How a top-ranked engineering school reimagined CS curriculum (Ep. 565)
The home team welcomes a student and a professor from engineering powerhouse Olin College for a discussion of computer science education and how Olin prepares its students to hit the ground running as software engineers.
Olin College of Engineering has one of the top-ranked undergrad engineering programs in the US. Its computing curriculum is a concentration within the engineering major, not a standalone major. The upshot is a liberal arts-informed course of study with fewer math and theory requirements than a typical CS degree and a greater emphasis on practical, job-ready skills like code quality, testing, and documentation. To learn more about how software design is taught at Olin, explore the course.
Andrew Mascillaro is a senior at Olin majoring in electrical and computer engineering. He’s currently a software engineering intern at Tableau. You can find him on LinkedIn.
Steve Matsumoto is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at Olin; his academic interests include crypto and cybersecurity. You can find him on GitHub or through his website.the stack overflow podcast
The description of the podcast is misleading, it’s one course, not a degree.
“The upshot is a liberal arts-informed course of study, with fewer math and theory requirements than a typical CS degree”
Assuming the descriptor was comparing it to an entire undergrad, how is that an upshot? That’s not a Computer Scientist much less an Engineer. It’s a digital mason, a bricklayer. The industry does not need more typers, it needs people who understand what they are doing. The course precisely seems to supplement a CS/Engineer with digital brick laying skills.
@Isabela Hello, Olin alumni here. They might not have described it clearly. The CS ‘degree’ at Olin is a general engineering degree. One thing they didn’t mention is that students have required engineering gen-eds. These include (or did when I was there), multivariate calculus, multiple years of linear algebra, biology, probability, chemistry, design, and fundamentals of electrical and mechanical engineering.
While the CS curriculum might be only 80% of what you expect in another engineering program, the free slots are usually (its up to the student) filled with more electrical engineering, signals, robotics and controls theory. So the idea is that the curriculum produces computer scientists with more and broader engineering skills rather than being silo’ed into software.
Re the “How a top-ranked engineering school reimagined CS curriculum (Ep. 565)”: From the transcript: “So one of the things that we try to be very clear about is that we are not a computer science program.”