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From Kurt Starsinic <kstarsi...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [lucy-dev] Coursera MOOC for the Lucy Book Club
Date Mon, 22 Apr 2013 22:33:32 GMT
I've registered and submitted the first assignment. Booyah! - Kurt


On Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM, Marvin Humphrey <marvin@rectangular.com>wrote:

> Greets,
>
> There's a Coursera MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) which started this
> past Monday; it looks like Logan and I are both going to try it out, and
> perhaps some others might find it interesting.
>
>     https://www.coursera.org/course/hwswinterface
>
>     The Hardware/Software Interface
>
>     Gaetano Borriello and Luis Ceze, University of Washington
>
>     Examines key computational abstraction levels below modern high-level
>     languages. From Java/C to assembly programming, to basic processor and
>     system organization.
>
> The thing which caught my eye was the book which is used for supplemental
> reading:
>
>
> http://www.amazon.com/Computer-Systems-Programmers-Perspective-2nd/dp/0136108040
>     Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective (2nd Edition)
>     Randal E. Bryant, David R. O'Hallaron
>
> That's a book which has been a candidate for the Lucy Book Club -- but at
> over
> 1000 pages, it's a big committment.  In constrast, the Coursera course is 8
> weeks and done.  If we want to continue on with the book afterwards, we'll
> have that option.
>
> We'll presumably be meeting weekly, just as the Book Club has since we
> started
> last year.
>
> To take the course, apparently knowledge of C is helpful but not a required
> prerequisite -- the professors mention that they ordinarily teach it to
> first
> year comp sci undergrads who often know Java but not C.  Given the diverse
> backgrounds of people who are interested in Lucy development and are
> subscribed to this list, it's only natural that some amount of the material
> will be review, but nevertheless I expect that for many of us it will fill
> in
> some gaps.  Personally, I'm looking forward to beefing up my x86 assembler
> chops and increasing my familiarity with low-level processor instruction
> sets
> (which is also a focus of the book).
>
> The one catch is that the course has already started and the first
> assignment
> is due this coming Monday April 22 at 5pm PDT.  It's cake, but you have to
> set
> up a VM which is a bit of a chore.  (Tip: if you're using a Mac and you
> don't
> own VMWare Fusion, see this thread for how to use VirtualBox instead:
> <https://class.coursera.org/hwswinterface-001/forum/thread?thread_id=22>.)
>
> If you haven't yet tried a MOOC, they are a great resource but if you take
> them in a group setting like the Lucy Book Club it's easier to sustain
> momentum.  FWIW, I'm currently finishing up another Coursera MOOC and I've
> been pretty happy with the experience:
>
>     https://www.coursera.org/course/posa
>
>     Pattern-Oriented Software Architectures for Concurrent and Networked
>     Software
>
>     Douglas C. Schmidt, Vanderbilt University
>
>     In this course we will learn how to apply patterns, pattern languages,
> and
>     frameworks to alleviate the complexity of developing concurrent and
>     networked software.
>
> Coursera MOOCs are free, and once you're registered, enrolling in any given
> course is two clicks.  There's nothing lost by signing up for a course and
> then not completing it.  For better or worse. ;)
>
> Marvin Humphrey
>

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