New computer science courses meet students where they are

Mr. Stuart Alden teaches Justin Fan ’24 – Pierce Laveran 24′

Computer science teacher Mr. Stuart Alden leverages years of professional and industrial expertise to teach his courses. Having worked with computers since grade school, Mr. Alden recognizes the importance of computer science in the workplace. 

 “[A]s an actuary, I used computers on a daily basis, even back in the days before email was a common thing, as I needed to make lengthy computations with lots of data,” Mr. Alden stated. 

Mr. Alden has tailored his courses, introductory and advanced computer science, to the knowledge and abilities of his students. 

“So, long as you’re curious about computers and what they can do, I think you will enjoy the course.”

Mr. Stuart Alden

“The intro course assumes no prior computing knowledge whatsoever,” Mr. Alden said. “So, long as you’re curious about computers and what they can do, I think you will enjoy the course.”

Mr. Alden also draws attention to the past and future impacts of computer science. 

“I do want my Intro course students to come away with basic programming skills and an appreciation for where computing has been and where it’s headed,” Mr. Alden said.

While Mr. Alden’s advanced computer science course may be aimed at those with more experience, he takes the time to review with his students as well. 

“The advanced course assumes prior programming experience and knowledge of basic computing concepts, but we spend the first several weeks reviving knowledge that we had, but which perhaps got a little ‘rusty’ over the summer,” Mr. Alden said.

In his advanced computer science course, Mr. Alden focuses on helping students build skills they will need for the workforce. 

“It’s inevitable that you will be using computers in your career; the more you know,” Mr. Alden said. “The better and the more creatively you’ll make use of them.” 

As a result, his advanced course focuses on student-led projects. 

“​​For my advanced computer science students, I want to give them an opportunity to explore some more esoteric topics and dig deep into projects in areas that interest them,” Mr. Alden said.