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Design of Computer Programs

Free Course

Programming Principles

Related Nanodegree Program

Introduction to Programming

About this course

Understanding how to approach programming problems and devise a solution is an essential skill for any Python developer. In this course, you’ll learn new concepts, patterns, and methods that will expand your coding abilities from programming expert, Peter Norvig.

What you will learn

  1. Winning Poker Hands
    • Steps of the design process and developing for clarity and generality.
    • Arguments for program correctness and experimentation and simulation.
    • Design tradeoffs; Simplicity and Clarity. Decomposition and composability.
  2. Back of the Envelope
    • Back of envelope calculations: When to use brute force and when to be clever.
    • The Zebra puzzle: Generator expressions, Permutations and combinations.
    • Cryptarithmetic; Recursive and wishful thinking; Longest palindrome substring algorithm.
  3. Regular Expressions, other languages and interpreters
    • Defining the language of regular expressions and Interpreting the language.
    • Defining the set of strings matched by a regular expression
    • Other languages.
  4. Dealing with complexity through search
    • Search: finding your way with a flashlight or boat.
    • Analyzing the efficiency of an algorithm.
    • Recurrence relations and Matching data types with algorithms.
  5. Dealing with uncertainty through probability
    • Probability: the game of Pig.
    • Maximizing expected utility to optimize strategy.
  6. Word Games
    • Managing complexity.
    • Large sets of words.
    • Appropriate data structures.
  7. Conclusion
    • Interviews and practice exam.

Prerequisites and requirements

This course is intended for experienced Python programmers; students should be familiar with the Python syntax, as well as familiar with the following programming concepts: data structures, basic algorithms, and lambda functions.

This course is intended to challenge you. Be ready to struggle (and learn)!

See the Technology Requirements for using Udacity.

Why take this course?

Move along the path towards becoming an expert programmer! In this class you will practice going from a problem description to a solution, using a series of assignments. During office hours segments, Peter will also share his own personal tips and tricks for approaching programming problems - and his techniques may surprise you!

Learn with the best.

  • Peter Norvig
    Peter Norvig