Escalating enrolment in Computer Science

Prof Eric Roberts on how the intro CS courses at Stanford have surpassed even pre-tech bubble numbers. He notes that the students coming in seem different this time round:

> The students who are now inflating the ranks of CS106A are, it seems, deciding to take a computer science course as a way of bolstering their credentials before they emerge into a weak economy. Most have majors in other areas but recognize, probably correctly, that having programming skills will likely increase their chances of gaining employment in their own field. A surprising number of those students, however, once they get into our introductory courses fall completely in love with the material and continue on to double the size of the downstream courses in the curriculum.

I didn’t take many CS courses back in the day, but I have great memories of being part of the CS106 course assistant team. After having planned and taught my own intro programming curricula, I’m now even more impressed by how effective CS106 was, with its engaging assignments, well-planned structure and overall strong pedagogy. I’m glad more students are giving this course, and computer science, a shot.

The courses are available online for free, if anyone’s curious.