Starting this week, I’m going to Harvard University — sort of. To be exact, Harvard is going to me.
I have enrolled at www.edx.org, a website that offers online courses from a variety of universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown, Cornell, Berklee College of Music, and more. Anyone can audit a class for free. Those more ambitious can do the homework, tests and final projects for a certificate or — for a fee — college credit.
My chosen challenge is CS50x, “Introduction to Computer Science,” taught by David Malan, Ph.D., who apart from his doctorate in computer science is also a volunteer emergency medical technician and former forensic investigator. After viewing his opening lecture, I can add he’s an entertaining teacher as well.
I’ve long had an interest in programming. I first encountered computers during my fourth grade year at St. Joachim School. A computer lab shared by the entire campus featured educational games on Apple computers — long before the days of Windows, Mac OS, Android or iOS...