With an acceptance rate of 6%, Harvard University is one of toughest universities to get into.
But now with the magic of internet and virtual reality, you can pretend to be a student in Harvard’s largest on-campus class.
This is CS50
CS50 is Harvard University’s “introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming.” CS50x is the same class offered on edX. It is edX’s largest class with over 1 million enrollments. It is also one of Class Central’s Top 50 MOOCs of All TIme. You can read our in-depth review of CS50x here.
The course is taught every fall by David Malan, and it sometimes features guest lectures from tech luminaries like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the previous CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer. Currently this class is also being taught in parallel at Yale.
Every time the course is taught at Harvard, the lectures are recorded and put online. In previous years they were also streamed live directly from Harvard’s Sanders Theatre.
This is CS50 VR
Nokia Ozo Virtual Reality camera
But this year, the CS50 team is trying something different. They had previously announced the class would be shot in virtual reality, and this has now started to happen. The lectures are shot in stereoscopic 360º on a Nokia OZO VR camera (each camera costs $45,000).
The first lecture videos in VR finally went live a couple of hours ago. Now anyone in the world can get a front row seat to probably one of the largest classrooms in the world.
You can watch the videos on their YouTube channel and on their Facebook page. For the best experience, watch it using the Youtube/Facebook app via a Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, or HTC Vive.
You can still watch it if you don’t have the appropriate hardware. Just click and drag the video below to look around.
Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.