At the beginning of last year, we wrote about CS50, Harvard’s Introductory Computer Science course, taught by Professor David Malan. Today, we bring you the updated version of the class, filmed throughout the past semester at Harvard. Why revisit an updated version of the same class a year later? For one thing, the material has been updated. And, as you can tell by the rousing reception Malan receives from the audience at the start of the first lecture (above), Malan is kind of a big deal. From his opening boom of “This is CS50,” Malan immediately comes off as an unusually charismatic professor. He offers what might just be the most engaging online class you’ve ever seen.
So what does this charismatic computer scientist cover over three months? An impressively large amount of information about coding. Malan builds the course from the ground up, and begins by describing how transistors are employed to transmit information within computers. From then on, he outlines a vast amount of computer science in highly accessible language. This will almost undoubtedly be the clearest presentation of topics like “command-line arguments,” “cryptography,” and “dynamic memory allocation” that you’re likely to hear.
The class videos are available on iTunesU, YouTube, and in audio, 1080p HD video, and text transcript form on a crisp course website. The course may also be accessed through edX, Harvard and MIT’s MOOC platform, which allows users to receive a certificate upon completion. It’s easy to tell that Malan and his team have gone above and beyond the requirements of creating a helpful introduction to computer science. They deliver an astoundingly easy-to-grasp primer on a daunting topic.