure which OS is best to invest in for my computer science degree. Have had varying opinions - from your experience in education or working in the sector, what is the operating system that will ...
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1 answer
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Can you suggest a topic for a Bachelor Thesis in Mathematics that is related to Machine Learning? [closed]

Context I am a final year Bachelor of Mathematics student and next semester I will write my Bachelor thesis. My interests are in Machine Learning (ML) and I will do a master in ML next year. More ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Can a computer science graduate find an unknown spyware,malware?

If a computer science graduate is presented with a device that has a spyware which anti spywares cannot yet detect, can he find it? Or presented with website that is possibly malicious, can he prove ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Self study materials for computational complexity theory

I will be taking a computational complexity theory course in about a year, and as the reference material will be Computational Complexity A Modern Approach I am more than confident that without a ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Suggestions for a source of algorithm design problems?

I’m finishing up Roughgarden’s two-part algorithms course on edx, and it was good, but I didn’t actually ‘design and analyze’ many algorithms, the questions mostly tested whether you understood the ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Where should I start to understand how computers work? [duplicate]

I am interested in how computers work but I have no idea how the concept of 0's and 1's converts to making possible for people to control a computer by programming. I would like to understand from ...
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resource on translating imperative programs to functional programs

I'm not asking this question for the purpose of any particular project. Rather, I'm trying to understand how to translate non-trivial programs in imperative style to functional style. By functional ...
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Why do I always have something missing in my understanding of topics which always lead me to solve problems incorrectly?

I am a computer science masters student, I come from a background of engineering and not CS. My problem is whenever I have a problem set, a programming task or an exam, I always try hard to understand ...
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How can I improve my algorithmic ingenuity?

During undergrad I felt my education was mostly comprised of applying existing theory to real world problems (ie. algorithm design/analysis). I've seen derivations of many algorithms and proofs of ...
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Are there any resources or forums online for helping me understand TAOCP?

Context I am doing an undergrad math project that involves exploring Donald Knuth's "TAOCP, Volume 4, fascicle 6: Satisfiability". I am having trouble parsing some of this material. Surely ...
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Should a math major who wants to get into a PhD program in AI take CS classes that are unrelated to AI research?

I am a 2nd year math major who wants to do a PhD in AI. I already have a little background in programming and CS. I have some experience in game design, app development and computer security. I wouldn'...
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What programming languages always learned in computer science B.Sc.?

Even if programming by itself is not an integral part of computer science, I would bet any B.Sc. student learns fundamentals of binary code, fundamentals of assembly code and at least one high ...
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Does "aimed application" mean something specific? [closed]

I was reading about an uninstall tool that was especially useful for removing "aimed applications." When I tried to find out what that meant (beyond the obvious, "targeted at a specific group") I ...
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1 answer
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What can we conclude about a machine $m$ from that fact that it solves a particular problem $P$?

Note: I have not studied theoretical computer science, so this may be a trivial question. I am interested in the general question: what restrictions are put on a machine $m$ (boolean circuit, TM, ...)...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is there a university that accepts students for CS Masters Degree without needing Bachelor's degree? [closed]

I am looking for a university/college that offers courses in English language and accepts students for Masters Degree in Computer Science and/or Mathematics without asking for a Bachelor's Degree. I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
223 views

Famous hacker koan: who was it about, though?

Read this many years ago and can't remember who it was about. Nor can I remember the exact quote. The story goes: Famous computer scientist/professor is teaching a class. Student is having some ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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A physical algorithm that finds all integer partitions of a number

If this is not the right forum for this question let me know. I am looking for a physical algorithm that can be easily followed by anyone not knowing much ...
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Examples of bad statistics in Computer Science

I am preparing class materials for the applied statistics class for Ph.D. students and want to present them with examples of bad statistics in different fields of computer science. I am especially ...
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2 votes
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What areas of CS would you recommend exploring to someone who is not a newb at CS? [closed]

I currently maintain a score of around 400 problems solved at Project Euler. It may be great or not so great, depending on whom you ask, but I believe it's safe to say I'm not a newb at CS and coding -...
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looking for general advice on the field of computer science [closed]

I don't have any knowledge at all in the field, i don't know if i am in the correct community. Is there any book you would suggest for a starter to gain an idea about computer science? I have a good ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Math courses for machine learning [closed]

I have a few math courses to pick from in my studies, and I would love some insights on which math courses from the following list are the most relevant for machine learning. I will note - to avoid ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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How can I explain lossless compression to a misguided audio engineer?

I have recently been involved in a discussion with someone who doesn't accept that lossless compression is possible, even in principle. This person considers himself to be technically literate, and an ...
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6 votes
2 answers
263 views

How to teach abstraction needed for programming?

I experience that my students are fixed to compute with concrete values and are not keen to think in terms of general solution like creating a mathematical function $f(n)$ , needed to write ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Puzzle/game of NP class for a high school student

Is there any puzzle or game which cannot be decided in polynomial time and whose problem description can be easily understood by a kid? If it is a fun puzzle so much the better. I want to demonstrate ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Which area of study should i look for? [closed]

First post here and i hope this is the correct forum to ask this. I'm currently on my 5th semester of Computer Engineering. I´m having some hard time deciding on what to specialize or what to do when ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Is the Art of Computer Programming actually used as a college text? [closed]

The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth is kind of styled like a collegiate text with exercises at the end of each chapter. However, the material is not in any recognizable form for a standard ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Pre-requisite knowledge before diving into algorithms

I'm having some difficulty trying to follow what the authors of some of the more highly recommended books on algorithms. I ran into the same problem when trying out some online courses. My goal is to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How can I combine my interests for pure mathematics and computer science in college?

I’m a high school senior who's gone through quite the self-introspection the past few months while applying for college, and I have a bit of a dilemma. All my life, I've loved & excelled at ...
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2 answers
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Improve Java Experience [closed]

In exactly a month I will face a Java exam. My problem is that even if I know all Java theory (the exam won't face GUI), I have problems creating programs: sometimes I can't understand how to make a ...
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8 votes
7 answers
586 views

As a Teacher: Choosing a suitable programming language

I'm not sure if it's the right place for this question. Sorry if going a bit off-topic. Choosing a suitable Language for the first programming course is one of the most important things that every ...
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What resources are there for students to compute on a data stream?

I teach a randomized algorithms course, and many of the cool applications are to streaming computation. I can have students implement these algorithms in Python or C++, but I feel it would be much ...
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2 votes
1 answer
107 views

Is the Theory of Computation Necessary for a General-Purpose Beginner?

I'm interested in developing a solid CS/Electrical Engineering foundation that would enable me to branch out in the future to any CS-related field. I've read other literature recommendations and have ...
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7 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to memorize Master Theorem?

I know the maths behind, I know if I do the algebra I can get the result of the 3 cases. I also have an intuition of the 3 cases: Quora However, I just cannot memorize this "simple" 3 cases whenever ...
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1 vote
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Studying for the graduate entrance exam at CSULA [closed]

I'm an undergraduate student, but not a computer science major. I'm thinking of switching to CS after I graduate. I found a program that seems to allow students to take a test and gain entry into ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What mathematical background is enough to go through the entire Knuth's TAOCP?

I am an undergrad. I can do mathematics fine and am a lot more interested to explore. I turned towards TAOCP as it is highly mathematically oriented so as to excel at maths and programming at the same ...
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64 votes
14 answers
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How can I explain to my parents that I study programming languages?

I am currently finishing my MSc in computer science. I am interested in programming languages, especially in type systems. I got interested in research in this field and next semester I will start a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Are there color conventions in CS? [closed]

I don't remember seeing any color conventions in Computer Science used to represent some abstract information or to simplify diagrams. For instance, chemists have the CPK coloring which associates ...
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113 votes
9 answers
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How/when is calculus used in Computer Science?

Many computer science programs require two or three calculus classes. I'm wondering, how and when is calculus used in computer science? The CS content of a degree in computer science tends to focus ...
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What Do Computer Scientists Do? [closed]

I want to know 'What Computer Scientists Actually Do'. It is kind of a very vague thing to me. I don't know anything about it, actually. I have many people in my family who chose and plan on choosing ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Rigorous Books on Algorithms

I thoroughly enjoyed my algorithms class but I felt that it lacked rigor. Most of the time I was able to intuitively understand why the algorithms presented worked and why they had the time complexity ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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on `On the cruelty of really teaching computing science' [closed]

Dijkstra, in his essay On the cruelty of really teaching computing science, makes the following proposal for an introductory programming course: On the one hand, we teach what looks like the ...
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9 votes
4 answers
782 views

Why should we study all the three forms of representation of finite automata?

DFA, NFA and epsilon NFA all the three allow us to represent a particular regular language. With any of those representations we can arrive to the same regular expression, then why do we need to study ...
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35 votes
2 answers
2k views

on "On the cruelty of really teaching computing science"

Dijkstra, in his essay On the cruelty of really teaching computing science, makes the following proposal for an introductory programming course: On the one hand, we teach what looks like the ...
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2 votes
3 answers
190 views

Common data structure examples

I recently began working as a tutor with my college, helping younger students struggling in intro classes get their footing. Many of my students particularly struggle with basic data structures (...
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99 votes
5 answers
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What are the reasons to learn different algorithms / data structures serving the same purpose?

I have been wondering about this question since I was an undergraduate student. It is a general question but I will elaborate with examples below. I have seen a lot of algorithms - for example, for ...
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1 vote
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Eventual Career Objective [closed]

I am a Front-End Developer with several years of experience as well as I have my B.S. in Computer Science. I am doing research and pursuing my MS in Computer Science. However, I am somewhat struggling ...
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