Podcast #19

Harvard computer science professor David J. Malan is most well-known for his wildly popular introductory computer science class: CS50. In this episode, David tells us all about its inner workings including the role of memorable moments, 20 page problem sets, hackathons, and balloons.

You can subscribe to the Teach Better Podcast through your favorite podcast app or simply subscribe through iTunes if you don’t have one yet.

Show Notes

0:00 Intro

2:19 Evolving CS 50: Changing the tone but not the syllabus.

5:42 What else has changed since the beginning?

9:52 What is a “lecture” in CS50?

12:41 The role of “memorable moments.”

19:30 Teaching critical thinking in a CS class.

25:16 Analyzing student data and getting student work off paper.

29:28 Combining rigor and balloons.

34:32 Structuring student projects.

39:54 A team of 140 running a course; teaching in 4k, 5k, and 6k.

42:07 The CS50 student project fair.

46:46 Coming soon: CS 50 - The AP Course.

49:32 David’s teaching mistake: overconfidence.