Looking for a course on Computer Science at Harvard? Well, then through the course of this article, we will provide you with all the information you need, but first let’s get to know a little bit about this renowned University that most want to get into. 

About Harvard University 

Harvard University, located in Massachusetts, is one of the oldest and among the most prestigious universities in the US. It is also an Ivy League institution, meaning it is one amongst the many elite universities in the US. Harvard University was founded in the year 1636 by John Harvard, and it initially functioned as a means to educate the clergyman and the affluent sections of society. Overtime, the university has broadened its scope and has extended education to students worldwide. 

Harvard University offers around 3,700 courses. These courses are categorised according to broad subject areas. There are over 40 departments —  maths, biology,  physics , art, culture, language and more. One of the oldest departments is the Harvard Law school, which was established in 1817. Following which, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was founded in the year of 1872. In the following sections, we will briefly outline the courses offered by the Computer science department at Harvard. 

Computer Science Courses at Harvard

With the advent of technology, Harvard tailored their courses to assist students who wanted to avail technological advanced courses. Hence, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences was founded in the year 2007. 

Technology has had a huge impact in our lives, so much so that it functions as an amenity that everyone should possess. It has contributed to society in many ways than one. The most important way is by facilitating research in some of the most beneficial fields such as medicine and science. With time, research has extended to various fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer management, data management, and theoretical computer science. 

Harvard has adapted with the changing times and has curated courses accordingly. Here are some computer science courses offered at Harvard:

  • Introduction to computer science 


Course code: COMPSCI 50

As the title suggests, this course is an introduction to the fundamentals of computer science and to the art of programming. The course is designed for students who have never done computer science before. This course equips students to think in terms of algorithms, in turn allowing them to solve problems in a quick and efficient manner. Some of the topics included in this course are abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web programming. The course ends with a final project, which tests the course objectives, whether you have been able to comprehend and apply what you’ve learnt so far.

  • Systems Programming and Machine Organisation 

Course code: COMPSCI 61

This course entails an introduction to the fundamentals of computer systems programming. It also educates you on performance tuning and machine organisation. In addition, the course sets up a premise for you to understand and decipher low-level machine organisation. Some of the topics included in this course are program optimization, memory hierarchy and caching, virtual memory and dynamic memory management, concurrency, threads, and synchronization. 


  • Introduction to Algorithms and their Limitations

Course code: COMPSCI 120

The title is self-explanatory! This course provides a comprehensive introduction into theoretical computer science. It also trains you in using mathematical abstraction and proof in order to decipher computation. This further enables you to design and modify algorithms. It also helps you differentiate between a good working algorithm from a problematic one. Moreover, it equips you to be able to fix the problem by optimizing the algorithm to perform and provide maximum benefits. 

  • Economics and Computation 

Course code: COMPSCI 136

This course entails a thorough study on the interplay between economic thinking and computation. The course in addition discusses topics such as electronic commerce, collective intelligence and networked systems. Some other topics include game theory, peer production, prediction markets, computational social choice and behavioral game theory. You will engage in computational, theoretical and will be equipped to apply them as well. 

  • Artificial Intelligence

Course code: COMPSCI 182

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has had a profound impact on our society. This course establishes the ideas and techniques that Artificial Intelligence employs. It equips you to identify these approaches and helps you deal with a variety of computational tasks. The course in addition also discusses the ethical responsibilities in AI and how it might be beneficial to our society. Some of the topics include problem solving, multi-agent systems, reasoning with uncertainty, and machine learning.

We have given you a brief overview at the computer science courses at Harvard, but there are many more multidisciplinary courses available as well. Hence, it is advisable that you look through the official Harvard website and shortlist the courses that might interest you. Once you have chosen your preferred course, you can curate your application according to the goals and objectives of the course. 

We hope to have led the course selection process in the right direction and hope to have made it easier for you!

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