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I'm a community college student in California looking to transfer to Berkeley.

I am currently two weeks into the CS 61A Summer Course here in Berkeley and I can confidently say that it is the best class I have taken in my academic career. A few reasons:

1. It follows the mentality of guided discovery. Topics are covered in class, and just enough is taught such that the basis of a solution can be formed, but the implementation requires each person to discover something new.

2. The breadth of topics. The course is 50% students who have never programmed before, I have been programming for 4 years, but still I am learning new things about optimizations, tail recursion, and Big-O notation. If you look at the calendar at http://cs61.org, it goes from "these are variables" to "AI" in 8 weeks.

3. Resources. CS 61A Staff during the summer course if legendary already. They're extremely knowledgeable and very welcoming to everyone. The main lecturers, Albert and Robert, both cover the material well and make themselves available to students of any programming knowledge. There are also dozens and dozens of TAs and Lab assistants which are actually useful, unlike some other courses.

4. Intrigue. I have never wanted to bunker down and learn everything there is to know about recursion, interpreters, and algorithms more than I have in the last two weeks. The way the course is structured, as mentioned above, actually inspires learning in a way that some other topics don't achieve because they follow archaic teaching methods.

Here's to an awesome 61A course.




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