University of Pennsylvania
Computational Thinking for Problem Solving
University of Pennsylvania

Computational Thinking for Problem Solving

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

117,149 already enrolled

Course

Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Susan Davidson

Instructor: Susan Davidson

4.7

(1,375 reviews)

Beginner level
No prior experience required
18 hours to complete
3 weeks at 6 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

Details to know

Shareable certificate

Add to your LinkedIn profile

Assessments

27 quizzes, 1 assignment

See how employees at top companies are mastering in-demand skills

Placeholder
Placeholder

Earn a career certificate

Add this credential to your LinkedIn profile, resume, or CV

Share it on social media and in your performance review

Placeholder

There are 4 modules in this course

Computational thinking is an approach to solving problems using concepts and ideas from computer science, and expressing solutions to those problems so that they can be run on a computer. As computing becomes more and more prevalent in all aspects of modern society -- not just in software development and engineering, but in business, the humanities, and even everyday life -- understanding how to use computational thinking to solve real-world problems is a key skill in the 21st century. Computational thinking is built on four pillars: decomposition, pattern recognition, data representation and abstraction, and algorithms. This module introduces you to the four pillars of computational thinking and shows how they can be applied as part of the problem solving process.

What's included

6 videos4 quizzes1 assignment2 peer reviews4 discussion prompts

When we use computational thinking to solve a problem, what we’re really doing is developing an algorithm: a step-by-step series of instructions. Whether it’s a small task like scheduling meetings, or a large task like mapping the planet, the ability to develop and describe algorithms is crucial to the problem-solving process based on computational thinking. This module will introduce you to some common algorithms, as well as some general approaches to developing algorithms yourself. These approaches will be useful when you're looking not just for any answer to a problem, but the best answer. After completing this module, you will be able to evaluate an algorithm and analyze how its performance is affected by the size of the input so that you can choose the best algorithm for the problem you’re trying to solve.

What's included

7 videos6 quizzes4 peer reviews

Computational thinking is a problem-solving process in which the last step is expressing the solution so that it can be executed on a computer. However, before we are able to write a program to implement an algorithm, we must understand what the computer is capable of doing -- in particular, how it executes instructions and how it uses data. This module describes the inner workings of a modern computer and its fundamental operations. Then it introduces you to a way of expressing algorithms known as pseudocode, which will help you implement your solution using a programming language.

What's included

6 videos5 quizzes5 peer reviews

Writing a program is the last step of the computational thinking process. It’s the act of expressing an algorithm using a syntax that the computer can understand. This module introduces you to the Python programming language and its core features. Even if you have never written a program before -- or never even considered it -- after completing this module, you will be able to write simple Python programs that allow you to express your algorithms to a computer as part of a problem-solving process based on computational thinking.

What's included

9 videos12 readings12 quizzes

Instructor

Instructor ratings
4.8 (426 ratings)
Susan Davidson
University of Pennsylvania
4 Courses117,441 learners

Offered by

Recommended if you're interested in Algorithms

Why people choose Coursera for their career

Felipe M.
Learner since 2018
"To be able to take courses at my own pace and rhythm has been an amazing experience. I can learn whenever it fits my schedule and mood."
Jennifer J.
Learner since 2020
"I directly applied the concepts and skills I learned from my courses to an exciting new project at work."
Larry W.
Learner since 2021
"When I need courses on topics that my university doesn't offer, Coursera is one of the best places to go."
Chaitanya A.
"Learning isn't just about being better at your job: it's so much more than that. Coursera allows me to learn without limits."

Learner reviews

Showing 3 of 1375

4.7

1,375 reviews

  • 5 stars

    79.92%

  • 4 stars

    12.87%

  • 3 stars

    3.27%

  • 2 stars

    1.30%

  • 1 star

    2.61%

GS
5

Reviewed on Nov 17, 2018

LS
4

Reviewed on Jan 17, 2019

DA
5

Reviewed on Nov 17, 2018

New to Algorithms? Start here.

Placeholder

Open new doors with Coursera Plus

Unlimited access to 7,000+ world-class courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs - all included in your subscription

Advance your career with an online degree

Earn a degree from world-class universities - 100% online

Join over 3,400 global companies that choose Coursera for Business

Upskill your employees to excel in the digital economy

Frequently asked questions