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Ask me any A-Level Computer Science questions! watch

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    Hi everyone! My name is Owen Hu and I am studying A2 Computer Science right now. I have started writing CS topic guides a few days ago on my new website (xiao.io). If you guys have any questions/topics you hope to be covered, leave them in the comments here along with your email, if you wish, and I will write about them on my blog as soon as possible and notify you! (unfortunately, I can only write in Python and not VB or Pascal for programming questions...)

    So why me?

    I received the highest mark on AS Level Computer Science in China for which I received an "Outstanding Learner's Award" from Cambridge (photo). I believe that I have a solid understanding of all of the topics on the A Level syllabus and that I can explain them in layman's terms quite well, perhaps more accessible than the textbook.

    This is also a chance for me to consolidate the content and improve my writing/teaching skills. Therefore, I very much welcome anyone to ask!

    Thanks for reading and good luck!
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    Exactly how hard is it to learn how to program??
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    (Original post by Priyanboss517)
    Exactly how hard is it to learn how to program??
    learning a programming language is very easy. Imagine learning to write in a new language where you understand all of the words. All you need to learn are the rules, aka. grammar, aka. syntax. However, it's not easy to be good at it. Everyone can be decent at programming very easily, but being good at it requires critical thinking skills, logical thinking skills etc.
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    (Original post by owenlearnstopun)
    (unfortunately, I can only write in Python for programming questions...)
    (Original post by owenlearnstopun)
    learning a programming language is very easy..
    So why have you only learnt Python?
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    So why have you only learnt Python?
    Yes, out of the three languages in A Level (VB, pascal, python). But I can write in javascript, c++ and the html/php/css bunch. I have only started learning python for A Level. Ive had more experience with the other ones. I didnt learn another language because I didnt need to. I will definitely learn more languages as time goes on, and as more needs become evident.

    Perhaps I should edit the post so that it's clearer...

    Edit: If you meant why only Python but not VB and Pascal, its because I dont want to mix up the syntax during the test. It is a written test, so itd be advantageous to stick with one.
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    Because I was think of doing computer engineering at university and I’ve never programmed before. Do you think it will be doable with someone who’s not really done much on it at all?
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    (Original post by owenlearnstopun)
    Yes, out of the three languages in A Level (VB, pascal, python). But I can write in javascript, c++ and the html/php/css bunch.
    Ah ok. Your original post wasn't clear on that

    They still teach Pascal?! I learnt that in the 80s... (I am very old).
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Ah ok. Your original post wasn't clear on that

    They still teach Pascal?! I learnt that in the 80s... (I am very old).
    Haha, yes, they still do!
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    What are you doing for you programming project?
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    (Original post by Priyanboss517)
    Because I was think of doing computer engineering at university and I’ve never programmed before. Do you think it will be doable with someone who’s not really done much on it at all?
    Yes definitely! Surprisingly, programming skills are not so important for a student planning to study computer science/computer engineering. If you look at the courses at many unis, you will learn all those basics during your first year. However, you do need to be pretty confident at maths and science (physics and chemistry) as the more advanced studies require intensive skills in those areas.
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    (Original post by num.7)
    What are you doing for you programming project?
    The course did not require a project, but I did one anyway. I created a PM2.5 (air particulate) monitoring and alert system for our school. It basically gets data from a sensor connected to a raspberry pi on campus, and then stores those data in a database. It displays the live reading and history readings on a LAN website. Also, it will alert staff through email when the readings exceed a safety threshold.
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    Have you applied to universities? If so which ones, and what are your other A-levels?

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Have you applied to universities? If so which ones, and what are your other A-levels?

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    My A levels are Maths, Physics and Computer Science.
    Yes, I have. Ive been accepted to the University of Toronto. Its very cheap for me as a canadian citizen, so that is definitely a great choice. I also applied to 7 of the top US universities just as a challenge/gamble. They are Cornell, NYU, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
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    (Original post by owenlearnstopun)
    My A levels are Maths, Physics and Computer Science.
    Yes, I have. Ive been accepted to the University of Toronto. Its very cheap for me as a canadian citizen, so that is definitely a great choice. I also applied to 7 of the top US universities just as a challenge/gamble. They are Cornell, NYU, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
    Good stuff. Have you heard back from the US choices? Stanford would be the standout choice obviously... (you didn't try MIT?).
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    (Original post by owenlearnstopun)
    Yes definitely! Surprisingly, programming skills are not so important for a student planning to study computer science/computer engineering. If you look at the courses at many unis, you will learn all those basics during your first year. However, you do need to be pretty confident at maths and science (physics and chemistry) as the more advanced studies require intensive skills in those areas.
    Thats nice to hear. I am currently doing maths and chemistry as a levels. How do you find it? Is it fun to do? even though it must take quite a bit of time to do and learn.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Good stuff. Have you heard back from the US choices? Stanford would be the standout choice obviously... (you didn't try MIT?).
    Not yet, the results will come out later this month. Carnegie Mellon is actually also a top university for computer science. Although not as prestigious as stanford, its very popular in the industry. I didnt try MIT because I felt a bit overwhelmed looking at whats everything like over there. Ive also met a few people who are also applying to MIT and they just seem so much better and more prepared than I am. I felt there would be too much peer pressure for me, so I basically chickened out
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    (Original post by owenlearnstopun)
    Not yet, the results will come out later this month. Carnegie Mellon is actually also a top university for computer science. Although not as prestigious as stanford, its very popular in the industry. I didnt try MIT because I felt a bit overwhelmed looking at the whats everything like over there. Ive also met a few people whos also applying to MIT and they just seem so much better and prepared than I am. I felt there would be too much peer pressure for me, so I basically chickened out
    Well you won't do badly at any of those choices...
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    (Original post by Priyanboss517)
    Thats nice to hear. I am currently doing maths and chemistry as a levels. How do you find it? Is it fun to do? even though it must take quite a bit of time to do and learn.
    I am currently doing Physics, Maths and Computer Science. I have a lot of fun doing Maths. Its challenging but I had good foundation with maths thanks to some great teachers. Physics is more challenging because its less straight forward than maths. I did chemistry during AS, but I dropped it because I thought it was very difficult.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Well you won't do badly at any of those choices...
    For sure
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    (Original post by owenlearnstopun)
    I am currently doing Physics, Maths and Computer Science. I have a lot of fun doing Maths. Its challenging but I had good foundation with maths thanks to some great teachers. Physics is more challenging because its less straight forward than maths. I did chemistry during AS, but I dropped it because I thought it was very difficult.
    Yeah for some reason as well i enjoy maths. Probably the subject i enjoy the most. Its the opposite here for me with physics and chemistry. I find thay physics just doesn't go well with me here as chemistry is doable for me although it requires so much time to understand.
 
 
 
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