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Ask Slashdot: Online, Free Equivalent To a CompSci BS? 197

Posted by timothy
from the yes-but-how dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I am a middle school math teacher and I also run a programming club. I recent completed my M.Ed in math education and was inspired to try to do the new GT online MS in Computer Science in a couple of years. I have some background in programming: two intro to comp sci courses, Java, C++, Python, the main scripting languages, and a bunch of math background. I also read through this great article on getting these pre-requisites completed through Coursera but unfortunately you need to wait for courses to enroll. I would like to just learn these on my own time, no credit necessary. Suggestions?"
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Ask Slashdot: Online, Free Equivalent To a CompSci BS?

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  • MIT (Score:5, Informative)

    by ACS Solver (1068112) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @03:13PM (#46440807)
    You can learn basically the entire CS curriculum of MIT. This guy [scotthyoung.com] did it in 12 months, which is quite extreme, but it shows that the material is all there, and you can of course go through it (or parts of it) at your own pace.
  • by CodeArtisan (795142) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @03:13PM (#46440811)
    If that's what you want, then fair enough - just don't expect a CS degree to deliver that. The CS theory I learned has proved useful in various phases of my 25+ year career, but your milage may vary.
  • Thank YOU Interwebz (Score:4, Informative)

    by Niris (1443675) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @03:16PM (#46440823)
    As a recent CSci graduate from a state university in California, I can tell you that there's far better content online than you'll pick up in a class, so good job checking out that area. MIT has a lot of great courses on YouTube, such as their algorithms lectures from Cormen, and edX has a fair amount of content as well. There's also a lot of books out there if you can pick an area that interests you the most, such as mobile or web, that you can just read through and type up the examples yourself. The thing about programming is that you tend to learn more from doing than from listening to lectures, so if you can just sit down with a book, online tutorials, etc., and just make programs and figure out why they don't work on the first go (and when you pass the forloop/if statement section of your education, they probably won't), then you'll be golden.
  • by plopez (54068) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @03:22PM (#46440849) Journal

    You know some decent languages and have a background in Mathematics. Dont' waste your time, CS is no more than an Applied Math degree "in drag". All you need is some experience which can be obtained by volunteer work, e.g. maintaining the web site of a no kill animal shelter.

    BTW, since you background is in Math Ed., I assume you have good people and communication skills. That is a great way to differentiate yourself from the pack. You could end up running a tech firm if you do it right.

  • Saylor.org (Score:4, Informative)

    by Taxman415a (863020) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @03:39PM (#46440913) Homepage Journal
    Saylor has one of the most complete, free, college degree equivalents that I have seen. The best part is many degree programs have links to video lectures, full problem sets and exams.

    http://www.saylor.org/majors/c... [saylor.org]

    Their math stuff is decent, and that's what I'm competent to evaluate, so based on that I'd think the compsci would be good too. Some degree areas are not complete yet, but compsci is.
  • Re:correction (Score:4, Informative)

    by Your.Master (1088569) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @04:55PM (#46441317)

    Cathedral and the bazaar isn't RMS' idea, that comes from Eric S. Raymond. And it's not about real world vs. theory -- they are both real world and exist in real working popular products.

    And, crucially, RMS' work was used as an example of the cathedral. Linux was, of course, the bazaar.

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