Celebrating 50 years of computer science at MIT

The first real-time digital computer (Project Whirlwind)…the first multiplayer video game, “SpaceWar!”…Arpanet, Ethernet, email, TCP/IP, the World Wide Web…and of course, OCW and edX.

These are among 50 ways that MIT has transformed computer science, a list compiled by MIT CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory).

On May 28-29, 2014, the MAC50 symposium at MIT celebrates the 50th anniversary of item #4 on this list: Project MAC. Project MAC (Multiple Access Computer and Machine Aided Cognition) set about developing a computing system that would allow individuals to access computational power much as we are able to access electricity for our homes. The result was time-sharing and a new paradigm of interactive computing, which laid the foundation for many of today’s basic design concepts for software systems.

OCW has several hundred courses on computer science topics. Here are a few notable courses by past directors of CSAIL and its predecessor AI Lab:

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