Frequently Asked Questions

What's CS8?

Behind all the complexity of computers and smart phones is a world of magic—a captivating academic discipline that struggles with very real issues and affects the world around us. Intrigued? Take CS8!

Join Michael and the CS8 team on a guided tour of some of the great ideas and important theoretical discoveries in computer science. You’ll think hard, solve problems, and learn to reason like a computer scientist. You won’t be writing thousands of lines of code, but you will get a chance to grapple hands-on with some of the challenges faced throughout the history of computer science, from the first computers to today. By the time we’re done, you’ll leave with an understanding of why things are the way they are in modern technology, why these concepts matter, and maybe even a hunger to learn a bit more!

CS8: hands-on activities, minimal programming, and a sense of accomplishment you can’t find anywhere else but computer science.

What makes this different from CS 2/4/15/17/931?

CS8 is geared towards non-concentrators who want to gain an understanding of what the field of Computer Science is. You won't be learning the details of any one language or technology, but you'll get an understanding of what Computer Scientists study and why they do it.

If you want to learn the fundamentals of how computers work, what it means to study Computer Science academically, and why CS is important and will continue to be in virtually every field, take CS8.

For more information about specific courses, check out the department's "what course" page.

What will I get to do?

You'll get to learn about many of the most important topics in computer science, and then put what you learn to the test through homeworks and hands-on activities in lab that will have you trying to solve problems and think like a computer scientist.

We'll also be reading a book that explains the history of Computer Science through important algorithms and insights.