What you will study in the Algorithms, Data Structures and Computability module at The Open University UK:
You will learn to take a problem and state it precisely in order that it can be solved with a computer. In other words, you will learn to express the problem in a way which allows you to write an algorithm for solving it. However, not all algorithms are equally good solutions.
For that reason, you will also learn how to analyse the speed and efficiency of algorithms, and establish whether an algorithm really does what it is supposed to do. Finally, you will delve into the very foundations of computing. You’ll learn which problems cannot be solved with an algorithm. You will also learn what the limits are on the speed with which algorithms can solve many important practical problems.
Throughout the module you’ll encounter activities and visualisations that bring to life the concepts that are at the heart of this module. You will gain an understanding of the basic principles behind the answers to a wide range of questions including:
This module emphasises how valuable computational thinking skills are for solving a wide variety of real-world problems. Additionally, the study of computing concepts is tightly integrated with professional skills, such as the use of the Python programming language, awareness of SQL data manipulation, and information literacy (in particular, searching for information and writing a brief report).
If you are aiming to become a programmer or system builder, this module is ideal as it covers the skills and knowledge that many leading employers in IT and computing value highly, including:
You can apply until:
Always verify the dates on the programme website.
You will learn
The module comprises three parts.
Firstly, you are introduced to the concept of computational thinking. In particular, you will consider the question ’What is it to compute?’. A number of key concepts are defined – such as computational problem, algorithm and abstraction – and their application is illustrated. You will be given examples of computational problems and their solutions in a wide variety of fields, ranging from physics and biology to economics and sports. You will also start using the Python programming language.
Secondly, you’re introduced to tools and techniques for:
A range of standard data structures and algorithms for sorting, searching and optimisation will be covered and illustrated with practical examples. You will also encounter notions such as Big-O notation, induction and recursion.
You need to have a good knowledge of computing; an understanding and experience of programming; and some knowledge of mathematics.
The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.
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