Cheerful signs and "Property of CS50" balloons lined the path to Northwest Labs yesterday as students from across campus came out to the annual CS50 fair.Class shirts and merchandise, including multi-purpose stress-relief balls, were widely distributed, and CS50 course instructor David J. Malan '99 let slip the true purpose of the stress balls: branding.
"Someday you’ll get pelted with this in your dorm room and your roommate will say 'Oh! CS50!'" Malan said.
Many websites created for the course have been well received across campus. CrimsonSpark, a website that allows users to “spark” other members they find attractive, already has approximately 1300 registered users.
Several websites were designed to improve the day-to-day lives of Harvard students. Scott Kim '14, for instance, designed a website called "The Harvard Munchies" to help students find out the opening and closing hours of local restaurants—a handy tool for late-night studiers and early-risers.
Some see the annual fair as an important recruiting event for the course itself. Malan was openly enthusiastic about winning new converts to programming, noting that approximately 70 percent of CS50 students had no programming experience prior to enrolling in the course.
"It's absolutely not the sort of course where everyone’s been programming since they were eight years old," Malan said.
Students in attendance were generally very satisfied with the quality of the final projects.
"There are just so many different projects, and they’re all awesome," said Karen F. Xiao '14.