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UNSW offers free online Computing 1 class

Australian University joins global rush to give it away online

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has jumped on the international bandwagon of Universities giving their courses away for free, with a 12-week Computing 1 course starting today.

Available here, the course will be taught by Associate Professor Richard Buckland, an academic who specialises in security, cyber crime and cyber terror.

At five hours a week, the workload is a little heavier than that imposed by some other free online courses. Another difference is the lack of a certificate of accomplishment, a token offered by some of the other Universities running similar courses online through services like Coursera.

The course is billed as an entry-level affair for non-programmers. Over the course of the course students will tackle the following topics:

  • abstraction, estimation, programming, machine code, C, problem solving
  • top down design, arithmetic expressions, layout, style++
  • types, variables, memory other numeric types
  • while and for loops, stack frames, arrays...

While highly-regarded in Australia, Reg readers beyond antipodean shores may wonder why it is worth considering studying Computing 1 at UNSW.

One answer is the Centre for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology at the University's School of Physics, as the Centre is at the forefront of global quantum computing efforts, as The Reg has often reported. There's no link your correspondent can discern between the online course and the Centre, but if you need any proof the University is likely to put on a decent course, perhaps that will be enough. ®

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