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Beauty and Joy of Computing - Summer 2014

Enrollment is Closed


CS10, The Beauty and Joy of Computing, is an exciting new course offered by the UC Berkeley EECS Dept. Computing has changed the world in profound ways. It has opened up wonderful new ways for people to connect, design, research, play, create, and express themselves. However, just using a computer is only a small part of the picture. The real transformative and empowering experience comes when one learns how to program the computer, to translate ideas into code. This course will teach students how to do exactly that, using Snap! (based on Scratch), one of the friendliest programming languages ever invented. It's purely graphical, which means programming involves simply dragging blocks around, and building bigger blocks out of smaller blocks. But this course is far more than just learning to program. We'll focus on some of the "Big Ideas" of computing, such as abstraction, design, recursion, concurrency, simulations, and the limits of computation. We'll show some beautiful applications of computing that have changed the world, talk about the history of computing, and where it will go in the future. Throughout the course, relevance will be emphasized: relevance to the student and to society. As an example, the final project will be completely of the students' choosing, on a topic most interesting to them. The overarching theme is to expose students to the beauty and joy of computing. This course is designed for computing non-majors, although interested majors are certainly welcome to take the class as well! We are especially excited about bringing computing (through this course) to traditionally under-represented groups in computing, i.e., women and ethnic minorities.


Course Staff photo

Pierce Vollucci has been actively involved with CS10 for the past 5 years. Participating with the course from its start as a 20 student pilot to a popular course with size of over 400 students, Pierce has served in every role to help the course grow from Lab Assistant, to Head Reader, to Head TA. Pierce has served as the Head TA for eight sessions of CS10 and one session of CSw10 and won the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor award for his services. He is excited to be the lecturer for CS10 in the summer and to see the course continue to grow and bring CS education to everyone.

Pierce is currently studying Data Science in the EECS’s Master of Engineering Program at UC Berkeley. Having graduated with honors from UC Berkeley triple majoring with a BA in Rhetoric and in Computer Science and a BS in Environmental Economics and Policy, he seeks to use his interdisciplinary background to employ computer engineering techniques in areas of social and environmental concerns to promote humanitarian and green projects for a computer centric world.

Beyond his academic work at UC Berkeley, Pierce was a member of UPE, Berkeley’s Computer Science Honor Society; Historian, Alumni, and Philanthropy Chairs in Sigma Phi Epsilon; an actor in two plays; a Resident Hall President; a legal intern in London; and a programmer for the Lujeri Tea Company in Africa.