MITx: 6.00.1x Introduction

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definitions & notes only words
  1. computational
    of or involving calculation
    We're delighted you're going to join us
    for the next several weeks as we explore
    interesting issues around computational thinking
    and programming.
  2. algorithm
    a precise rule specifying how to solve some problem
    Once we started learning how to build algorithms to think
    algorithmically, we're going to see
    that there are standard classes of algorithms,
    and we're going to use those for common parlance
    like searching and sorting and we're
    going to see as well that different algorithms have
    different costs.
  3. encryption
    the activity of converting data or information into code
    And encryption schemes are an example of that.
  4. computation
    the procedure of calculating
    If that's the case, we really don't
    have to do a lot in terms of computation.
  5. computer
    a machine for performing calculations automatically
    But more importantly, we want you
    to start learning how to think computationally,
    to think algorithmically, to think like a computer
    scientist.
  6. encapsulate
    enclose in or as if in a small container
    And so what we want to do through this course
    is figure out how to define new calculations,
    new operations, things we create and give to the computer
    so that it can abstract them, encapsulate them, and treat
    them as if they're primitives.
  7. calculation
    determination by mathematical or logical methods
    It performs calculations.
  8. iteration
    the act or process of doing or saying again
    Things called iteration and recursion.
  9. module
    an inherent cognitive or perceptual power of the mind
    And that leads naturally to the idea of modularization,
    creating modules, tokens, elements
    that we can stitch together to come up
    with solutions to problems in interesting ways.
  10. parlance
    a manner of speaking natural to a language's native speakers
    Once we started learning how to build algorithms to think
    algorithmically, we're going to see
    that there are standard classes of algorithms,
    and we're going to use those for common parlance
    like searching and sorting and we're
    going to see as well that different algorithms have
    different costs.
  11. storage
    the act of keeping something for future use
    A big computer or something on the cloud
    might actually have hundreds of gigabytes of storage.
  12. input
    signal going into an electronic system
    And the classic one from computer sciences
    called the Turing halting problem
    and it simply says if I want to write a piece of code,
    a program that could take as input any other program
    and tell me whether it will always work,
    whether it will always stop with an answer,
    it turns out you simply can't compute that in all cases.
  13. amazing
    inspiring awe or admiration or wonder
    Of course, computers do all sorts
    of amazing and awesome things.
  14. compute
    make a mathematical calculation
    We want the computer to compute something for us,
    infer some new knowledge for us.
  15. multiplication
    arithmetic operation determining the product of two numbers
    These are typically primitive arithmetic operations--
    multiplication, addition, division-- and simple logic
    operations, comparing true and false values in order
    to make decisions with that.
  16. awesome
    inspiring admiration or wonder
    Of course, computers do all sorts
    of amazing and awesome things.
  17. primitive
    characteristic of an earlier ancestral type
    A big part of what we want to do inside the computer
    is to have it be able to deal with things in a manner
    that we can see and understand, and that's says
    we're going to use the notion of abstraction to capture elements
    and then treat them as if they were primitives and reuse them.
  18. cleverness
    intelligence, especially quickness and wittiness
    And this is simply a way of saying
    that even with fast computers, we need cleverness,
    we need algorithmic thinking to take those simple computations
    and turn them into something more powerful.
  19. operation
    process or manner of functioning
    And just to put that in context, if I had a lamp sitting
    on my desk here-- about a foot above--
    and I hit the switch, by the time light went from the bulb
    to the table, your computer's performed two operations.
  20. solution
    a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances
    And that leads naturally to the idea of modularization,
    creating modules, tokens, elements
    that we can stitch together to come up
    with solutions to problems in interesting ways.
  21. machine
    a mechanical or electrical device that transmits energy
    That means we have to think about
    how do we represent that knowledge,
    and we'll do that with particular things
    inside the machine called data structures.
  22. halting
    proceeding in a fragmentary, hesitant, or ineffective way
    And the classic one from computer sciences
    called the Turing halting problem
    and it simply says if I want to write a piece of code,
    a program that could take as input any other program
    and tell me whether it will always work,
    whether it will always stop with an answer,
    it turns out you simply can't compute that in all cases.
  23. solve
    find the answer to or understand the meaning of
    It means we'd like you to think about when
    given a new challenge how can I get the computer
    to solve this for me?
  24. clever
    mentally quick and resourceful
    And I want to give you a couple of examples to show you
    why even with the speed of modern computers,
    you need to be able to think carefully, cleverly,
    algorithmically.
  25. context
    the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation
    And just to put that in context, if I had a lamp sitting
    on my desk here-- about a foot above--
    and I hit the switch, by the time light went from the bulb
    to the table, your computer's performed two operations.
  26. classics
    study of the literary works of ancient Greece and Rome
    So if you're going to start reading those great classics,
    now it's going to take you a while
    before you get through all the things that
    are stored on your machine.
  27. arithmetic
    mathematics dealing with numerical calculations
    These are typically primitive arithmetic operations--
    multiplication, addition, division-- and simple logic
    operations, comparing true and false values in order
    to make decisions with that.
  28. simple
    having few parts; not complex or complicated or involved
    But in this case, the calculations
    are actually very simple things.
  29. abstraction
    the process of formulating general concepts
    A big part of what we want to do inside the computer
    is to have it be able to deal with things in a manner
    that we can see and understand, and that's says
    we're going to use the notion of abstraction to capture elements
    and then treat them as if they were primitives and reuse them.
  30. infer
    conclude by reasoning
    We want the computer to compute something for us,
    infer some new knowledge for us.
  31. brute
    resembling a beast
    That says if I'm going to just brute force
    try and search everything on the web
    to see if I can find the thing I'm looking for, it's only
    going to take me about 5.2 days to find something.
  32. marvelous
    extraordinarily good or great
    They can play Go, they can find things in the World Wide Web,
    they can do all sorts of wonderful, marvelous things.
  33. problem
    a question raised for consideration or solution
    And that leads naturally to the idea of modularization,
    creating modules, tokens, elements
    that we can stitch together to come up
    with solutions to problems in interesting ways.
  34. fundamental
    serving as an essential component
    But fundamentally, a computer really only does two things.
  35. crucial
    of extreme importance; vital to the resolution of a crisis
    And that's as good algorithm design is going to be crucial
    and it's one of the skills you're
    going to learn throughout this course.
  36. standard
    a basis for comparison
    We want it to infer a new information
    or define information, and we're going
    to see there are standard tools for making that happen.
  37. typical
    exhibiting the qualities that identify a group or kind
    Well, if you took the standard novel
    and you put it inside a machine, a typical machine
    could hold about 1 and 1/2 million books
    of a standard size.
  38. store
    a mercantile establishment for the sale of goods or services
    So if you're going to start reading those great classics,
    now it's going to take you a while
    before you get through all the things that
    are stored on your machine.
  39. complex
    complicated in structure
    Some problems are still, at least at the moment, too
    complex, even with clever algorithms
    to come up with solutions fast enough.
  40. perform
    get done
    It performs calculations.
  41. actually
    in fact
    But in this case, the calculations
    are actually very simple things.
  42. stitch
    a link or loop made by sewing, knitting, or needlework
    And that leads naturally to the idea of modularization,
    creating modules, tokens, elements
    that we can stitch together to come up
    with solutions to problems in interesting ways.
  43. lecture
    a speech that is open to the public
    And we'll come back to those over the next several lectures.
  44. data
    a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn
    That means we have to think about
    how do we represent that knowledge,
    and we'll do that with particular things
    inside the machine called data structures.
  45. limitation
    an act of restricting (as by regulation)
    And in fact, one can suggest that there are still
    some limitations to what a computer can do.
  46. elements
    violent or severe weather
    A big part of what we want to do inside the computer
    is to have it be able to deal with things in a manner
    that we can see and understand, and that's says
    we're going to use the notion of abstraction to capture elements
    and then treat them as if they were primitives and reuse them.
  47. tool
    an implement used to perform a task or job
    At the end of this course, what is
    it we'd like you to have in your armamentarium
    of great problem-solving tools?
  48. information
    knowledge acquired through study or experience
    We want it to infer a new information
    or define information, and we're going
    to see there are standard tools for making that happen.
  49. search
    look or seek
    Once we started learning how to build algorithms to think
    algorithmically, we're going to see
    that there are standard classes of algorithms,
    and we're going to use those for common parlance
    like searching and sorting and we're
    going to see as well that different algorithms have
    different costs.
  50. expert
    a person with special knowledge who performs skillfully
    An expert will tell you there about,
    on average, 35 moves for every setting on the chessboard
    until you get to the endgame.
  51. token
    a disk that can be used in designated slot machines
    And that leads naturally to the idea of modularization,
    creating modules, tokens, elements
    that we can stitch together to come up
    with solutions to problems in interesting ways.
  52. values
    beliefs of a group in which they have emotional investment
    These are typically primitive arithmetic operations--
    multiplication, addition, division-- and simple logic
    operations, comparing true and false values in order
    to make decisions with that.
  53. rely
    have confidence or faith in
    Things that you want to store on a computer
    encoded so nobody can break them rely on encoding or encryption
    schemes that in turn, rely on the fact
    that some problems are simply too complex to be solved
    by a computer.
  54. example
    an item of information that is typical of a class or group
    And I want to give you a couple of examples to show you
    why even with the speed of modern computers,
    you need to be able to think carefully, cleverly,
    algorithmically.
  55. notion
    a general inclusive concept
    That's the notion of computational thinking,
    of algorithmic thinking, and that's
    what we're going to try and teach you about in this course.
  56. switch
    device for making or breaking the connections in a circuit
    And just to put that in context, if I had a lamp sitting
    on my desk here-- about a foot above--
    and I hit the switch, by the time light went from the bulb
    to the table, your computer's performed two operations.
  57. define
    show the form or outline of
    We want it to infer a new information
    or define information, and we're going
    to see there are standard tools for making that happen.
  58. in turn
    in proper order or sequence
    Things that you want to store on a computer
    encoded so nobody can break them rely on encoding or encryption
    schemes that in turn, rely on the fact
    that some problems are simply too complex to be solved
    by a computer.
  59. scheme
    an elaborate and systematic plan of action
    And encryption schemes are an example of that.
  60. atom
    the smallest component of an element
    And in fact, there are only about 10
    to the 80th atoms in the observable universe.
  61. probably
    with considerable certainty; without much doubt
    The machine you're using can probably
    do about a billion calculations a second.
  62. capture
    seize as if by hunting, snaring, or trapping
    A big part of what we want to do inside the computer
    is to have it be able to deal with things in a manner
    that we can see and understand, and that's says
    we're going to use the notion of abstraction to capture elements
    and then treat them as if they were primitives and reuse them.
  63. average
    an intermediate scale value regarded as normal or usual
    On average, there are about 100 words on a page.
  64. topic
    the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
    To do that, we're going to cover a range of topics,
    and we'll see all of these over the next several weeks.
  65. abstract
    existing only in the mind
    And so what we want to do through this course
    is figure out how to define new calculations,
    new operations, things we create and give to the computer
    so that it can abstract them, encapsulate them, and treat
    them as if they're primitives.
  66. throughout
    from first to last
    And that's as good algorithm design is going to be crucial
    and it's one of the skills you're
    going to learn throughout this course.
  67. neighborhood
    an area within a city or town that has distinctive features
    I'd love to know what the weather's going to be right
    in my neighborhood every morning before I
    get in my car to come to work.
  68. scientist
    a person with advanced knowledge of empirical fields
    But more importantly, we want you
    to start learning how to think computationally,
    to think algorithmically, to think like a computer
    scientist.
  69. program
    a series of steps to be carried out
    And the classic one from computer sciences
    called the Turing halting problem
    and it simply says if I want to write a piece of code,
    a program that could take as input any other program
    and tell me whether it will always work,
    whether it will always stop with an answer,
    it turns out you simply can't compute that in all cases.
  70. need
    require or want
    It's going to be your servant, and that
    means you need to think about how do you get it to do
    the things you want it to do.
  71. eventually
    after an unspecified period of time or a long delay
    Maybe eventually, but not yet.
  72. code
    a set of rules or principles or laws
    And the classic one from computer sciences
    called the Turing halting problem
    and it simply says if I want to write a piece of code,
    a program that could take as input any other program
    and tell me whether it will always work,
    whether it will always stop with an answer,
    it turns out you simply can't compute that in all cases.
  73. opponent
    someone who offers resistance
    Suppose you want to look ahead six moves
    in order to try to decide what you want to do in order
    to beat your opponent.
  74. logic
    the branch of philosophy that analyzes inference
    These are typically primitive arithmetic operations--
    multiplication, addition, division-- and simple logic
    operations, comparing true and false values in order
    to make decisions with that.
  75. remember
    recall knowledge; have a recollection
    But all they really do, they perform calculations,
    and they remember things.
  76. term
    a limited period of time during which something lasts
    Now you could ask, how fast is it really in terms
    of performing calculations?
  77. modern
    ahead of the times
    Modern computers have a lot.
  78. several
    of an indefinite number more than 2 or 3 but not many
    We're delighted you're going to join us
    for the next several weeks as we explore
    interesting issues around computational thinking
    and programming.
  79. explore
    travel to or penetrate into
    We're delighted you're going to join us
    for the next several weeks as we explore
    interesting issues around computational thinking
    and programming.
  80. basis
    the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun
    But those are really the basis of them--
    perform a lot of calculations really
    quickly and remember results.
  81. delighted
    greatly pleased
    We're delighted you're going to join us
    for the next several weeks as we explore
    interesting issues around computational thinking
    and programming.
  82. classic
    of recognized authority or excellence
    And the classic one from computer sciences
    called the Turing halting problem
    and it simply says if I want to write a piece of code,
    a program that could take as input any other program
    and tell me whether it will always work,
    whether it will always stop with an answer,
    it turns out you simply can't compute that in all cases.
  83. limit
    as far as something can go
    Even with that, we're going to ask
    are there going to be limits to computation,
    even if we can build clever algorithms?
  84. fact
    a piece of information about events that have occurred
    And in fact, there are only about 10
    to the 80th atoms in the observable universe.
  85. scale
    an ordered reference standard
    I just don't have enough data and enough compute power
    to be able to model at that level of scale.
Created on March 11, 2018

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