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. This situation is likely to change, and soon. Technology is transforming (if not threatening to overwhelm) higher education, as MOOCs and online content become widely available. 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.
Robert Sedgewick is the founding chair and the William O. Baker Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton and a member of the board of directors of Adobe Systems.
Professor Sedgewick’s research interests revolve around algorithm design, including mathematical techniques for the analysis of algorithms. He has published widely in these areas and is the author of sixteen books, including a well-known series of textbooks on algorithms that have sold over one-half million copies. His other recently published books are “An Introduction to Programming in Java: An Interdisciplinary Approach” (with K. Wayne) and “Analytic Combinatorics” (with P. Flajolet). He is currently actively engaged in developing web content and online courses based on these books.