Stanford Engineering Everywhere – Learn Computer Programming in a Month

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Over the last few years, many universities started following the trend of offering online courses for free. Whether it is a mere ethical act to aid prospering students or a latent profit scheme, we know that these courses are extremely helpful and worth lauding.

Among the courses offered by the likes of top tier universities such as Harvard, MIT and Stanford, I felt that Stanford’s Engineering Everywhere (SEE) Program stood out. SEE program offers online access to full courses in the school’s engineering program – including classes in computer science and artificial intelligence. Courses include lecture videos, reading lists, handouts, quizzes, tests, and even a social network for fellow online students.

With a strong leaning towards computers, I wanted to learn programming. Mind you I am one of those who don’t know the ABC of computer languages.

I tried books, videos, I even bought the official “Java for Dummies” book, but I was not even near understanding how this whole programming works. Luckily, just when I was on the verge of giving up, I was introduced to Professor Mehran’s Computer Methodology course at SEE.

The purpose of this course is to not only introduce newbies like myself to computer terms and methods but, it’s also an extensive course on JAVA. As Professor Mehran himself states, “The prerequisites to this class is that you should be able to identify if a computer is on or off”. That’s it. No geeky stuff , no pre-lecture code memorization.

The Iranian-American Professor who teaches this class is quite a character himself. From Star Wars references to handing out candies to his students, he’ll make even the most boring topics seem enjoyable and humorous. Taking you step by step, these video lectures are totally worth a try. A full course contains around 30 one hour lectures including assignments and handouts. Getting free education from one of the best universities in the world? It doesn’t get any better than this.

Other courses I would highly recommend are iPhone Application Programming, and Introduction to Robotics.

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The 60 Second Experiment

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Ever felt like amusing the person sitting right next to you or wanting to tell them something they won’t believe but then actually physically proving it to them right that second?  Well now you can.

How?

It’s simple. Just follow the instructions to this anti-common sense experiment/trick that will leave give you one of those “I can can do something awesome” feeling. I founded this and other upcoming experiments through research and they take only 60 seconds to perform(including the time required to gather the material).

Making Tea in a Plastic Bag:

Imagine that you’re stuck on a Nazi Island with nothing else then a plastic bag, some logs of wood, a matchstick and the contents of some good quality Lipton Tea. What to do? Make some tea and calm yourself down.

You’re stupid. How the heck we’re supposed to make tea without any container?

That’s where I come in handy. Following are the materials required for the experiment:

1. An average size Polythene/Plastic Bag. Thinner the better.

 

 

 

 

2. Tap Water

 

 

 

 

3. A Kitchen Stove

 

 

 

Instructions:

Fill the plastic bag with the water from the tap. Turn on the stove. Heat the plastic bag containing the water. After awhile you will observe the water will start heating up and eventually start boiling. (Caution: Make sure the heat is touching only the water containing part of the plastic bag, or else you will fail miserably and make a fool out of yourself).

So what Irfan. Whats the freaking big deal about this? Its just water boiling up!

Ok ok you are right. It is water boling up but the amazing thing about this is that even though its a known fact that platic bags deteriorate extremely quickly when exposed to fire, this charisma of a plastic bag doesn’t.

Hope you try the experiment at least once. Stay tuned for the simple science behind this one(which I am sure you smart people would have guessed so please feel free to post in the comments section) and for some more even better tricks to amaze your amigos.