Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 4 sessions / week for 3 weeks, 1 hour / session

Labs: 3 sessions / week for 3 weeks, 2 hours / session


Welcome to 6.189! This course will provide a comprehensive, fast-paced introduction to Python. We have a staff:student ratio of about 1:10, and we are all eager to help you learn to code. In return we ask that students be enthusiastic and motivated. We expect you to come to lectures and labs, ask questions when you get stuck, and run your code before turning it in.


This is a fast-paced 3-week course. Attendance at class sessions is strongly encouraged, as those who miss lecture will soon fall far behind. Attendance at lab is required. Because we wish to emphasize learning, there are no letter grades. Rather, to pass the class, all you have to do is try. If you attempt every required problem, you will pass this class easily.

However, because the class is large we do formally "grade" your problem sets, as follows:

+: Every problem attempted, effort on all problems, commented code. Even if the answers to some are wrong or give incorrect results, effort has been made and code has been tested.

Check: Very little or no effort made for at least one problem, code has very obviously not been tested, or code is uncommented.

–: No effort made on at least half the problem set, or problem set not turned in.

To pass this class, you must earn a + on the majority of the assignments. One – is cause for concern and will require a meeting with the instructor; two – will fail the course. Because of the pace of the course, we cannot accept late assignments as we will be posting solutions immediately.

There will be no formal exams, but a take-home mini-quiz will be given, which we will review during the last lecture. This will help you assess your Python ability going into 6.01.


In short: don't do it! You may work with friends to help guide problem solving, but copying—from friends, previous students, or the Internet—is strictly prohibited. If caught cheating, you will fail this course. Ask questions in recitation and at office hours, and email the staff if you have questions. If you're really stuck and can't get help, write as much code as you can and write comments within your code explaining where you're stuck. Be sure to read grader comments when your problem set is returned!