David Malan on CS50 for AP CS Principles curriculum
David Malan joins Alan to offer a glimpse of CS50 AP, an adaption of CS50 for high schools that will satisfy the new AP CS Principles curriculum.
CS50 is Harvard University’s introductory course for majors and non-majors alike, a one-semester amalgam of courses generally known as CS1 and CS2. In 2007, we set out to alter the course’s style and tone to resonate with those “less comfortable” and “more comfortable” alike, albeit without sacrificing the course’s historical rigor. We maintained the course’s underlying syllabus but revamped every problem set, providing students not only with more direction but context as well. And we augmented the course’s support structure.
As of 2014, CS50 is Harvard’s largest course with over 800 students, up from 132 in 2006, and those “less comfortable” now compose the course’s largest demographic. In 2015, CS50 will also be offered in parallel at Yale University. We present in this talk what we have done and why we have done it. We look at CS50’s online counterpart, CS50x, Harvard College’s first course to be offered on an even larger scale via edX with nearly 500,000 registrants.
David J. Malan is Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Member of the Faculty of Education in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He received his A.B., S.M., and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the same in 1999, 2004, and 2007, respectively.