From bits and bytes to algorithms and arguments—and beyond!

Matthew Calder (MVA)

In computer science, what’s the relationship between zeroes and ones and what you see on your screen? What are bits and bytes, who is Turing, and how can Aristotle make you a better programmer? Join Microsoft Principal Content Developer (and resident philosopher!) Paul Pardi for the answers to these and other questions, in an in-depth look at logic and computational thinking. Although this isn’t a programming course, you’ll see how the principles and skills that you learn in the study of logic are directly translatable to coding and data systems.

As Paul points out, understanding how a computer "thinks" is one of the first steps to becoming an excellent computer programmer, and a foundation in logic is crucial in developing this understanding. Mastering logic is more than learning a set of rules—it involves learning how to break problems into smaller chunks, figuring out how repeatable processes can save time and improve quality, and understanding how to organize problems into the right size.

For this edX course, plan to spend a few hours per week for four to six weeks. Explore algorithms, inductive and deductive arguments, categorical logic, critical thinking, syllogisms, and much more. Get the skills and concepts you need to be able to think like a developer, work faster, and make better code that’s easier to troubleshoot. Even though you might already be a successful developer, if you’ve never studied formal logic, this course will give you new insights into what you’ve learned to do naturally and will help solidify the foundations of your daily work.

For a “sneak peek” into what you’ll learn, check out a mini version of the course, “Introduction to Logic and Computational Thinking,” on Microsoft Virtual Academy, where Paul is joined by Ben Olsen.

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