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.

Exciting College Courses

April 14th, 2014 / in Uncategorized / by Ann Drobnis

the-new-york-timesThis weekend, The New York Times had an article titled 10 Courses With a Twist by Laura Pappano.  Pappano describes that institutions of higher education are changing their models and putting more emphasis on teaching, making the learning experience not just be for the sake of the course, but applicable to life.

Students still file into lecture halls and classrooms, but once they’re seated, it’s clear that these courses are different. They mess with the old models. And they give students an experience that might change how they think, what they care about or even how they spend their lives.

Topping the list is Introduction to Computer Science  (CS50) at Harvard, taught by Dr. David Malan.  Malan set out to create a course that would get more students to become comfortable with computer science.

CS50 is popular as a massive open online course through edX, but the real action is on campus. An all-night hackathon is fueled by pizza at 9 p.m., Chinese food at 1 a.m. and pancakes at 5 a.m. Office hours, held in various dining halls, can attract 200. A fair to show off final projects, with cake and balloons, draws 2,200, including parents and busloads of curious high school students.

Malan has 700 students in his course, and it is the second most popular at Harvard.  Malan reported on his course at the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) conference in 2013 in a session titled CS50 Sandbox and as part of the conference’s special session Rediscovering the Beauty, Joy, and Awe: Making Computing Fun Again, part 6.

Exciting College Courses

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