Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Introductory Computer Science is Second Most Popular Course at Harvard

November 27th, 2013 / in Uncategorized / by Ann Drobnis

bostonglobeOn November, 26, 2013, Michael Farrell writes in The Boston Globe about the great change which is occurring on Harvard University’s campus, with regard to Computer Science in an article titled, “Computer science course fills seats, needs at Harvard.”  From the article:

In just a few short years CS50 has rocketed from being a middling course to one of the biggest on campus, with nearly 700 students and an astounding 102-member staff that includes teaching fellows, graders, and multimedia producers. Classes are so big lectures are held in Sanders Theatre and office hours so crowded it looks like a tech start-up.

David Malan has created a course that makes computer science come alive for the students.  What’s impressive is that students from across campus are taking this computer science course, not just CS majors:

…Most students who take it did not come to Harvard burning to launch their own tech start-ups. But these Digital Natives — the generation that grew up with the Internet and smartphones — see technology as something they need to know regardless of what careers they follow.

Computing is helping to change the culture at Harvard.  Up until a few years ago, engineering was simply a division within the University, now it is it’s own school, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a prime beneficiary of the $6.5 billion fund-raising campaign at the University.

Harry Lewis, a former Harvard dean, said the popularity of CS50, as well as the technology zeitgeist sweeping campus, is “a major institutional shift” for a university that once considered teaching practical skills beneath it.

Further, students are seeing how important computing is, and University officials are predicting that eventually all students will want to understand computing.

Introductory Computer Science is Second Most Popular Course at Harvard

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