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Computer and Information Sciences

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If you are about to start a degree with us in the Department of Computer & Information Sciences then we think you might find the following articles, books, websites and videos useful, insightful and most importantly, fun to read, listen and watch.

We place a lot of emphasis on the wider societal relevance of computing in our courses. The Spark with Nora Young podcast from CBC Radio provides a great, all-around look at global aspects of computer science and tech-world developments of right now. Meanwhile, the book Coders takes a really interesting look at the profession of computer programming and its place in society.

All of our Computer and Information Science courses have at least some - or in some cases, lots of - focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The MIT Technology Review publishes up to date articles on many aspects of computing including AI and machine learning, whilst closer to home the BBC also maintains a page of AI articles. Finally, if you haven’t tried it out already do check out the AI that everyone is talking about right now: ChatGPT is available from the OpenAI website.

If you are about to start one of our undergraduate BSc courses then one of the first programming languages you will use is Python. Our modules are designed to get you up to speed with Python, regardless of your programming background; however if you are really itching to get started then there are some great beginners resources on the web such as from CodecademyMicrosoft Learn and the Python Software Foundation that you may want to take a look at.

All of our courses at Northumbria are based on the concept of computational thinking. Former Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research, Jeannette Wing has written and spoken many times about this concept. Her 2006 ACM Communications article and this talk on Youtube are good places to start to get a grasp of this concept.

For more general reading we recommend technical magazines such as BCS ITNOW – available with student Membership of the BCS - or  Communications of the ACM. Of course, TED Talks feature a lot of up to date content and their curated list of talks related to computers is a brilliant resource.

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