Introduction

This is CS50x, Harvard University's introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming for majors and non-majors alike, with or without prior programming experience. An entry-level course taught by David J. Malan, CS50x teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Languages include C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and HTML. Problem sets inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. As of Fall 2015, the on-campus version of CS50xCS50, was Harvard's largest course.

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Students who earn a satisfactory score on 9 problem sets (i.e., programming assignments) and a final project will receive a certificate from HarvardX. This is a self-paced course–you may take CS50x on your own schedule.

What you'll learn:

  • A broad and robust understanding of computer science and programming
  • How to think algorithmically and solve programming problems efficiently
  • Concepts like abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development
  • Familiarity in a number of languages, including C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and HTML
  • How to engage with a vibrant community of like-minded learners from all levels of experience
  • How to develop and present a final programming project to your peers

 

Meet The Author

David J. Malan

David J. Malan

Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science, Harvard University

David Malan received his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate in computer science from Harvard University, where his research focused on the detection of patterns in large datasets. He teaches Harvard College's introductory computer science course and holds an appointment as the Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He was awarded the Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007. He also serves as chief information officer for Mindset Media.

While in graduate school, he founded two startups: Crimson Tutors and Diskaster. Malan also worked part-time for the Middlesex District Attorney's Office as a forensic investigator. And, on the side, he volunteered as an EMT-B for MIT-EMS. He continues to volunteer as an EMT-B for the American Red Cross.

Education

  • PhD Harvard University
Rob Bowden

Rob Bowden

Computer Science doctoral student, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Harvard University

Rob is a doctoral student in Computer Science at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. He received his A.B. in Computer Science with a secondary field in Mathematical Sciences from Harvard in 2013.

Zamyla Chan

Zamyla Chan

Chemistry and Chemical Biology doctoral candidate Harvard University

Zamyla is a doctoral candidate in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. She received her S.B. in Engineering Sciences with a secondary field in Computer Science from Harvard in 2014.

Doug Lloyd

Doug Lloyd

Doug is a Senior Preceptor in Computer Science in the Division of Continuing Education at Harvard University. He received his A.B. in Computer Science from Harvard in 2009.

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