by Dhawal Shah
Get a front-row seat in Harvard’s largest class, thanks to virtual reality
With an acceptance rate of 6%, Harvard University is one of toughest universities to get into.
But now, with the magic of virtual reality, you can pretend to be a student in Harvard’s largest on-campus class. You sit front and center, able to look around at the students in the auditorium around you.
This is CS50
CS50 is Harvard University’s “introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming.” The same class is also offered on edX (know as CS50x), where it’s edX’s largest class. Since the course debuted in 2012, more than a million students have enrolled.
The course is taught every fall by David Malan. 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, 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
But this year, the CS50 team is trying something different. They had previously announced that the class would be shot in virtual reality.
The lectures are being shot in stereoscopic 360º on Nokia OZO VR camera. Each camera costs $45,000.
The first lecture videos in VR finally went live a few 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 are on their YouTube channel and on their Facebook page. For best experience, watch it using 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. Here’s the first lecture, to give you a taste:
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