Mehran Sahami : 2015 The Computer Science 50th Anniversary - In Service to the World


April 28, 2015
Location: McCaw Hall, Arrillaga Alumni Center

Speaker: Mehran Sahami, Professor (Teaching) and Associate Chair for Education, Computer Science; Robert and Ruth Halperin University Fellow in Undergraduate Education

Talk Title: Expanding the Frontiers of Computer Science Education

Interest in Computer Science has fluctuated dramatically in the past 20 years. Many factors have been cited for these enrollment dynamics, including changes in the high-tech economy and the general image of computing. In this talk, we begin by examining some of the factors affecting enrollments in CS, analyzing both historical and current trends. We then turn our attention to curricular issues, examining significant changes made in Stanford University’s undergraduate CS program, which aim to expand the scope of education in computer science and highlight the diversity of options available in the field. We discuss the results of these changes — more than tripling the number of undergraduate CS majors in the past six years — and analyze some of the implications for computing education in the years to come.

Mehran Sahami is a Professor (Teaching) and Associate Chair for Education in the Computer Science department at Stanford University. He is also the Robert and Ruth Halperin University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Google for several years. His research interests include computer science education, machine learning, and web search. In 2014, he received the ACM Presidential Award (from former Stanford faculty member Vint Cerf) for his work in developing international guidelines for computer science curricula. He is also a Stanford alum, having received his BS, MS, and PhD in Computer Science at Stanford.