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Back to Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: Nand to Tetris Part II (project-centered course)

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: Nand to Tetris Part II (project-centered course) by Hebrew University of Jerusalem

5.0
218 ratings
54 reviews

About the Course

In this project-centered course you will build a modern software hierarchy, designed to enable the translation and execution of object-based, high-level languages on a bare-bone computer hardware platform. In particular, you will implement a virtual machine and a compiler for a simple, Java-like programming language, and you will develop a basic operating system that closes gaps between the high-level language and the underlying hardware platform. In the process, you will gain a deep, hands-on understanding of numerous topics in applied computer science, e.g. stack processing, parsing, code generation, and classical algorithms and data structures for memory management, vector graphics, input-output handling, and various other topics that lie at the very core of every modern computer system. This is a self-contained course: all the knowledge necessary to succeed in the course and build the various systems will be given as part of the learning experience. The only prerequisite is knowledge of programming at the level acquired in introduction to computer science courses. All the software tools and materials that are necessary to complete the course will be supplied freely after you enrol in the course. This course is accompanied by the textbook "The Elements of Computing Systems" (Nisan and Schocken, MIT Press). While not required for taking the course, the book provides a convenient coverage of all the course topics. The book is available in either hardcopy or ebook form, and MIT Press is offering a 30% discount off the cover price by using the discount code MNTT30 at https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/elements-computing-systems. The course consists of six modules, each comprising a series of video lectures, and a project. You will need about 2-3 hours to watch each module's lectures, and about 15 hours to complete each one of the six projects. The course can be completed in six weeks, but you are welcome to take it at your own pace. You can watch a TED talk about this course by Googling "nand2tetris TED talk". *About Project-Centered Courses: Project-centered courses are designed to help you complete a personally meaningful real-world project, with your instructor and a community of learners with similar goals providing guidance and suggestions along the way. By actively applying new concepts as you learn, you’ll master the course content more efficiently; you’ll also get a head start on using the skills you gain to make positive changes in your life and career. When you complete the course, you’ll have a finished project that you’ll be proud to use and share....

Top reviews

RB

Sep 03, 2018

I'm a 13 year old 8th Grader from California. I loved this course and learned a lot! Thank you Mr.Schocken for putting together such a wonderful course! It was a thrill to finish the course finally!

RM

Mar 19, 2017

Superb course. Great presentation and course material. Projects are challenging but fun at the same time. Highly recommend for all levels of software developers.

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1 - 25 of 53 Reviews for Build a Modern Computer from First Principles: Nand to Tetris Part II (project-centered course)

By Brian C

Sep 10, 2018

If it's not the absolute hardest course you've taken, it'll be one of the hardest courses you've taken. The workload is staggering. At an Ivy League University you'll have an entire semester + winter break to write a compiler. Here you'll have three weeks. Buckle down & get ready to work hard.

By Sean E

May 14, 2019

A fascinating and incredibly well-made course. Check out my Medium article as to why you should be taking this course: https://medium.com/@seandlg/what-nand2tetris-has-taught-me-about-computers-and-more-importantly-about-learning-aebc84af3030

By Ross M

Sep 05, 2018

Challenging but rewarding.

About a year ago I started mucking about with code with the aim of becoming a web developing. I started with front end and could get away with knowing next to nothing about how computers actually worked and the big software picture. As my interest grew however I quickly became dispirited because I just didn't know enough about what was really going on. Now I no longer feel like a fraud teaching myself code. This course was everything I was looking for.

My only criticism would be the last project. My implementation of the operating system classes passed the tests however it turned out I had let in some really stupid bugs which the tests didn't pick up. This led to easily the most frustrating part of the course as I then discovered most of my classes were incompatible. After the best part of another's weeks work, and several submissions later, I got full marks on the final project. That being said it is probably very difficult to test everything as the classes leave a lot open in terms of implementation.

Thanks a lot. It was a great course.

By Roshan B

Sep 03, 2018

I'm a 13 year old 8th Grader from California. I loved this course and learned a lot! Thank you Mr.Schocken for putting together such a wonderful course! It was a thrill to finish the course finally!

By Anran

Jun 19, 2019

A true gem!

By George K O

Jun 10, 2019

passionate professors!

By Cheng H

May 30, 2019

Best ever computer science course I've taken. Though it takes me 7 months to complete both parts, it really worth it!

By Guillermo S C C

May 18, 2019

The best course ever.

By bao b

Apr 29, 2019

Understand computer is difficult, but this course can help you on this point.

By Graeme G

Mar 29, 2019

This course has been brilliant. I expected to learn a lot, but I got so much more out of this. Its incredible to see such a powerful machine coming out of such a simple design - a true mark of elegance.

By Chris P

Mar 17, 2019

Excellent, challenging course. Learned way more than I expected!

By Piotr L

Mar 01, 2019

Great, highly recommended.

By Shriharsh M

Feb 15, 2019

What an effort by the teachers! Such complex concepts simplified for a large and varied target audience. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the exercises for this course. I am eager to take up the part 3 whenever it comes out.

By Serjey G I

Jan 23, 2019

splendid

By Andrei P

Sep 18, 2018

Great course! Together with part1, it goes through how a computer does what it does, but in a simple way. That is not to say it's not valuable, it was very cool to see how things work behind the scenes and how they did all that! Best course I've done!

By David S

Sep 07, 2018

As great as the first part, although far more demanding.

By Benedek R

Sep 03, 2018

It was a bit superficial. Homework helped to practice the basics. I prefer more detailed and more deep lectures.

By Andrii D

Sep 02, 2018

One of the best computer science courses I ever had. You start understand how actually things like heap, stack, etc. works.

By James M

Aug 20, 2018

Overall, it's an excellent course covering a lot of concepts, definitely the best online course I have done so far. The latter weeks are quite overloaded though, I think it might be better as a slightly longer course, with an additional week focussing on the VM language and the use/history of the stack and heap distinction.

By TANGELLA L

Jul 24, 2018

Great course

By Joe K

Jul 20, 2018

Thank you so much Shimon Schocken!!

Part two was tough, but it was very helpful.

By Steven G

Jun 22, 2018

This is a brilliant and very challenging project oriented course. Even as a IT professional doing this course for fun the workload can be very demanding. Be prepared to work hard and for long hours to get through this course. But the tremendous feeling of accomplishment at the end makes it all worthwhile. I have not felt this way since my undergraduate days. Thank you for reigniting my passion.

By James T

Jun 13, 2018

Absolutely phenomenal. One of the best and most instructive courses I've taken. This provided a much deeper understanding of computer internals than I'd previously had, and I'm shocked by how much ground was covered in this course. It took a lot of work, and while it is listed as 'beginner', I imagine it would be quite challenging to complete without having any experience programming.

By Liudmila N

Apr 20, 2018

Very well structured, you learn a lot, primarily by doing, which is the best learning. The project where you program in Jack is in my opinion unnecessary, and the OS part is just a bag of random stuff, but overall, one of the best courses out there.

By Stephen H

Mar 25, 2018

Great course! Cannot imagine how can I build in two weeks the whole compiling software that translates an OO language down to machine code! Although the part II needs more work than part I, it is still manageable and equally inspiring!