Harvard CS 50x — Final Week 10 (Ethics)

(This is a summary of week 10 from the Harvard CS 50x series. Visit this page to see more from this series! )

Wow - can you believe that it’s already the final week of CS 50x?

Everyone at work is in the holiday mood and likewise, I’m really looking forward to having a break after such an insane year. Although I’m excited to complete this course, it also leaves me feeling a little sad as I don’t want it to end.

Guess this just means I’ll need to think of what to learn next…
(If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment them down below)

The final week was focus on summarising everything we learnt throughout the course, as well as a short talk focused on Ethics.

Summary

  • Looking back + recap
  • Important to remember to only compare yourself to when you began (and not with others)
  • Computational Thinking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Input → black box → Output (Problem-solving)
  • Quality of code = Correctness, design, style
  • Abstraction vs Precision
  • Ethics - Just because you can do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should
  • Examples of ethics gone wrong (perhaps unintentionally?) → Facemash
  • Embedded Ethics Programme:
    - social media
    - fake news (mention of 2016 presidential campaign)
    - targeting specific users with curated news articles
  • Healthy Democracy - collective decision-making through equality:
    1. Rights
    2. Opportunity for Expression
    3. Access
    4. Diversity
    5. Communicative Power
  • Looking forward:
    - Asking questions
    - Finding Answers
    - Reading Documentation
    - Teaching yourself new languages
  • Popular Tools to install

Thoughts

  • Final week was a lot shorter compared to usual lectures (1.5 hrs instead of 3hrs)
  • Really great to see a little more diversity when it comes to speakers
  • Love learning the human side of tech and how we have the power and responsibility when it comes to coding

Final Thoughts of CS50x

This course was such a pleasant way to learn the fundamentals of Computer Science. Not only did I learn about the theoretical side of things, but it also allowed me to train my practical coding skills via C, Python, JavaScript, SQL and more. I’d highly recommend this course to anyone who’s looking for a fun and interactive way to learn more about Computer Science and has a couple of hours every week to study. That’s for from me for now, but I’ll definitely keep learning on the daily. Keep an eye out for more blog posts coming your way! Happy Holidays everyone ☃️❄️🎄

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