• xTalks: Digital Discourses

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A 21st Century Model for Disseminating Knowledge

Robert Sedgewick

"Are you still trying to teach and learn with large live lectures? Why?"

In the early years of the third millenium, most professors are still teaching in virtually the same way they were taught and their teachers were taught, stretching back centuries. As we all know, this situation is ripe for change. University students seeking to learn a topic who now have little if any choice are about to be presented with a vast array of choices. What student would not want to swap a tired professor writing slowly on a chalkboard for a well-produced series of videos and associated content, given by a world leader in the field? We are on the verge of a transformation on the scale of the transformation wrought by Gutenburg. This imminent change raises a host of fascinating and far-reaching questions. In this talk, Princeton University Professor Robert Sedgewick will describe a scalable model for teaching and learning that has already enabled us to reach millions of people around the world.

Robert Sedgewick is the founding chair and the William O. Baker Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton and served for many years as a member of the board of directors of Adobe Systems. He previously served on the faculty at Brown University and has held visiting research positions at Xerox PARC, IDA, INRIA, and Bell Laboratories. Prof. Sedgewick's research interests include analytic combinatorics, algorithm design, the scientific analysis of algorithms, curriculum development, and innovations in the dissemination of knowledge. He has published widely in these areas and is the author of twenty books, which have sold nearly one million copies. He has also published extensive online content (including studio-produced video lectures) on analysis of algorithms and analytic combinatorics and (with Kevin Wayne) algorithms and computer science. Their MOOC on algorithms has been named one of the "top 10 MOOCs of all time" and their online content draws millions of pageviews each year.