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Updated: Nov. 26, 7:00 p.m.
CS50 is coming to Yale.
Harvard approved the joint venture — in which students at Yale will watch live or archived lectures of the popular Harvard computer science course — The Harvard Crimson reported Tuesday evening.
While students will watch Harvard computer science professor David Malan’s lectures from afar, they will participate in sections and office hours in New Haven, Harvard computer science professor Harry Lewis said.
Harvard’s approval was the last step in the process of approving the joint venture, after Yale faculty voted overwhelmingly to bring the course to New Haven earlier this month. Following Harvard’s approval, Computer Science Department Chair Joan Feigenbaum said, Yale will introduce the course for the first time in Fall 2015.
Computer science and mechanical engineering professor Brian Scassellati, who will teach the course at Yale, will work to build a course akin to the popular Harvard course, Lewis said, recruiting undergraduate learning assistants to staff the Yale version of CS50. Feigenbaum said earlier this month that the training for these assistants will begin in Spring 2015.
The course will also be overseen by current Harvard senior Jason Hirschhorn, a long-time CS50 TF who will work full-time at Yale after his graduation, according to Lewis.
Reactions to the decision were mixed.
Computer science major Aileen Huang ’17 said that bringing CS50 to Yale is a lazy way of getting around the department’s problems—such as being understaffed and not offering enough electives. Her sentiment, she said, is shared by most of the other computer science majors she knows.
“CS50 is merely a band-aid solution,” Huang said.
However, professors interviewed at both schools were pleased to hear the news.
Computer Science professor and director of undergraduate studies Jim Aspnes said he looks forward to seeing CS50 at Yale. Now that the course has been approved by Yale faculty and by Harvard, the details of implementing it will be handled by the course’s instructors, he said.
Lewis said that he is thrilled, adding that CS50 is a great course, and can only be good for both schools.
He also explained that Yale CS50 students will be invited to attend CS50 events — like CS50 Puzzle Day in September and CS50 Hackathon in December – in Cambridge. At the end of the semester, there will be a CS50 Fair on both campuses, he added.
Aspnes said that while it is hard to predict how introducing CS50 will affect the rest of Yale’s CS department, he hopes it will expand the accessibility of computer science to more Yale students.