61AS is a self-paced course that covers the same topics and fulfills the same
requirements as lecture-based 61A.
The 61AS Course website:
The important differences between the self-paced and
- Self-paced classes work well for students who are good at time
management. They don't work so well for procrastinators.
- Students who expect to get through the course material faster or slower
than average might benefit from the self-paced structure:
- More advanced students will have the opportunity to earn a fifth unit
of credit for advanced material (on compilers and memory management) not in
the regular course.
- Students with no programming experience can spend the first month on
very introductory material and spread out the required content over two
semesters (the second one concurrent with 61B).
- The self-paced version uses the original textbook, Structure and
Interpretation of Computer Programs, the best CS book ever written.
The lecture-based version uses lecture notes adapted from this book.
- The lecture version will give students a closer sense of contact with
The less important difference
The lecture version uses the Python
programming language; the self-paced version uses Scheme.
Both courses are currently full, but 61AS may expand to meet additional demand.
For now, if you want to switch, add yourself to the 61AS waiting list, but
don't drop 61A until you are admitted.