Intro to CS in Python – Beginning Level

This is a series of three quarter-long courses.  Each quarter-long course consists of 12 weekly 2-hour classes. The objectives are to provide initial programming experience; to gain understanding of fundamental programming concepts and be able to implement them in Python; to teach computational thinking (i.e., problem solving using computers). Topics include:

  • Turtle graphics
  • Variables, simple data types, console I/O
  • Math and comparison operators.
  • Iterations (for- and while-loops)
  • Functions
  • String and list without iterations

Intro to CS in Python – Intermediate Level

This is a series of three quarter-long courses.  Each quarter-long course consists of 12 weekly 2-hour classes. This course builds on the skills that students have gained in the beginning level classes. The curriculum aims at helping students to gain a deeper understanding of Python programming and how it can be applied in solving real world problems; building a solid foundation which will allow students to excel in their future journey of studying computer science.  Topics include:

  • String and list, iteration on string and list
  • Comparison operators, Boolean variables, logical operators and conditional
  • Functions with input parameters and return values
  • Nested while- and for-loops

ACSL(American Computer Science League) Training

Each ACSL contest consist of two parts: five short questions and one coding challenge. The short questions test students the basic knowledge of CS theory. Topics include Number Systems, Boolean Algebra, and Graph. The coding challenge requires a good understanding of strings, arrays and file IO.

The objectives of this series of courses is to teach algorithmic programming, problem solving using computers and prepare students for ACSL and programming competitions in general. This course builds on the skills that students have gained in Intro to CS in Python classes. The curriculum focuses on teaching students problem formulation. It is highly individualized such that we provide 1:1 help to each student and they can work at their own pace.

USACO(USA Computing Olympiad) Training

Competitive programming is about challenging students’ problem solving skills – using knowledge they have learned in classes to solve fun and challenging problems. USACO problems, even at the Bronze level, is substantially harder than the problems students encounter in regular or even AP CS class. Beyond preparing students for competitions, our ultimate goal is to help them to become better computational thinkers and algorithmic problem solvers!

At the core of competitive programming is algorithmic problem solving. While many other training programs and classes focus on the coding aspects (languages and techniques), we believe that problem solving (and the underlying computational thinking) skills is the key. We will focus on problem formulation and algorithm development. More specifically, we will focus on developing students’ ability to

  • Visualize (conceptualize) – space, time (process), and relationships
  • Think at multiple levels of abstraction
  • Identify patterns and generalize

This course consists of four sessions, each with 10 classes. These four sessions are built on-top of each other with increasing level of difficulty. This course is for students who have taken at least one year of programming classes and are looking to enter USACO competition. Assessment will be given to students prior to enrollment.

Building Robot AI via Python Programming

This is a quarter long course with ten 2-hour weekly classes. The objectives of this course are:

  • To introduce the basic programming concepts to students. The course is explicitly designed to appeal to programmers without much prior coding experience. Emphasis is on problem solving skills and good/efficient logic organization. By choosing Python with simple syntax, it allows us to focus on understanding the engineering of computer applications which is essential in software design and implementation using any programming languages.
  • To expose students to programming a physical device, a sensor-rich robot in the real world. Based on our past experience, students from different age groups and ability-levels all find programming a robot in a real environment interesting and meaningful. They are more motivated and engaged while having fun in learning.

Enrollment Info

Who may attend?
Students in 4th grade and up.

How to sign up?
Go to Contact page and fill out the Contact Form. We will get in touch with you shortly.

Where are classes held?
Los Altos, near Los Altos library.

Who teaches the classes?
All classes are taught by Dr. Chen. Her maximum student to instructor ration is 10:1.

When are the after-school classes?
All after-school classes meet once a week on weekdays or weekend for 2 hours. Sessions are offered in fall, winter and spring. Each session, 10-12 week long, is aligned with local school calendars.

What do students need to bring to class?
All classes require student to bring their own laptop.  Chrome Book does NOT work. For the Robot AI class, proprietary robots are used.