What makes Caltech special?
(This post written by Professor K. Mani Chandy)
(NOTE: This is my personal opinion; it is not necessarily the position of the CS department or of Caltech.)
What is the one characteristic that makes Caltech special? It’s the creativity of students. We, the CS community at Caltech, should develop innovative ways to foster student creativity.
What are the best ways to organize classes, to teach, to have tutorial or recitation sections at Caltech? Students can learn both theory and systems development by working with course material, with information on the Web and in the library, and most importantly by working with other students and with faculty. There are two points about Caltech education:
- Students often learn by collaborating in problem solving. The collaboration includes other students and faculty. The focus, though, is problem solving; working with others helps in developing problem-solving skills.
- The critical, and most precious resource, is student creativity. So, our entire educational structure at Caltech should be designed to enhance creativity. How should we do that?
Is the traditional course, with lectures at fixed times, the best way to foster creativity and problem-solving skills? Are there more creative ways of doing that in Caltech CS? Let’s talk and blog about this.