Lecture 4 | Programming Methodology (Stanford) | Summary and Q&A

July 2, 2008
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Lecture 4 | Programming Methodology (Stanford)

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This video provides an introduction to computer science and programming using the Java language. It covers the history of computing, the difference between computer science and programming, the process of compiling code, the concept of classes and objects, and the ACM program hierarchy.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the history of computing?

Computing dates back about 4,000 years, starting with the invention of the abacus. Charles Babbage's difference engine and analytic engine in the 1800s laid the foundations for modern computers. Ada Byron, daughter of Lord Byron, is considered the first programmer as she wrote programs for Babbage's machines.

Q: What is the difference between computer science and programming?

Computer science is the study of problem-solving with computers, while programming is an artifact or a way to realize problem-solving techniques in a computer. Computer science involves analyzing problem-solving approaches and the feasibility of different solutions, not just writing code.

Q: How does a computer understand instructions?

Computers only understand zeros and ones, known as binary. To translate high-level instructions written in programming languages like Java, a process called compilation is used. Compilation converts source code into machine code that the computer understands.

Q: What is the ACM program hierarchy?

The ACM program hierarchy is a structure for organizing different types of programs in Java. Programs can be console programs (producing textual output), dialog programs (displaying dialog boxes), or graphics programs (drawing on the screen). All programs inherit from a superclass called "program", which in turn inherits from other classes.

Q: What is an instance of a class?

An instance of a class, also known as an object, is a specific example of a class. It has all the characteristics and behaviors of its class and the classes above it in the class hierarchy. For example, a human is an instance of a primate, which is an instance of a mammal, which is an instance of an animal.

Q: How is a graphics program written in Java?

A graphics program in Java involves creating a class that extends the "GraphicsProgram" class and overriding the "run" method. Inside the "run" method, you can draw on the canvas using various provided methods. In the example code, a label saying "hello world" is drawn on the canvas.


In this video, we learned about the history of computing and the difference between computer science and programming. We also saw how high-level instructions are translated into machine code using compilation. The concept of classes and objects was introduced, along with the ACM program hierarchy. Finally, we saw an example of a graphics program in Java, where we can draw on the canvas to create visual output. Overall, this video provides a broad overview of important concepts in computer science and programming.

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