Introduction
Articles,  Blog

Introduction


Welcome to CS101. I’m Dave Evans, I will be your guide on this journey. This course will introduce you to the fundamental ideas in computing and teach you to read and write your own computer programs. We are going to do that in the context of building a web search engine. I’m guessing everyone here has at least used a search engine before. Like Google, DuckDuckGo or even my personal favorite – DaveDaveFind. You type in what you are looking for, and voila – in literally a blink of an eye, about a tenth of a second, back come the results. This might not be enough to make you wise, but it is pretty amazing. A goal of this class is to turn some of the magic of the search engine into something a bit more understandable. Our biggest goal tho is to learn about computer science. Computer science is about how to solve problems, like building a search engine, by breaking them into smaller pieces and then precisely and mechanically describing a sequence of steps that you can use to solve each piece. And those steps can be executed by a computer. For our search engine the three main pieces are: finding data by crawling web pages, building an index to be able to respond quickly to search queries, and ranking pages so that we get the best result for a given query. In this course we will not get into everything that you need to build a search engine as powerful as Google, but we will cover the main ideas and learn a lot about computer science along the way. The first three units will focus on building the web crawler. We will talk more about that soon. Units 4 and 5 will cover how to respond to queries quickly. And unit 6 will get into how to rank results and cover the method Google uses to rank pages, that made it so successful. But first, let’s talk about how to build a web crawler that we are going to use to get data for our search engine.

7 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *