By Suman Tripathy
For many students, myself included, their first exposure to Computer Science is through the AP Computer Science A course in high school. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are designed for high schoolers to learn subjects with the rigor, depth, and complexity of college classes. Taking AP classes can also boost a student's weighted GPA.
The AP Computer Science A curriculum emphasizes the fundamental concepts and problem solving skills that Computer Science requires, using the Java programming language. It introduces basics like variables, loops, conditionals, and methods, along with object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms, and software design strategies. Java is a widely used programming language, useful and multifaceted because it can support abstraction, encapsulation, and object-orientation, all of which are important concepts for software engineering.
The official prerequisite for AP Computer Science A is first-year high school algebra, including function notation and other algebraic problem solving skills. Overall, the course recommends a solid foundation in mathematical reasoning. However, having worked with many students taking this course, we have found that some prior coding experience really helps students be successful in this course. At Juni, we recommend students who are new to programming start with our Python Level 1 and sometimes our Python Level 2 course before moving into Java.
The College Board's AP Computer Science A Exam
To receive college credit, students must register to take the College Board AP exam through their school, administered in May of each year. In 2017, the College Board introduced a second computer science AP course, AP Computer Science Principles. Compared to AP Computer Science A, this course "focuses on the broader aspects of computing, including not only programming but also topics like the global impact of computing, the internet and cyber-security, and creativity" (College Board). At Juni, we only offer the AP Computer Science A course.
The AP Computer Science A exam is a three hour test. The first half includes 40 multiple choice questions and accounts for 50% of the exam score. The second half includes four free response questions focused on program design, implementation, and problem solving, and it makes up the remaining 50% of the exam score. All of the questions on the AP exam involving coding use Java as the primary programming language, and test booklets include the Java Quick Reference that includes all of the accessible methods from the Java library that the AP exam may reference.
Goals of the AP Computer Science curriculum include:
5 Extremely well qualified
4 Well qualified
2 Possibly qualified
1 No recommendation
Ways to Prepare
Most students who take the AP Computer Science A take the course in high school. However, it is possible to self-study for the exam successfully. Thankfully, many great online resources exist for students!
The College Board itself has numerous helpful materials. For example, they offer a compilation of various exam tips and tricks, in addition to a test bank of each year’s free response questions, multiple-choice, sample answers, and scoring guidelines to ensure transparency and fairness in grading.
Barron's, another well-known test prep company, sells a great book for this course and offers an online practice exam as well. Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth also offers this as an online course.
At Juni Learning, we offer AP Computer Science A as a course with a private instructor that covers all of the topics on the AP exam in depth. With our classes, students are paired one-on-one with an instructor who works on concepts and test prep, tailored to the student's specific needs. With us, some students fully self-study for the AP exam, while others are simply getting exposure to the material in preparation for the school year ahead.
Our AP Computer Science A course is broken down into the following modules:
Advice From Former AP Computer Science Students
We asked Juni instructors who took AP Computer Science in high school on what they did to prepare for the AP exam and any advice that they would give current students. Here is some of their advice:
There are many different resources and programs that can help students prepare for the AP Computer Science A exam. The best fit depends on the student's learning style and time constraints.
Overall, the AP Computer Science A course is a great opportunity to learn the fundamentals of computer science and demonstrate proficiency to colleges. Passing the AP exam is a great way to earn some college credit, but more importantly it helps develop a lifelong technical skill that helps one think in new ways.
Suman Tripathy holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley. Next fall, she will be moving to New York to pursue her Master's in Data Science. She is currently a Senior Instructor at Juni Learning. You can often find her camped out at Philz Coffee reading books and listening to music!
The Misfits Lair, a project by Zinnia Holdings LLC ©2020
By Ananya Rao
What Is An Algorithm?
algorithm is a set of step-by-step procedures, or a set of rules to follow, for completing a specific task or solving a particular problem. Algorithms are all around us. The recipe for baking a cake, the method we use to solve a long division problem, and the process of doing laundry are all examples of an algorithm. Here’s what baking a cake might look like, written out as a list of instructions, just like an algorithm:
Types of Algorithms
Algorithms are classified based on the concepts that they use to accomplish a task. While there are many types of algorithms, the most fundamental types of computer science algorithms are:
Example of an Algorithm: Solving a Rubik’s Cube
There are a number of different algorithms, from simple to very complicated, that exist for solving a Rubik’s cube. Below is just one simple algorithm. First, let’s specify a notation to use (similar to picking a programming language).
Each of the six faces of a Rubik’s cube can be represented by the first letter of their name:
Step 1: The Cross
A sorting algorithm is an algorithm that puts elements of a list in a certain order, usually in numerical or lexicographical order. Sorting is often an important first step in algorithms that solves more complex problems. There are a large number of sorting algorithms, each with their own benefits and costs. Below, we will focus on some of the more famous sorting algorithms.
Where Algorithms are Used in Computer Science?
Algorithms are used in every part of computer science. They form the field's backbone. In computer science, an algorithm gives the computer a specific set of instructions, which allows the computer to do everything, be it running a calculator or running a rocket. Computer programs are, at their core, algorithms written in programming languages that the computer can understand. Computer algorithms play a big role in how social media works: which posts show up, which ads are seen, and so on. These decisions are all made by algorithms. Google’s programmers use algorithms to optimize searches, predict what users are going to type, and more. In problem-solving, a big part of computer programming is knowing how to formulate an algorithm.
Why are Algorithms Important to Understand?
Algorithmic thinking, or the ability to define clear steps to solve a problem, is crucial in many different fields. Even if we’re not conscious of it, we use algorithms and algorithmic thinking all the time. Algorithmic thinking allows students to break down problems and conceptualize solutions in terms of discrete steps. Being able to understand and implement an algorithm requires students to practice structured thinking and reasoning abilities.
Ananya Rao is studying Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, and she is an instructor at Juni Learning. She is a biorobotics researcher at CMU, and she is pursuing an additional major in Robotics. She was previously a Digital Technology Intern at GE Transportation and an Assistant Teacher at the National Academy For Learning in Bengaluru, India. Ananya also enjoys dancing, building robots, and writing stories.
The Misfits Lair, a project by Zinnia Holdings LLC ©
Wanna enter the Sports betting industry? Are you worried about the transactional data, security and entry charges?
Just relax and lean on to your chair. The amazing features of blockchain technology have reshaped the sports betting industry. It enhances safe and secure transactions as it is an open source decentralized network.
Basically, blockchain offers tremendous features like transparency, fast payouts, speedy transactions, independent in nature, etc. The most effective feature is the player’s account will not be restricted or blocked either personally or professionally due to extreme winnings.
Blockchain is the most prominent technology ruling today’s betting industry. It’s advancement in the sports industry has laid a pavement for its enormous growth in recent times.
To get detailed information, checkout the following Infographic developed by WinBTC.net in Partnership with MrBet.me.uk.
Blockchain & Mobile apps: With the vast competition already in the marketplace, several technologies are coming out to survive in the present market scenarios.
Blockchain, a most popular technology is well aware of many due to its association with cryptocurrency like bitcoin. It’s now used in mobile applications to make transactions safe, secure and speed.
Blockchain is generally used to modify the usage of mobile applications in order to make the app installation procedures simple, easy and eliminates all kinds of unwanted stuff. It has a greater ability to reshape the mobile industry with its outstanding features.
Blockchain in mobile apps ensures tremendous growth in the coming days . Checkout the following infographic on – Blockchain in mobile Application Market, developed by winbtc.net in partnership with AC Market.
Bitcoin halving is often referred to as “Halvening”, it’s a formulated reduction in the reward coins offered to the miners using a predefined blockchain algorithm.
Bitcoin halvings take place once in every four – 4 years approximately, or for every 210,000 block transactions.
The process of halvening started in the year 2012, approximately after 4 years of the invention of bitcoin i.e 2008, but practically bitcoins came into play in the year 2009.
After the first bitcoin halving, the block reward of 50 bitcoins per transaction were reduced to 25 bitcoins per block or transaction, later this reward was further reduced to 12.5 and it has now fallen to 6.25 after halvening in 2020.
The main idea of halvening is to create scarcity for the coins and to control inflation, as bitcoins issuance is limited to 21 million coins as per the idea of Satoshi Nakamoto, inventor of Bitcoin.
The production of 21 million bitcoins involves 32 halvenings, we are now done with two halvenings and this might continue till or come to an end in the year 2140.
Investors from all over the world are excited and waiting for the Bitcoin price to increase, and the demand for bitcoins in the online gambling industry is high. Bitcoins are widely accepted at Bitcoin Casinos as they collect deposits in the form of cryptocurrency from their players.
To know the overview of Bitcoin Halving (Just in minutes), check out the following infographic developed by Abishai James at WinBTC.net in partnership with ACMarket.
Abishai James is a Bitcoin investor and trader, operating at WinBTC.net.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
The internet is the backbone for modern-day civilization, which is growing at a rapid scale.
As such, if you are invested in the internet, then you must gain insights into the current trends that are happening on the market.
Having a quantitative idea with access to real statistics and figures will help you make a sound objective business decision.
Therefore, we have put together a comprehensive list of some of the most fascinating statistics and facts about the internet.
So without further ado, let’s get started: if you want to understand the different intricacies of the world wide web, then check out this in-depth infographic now!
Full datasets, details and statistics originally published by hostingclues.com, all rights reserved.
About Natalie Christen
Natalie Christen is a Tech & Social enthusiast. She is also a Web Entrepreneur by Profession and loves to write about the latest trends on Social Media & SEO.
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Coding Toys for Younger Kids
For kids 10 and under, there are many games and toys that help them understand the building blocks of computer programming. For example, Bitsbox delivers a physical box to your home every month containing a kit of projects, and then your young child can login to Bitsbox’s online platform to program their own version of these projects. The apps are selected based on difficulty and interests - they offer anything from interactive birthday cards to Tetris-like games. The apps can then be easily shared onto phones and tablets.
The Osmo is an iPad-based programming game system that incorporates physical blocks to write code. Using a set of magnetic blocks, your child controls Awbie, a cute character who must navigate the different levels of the Osmo universe. The physical blocks must be connected together logically so that Awbie can move on screen, using commands like “move,” “turn,” and “repeat.” The Osmo is ideal for kids as young as five years old because they don’t need typing skills to learn the basics of programming logic and to practice their critical thinking skills. After your child has mastered Awbie, they can move onto Osmo’s other products like Coding Jam, which uses a similar block system to generate digital music, and Coding Duo, a more advanced version of Coding Awbie with multiple players.
Cubetto is a completely screenless coding toy for kids 6 and under. Cubetto is a wooden robot that is programmed by placing colored blocks onto its surface, which instructs it where to move. The Cubetto is placed on top of different maps, mazes, and books. For example, in one challenge Cubetto must navigate around a big urban city. In another, he is in ancient Egypt, learning about pyramids, hieroglyphics, and the Sphinx. This is a great toy that encourages active play and critical thinking without any screens.
Coding Games for Older Kids
For older kids who love robots, the Anki Cozmo is a palm-sized robot, built with facial recognition, self-maneuvering capabilities, and an “emotion engine” to respond to real-world situations. It comes with a Code Lab app for users to program the Cozmo’s movements and responses to different environments. Code Lab is built on Scratch, a visual programming language. For example, you can use Code Lab to program Cozmo to move around and write his name, or to approach a human and Cozmo recognizes his or her face. There is even a more extensive software development kit to tap into the Cozmo’s computer vision capabilities and third party integrations (like with Google Assistant and Android). Kids can also play games with Cozmo like Memory Match and Keepaway.
Many kids this age love Minecraft, an open-ended game where users can build their own worlds and experiences using the resources they acquire. Building in Minecraft is very Lego-like, where the pieces are varied and fit together in infinite combinations. Given the nature of Minecraft, “modding” the game is extremely popular, where you create new items, resources, and functionality by programming extensions to Minecraft’s code. The most popular mods, for example, add new animals, crops, and furniture pieces to the game; allow you to monitor and control your inventory more efficiently; and even introduce magic and wand-making into the game. While modding Minecraft was not designed for beginning programmers, there are sites dedicated for helping kids learn how to mod with online tutorials like LearnToMod and books like Coding with Minecraft.
Online Coding Games and Platforms
There are also many online-based games and platform for students to start learning programming. CodeCombat offers a series of online levels in settings like the Kithgard Dungeon and the Backwoods Forest. Students gain points by completing challenges so that they can advance to the next level and buy power-ups. CodeMonkey is another online game where the student moves through a series of challenges in tracks like Coding Adventure and Coding Chatbots. The main language they focus on is CoffeeScript.
The Misfits Lair, a project by Zinnia Holdings LLC ©
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