Computer Science Division
University of California at Berkeley
784 Soda Hall / 510 917-7828
BS, Mathematics, MIT, 1969
MS, Computer Science, Stanford, 1975
PhD, Science and Mathematics
Education, Berkeley, 1985
MA, Clinical Psychology,
New College of California, 1990
I'm a "Senior Lecturer with Security of Employment Emeritus," which means that they paid me to teach full-time (not to do research), but was essentially tenured, even though I'm not supposed to call it that. (But since nobody outside the University of California has any idea what that title means, I'm allowed to call myself a "Teaching Professor Emeritus" instead. Research faculty at some other UC campuses don't allow this for their teaching faculty, because they're afraid people might think we're like them and they'll get cooties.) I am retired as of July 1, 2013. But I'm continuing to work on various education-related projects at the University.
I taught many of the lower division (freshman and sophomore) computer science courses at Berkeley, as well as one called Social Implications of Computing and occasionally others.I'm (still) faculty advisor of the Computer Science Undergraduate Association and of the Open Computing Facility.
|You can see videos of my course CS 61A, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, based on the amazing textbook of the same name, still, after 50 years, the best computer science book in the world. My lecture notes, sample exams, and other course documents are preserved here. The videos are archived off campus because they're not captioned and the campus is required to caption any videos they present to the world. I am pleased and honored that people are still discovering my course online and pursuing it with interest, even without gold stars for completing it.|
I'm also interested in the use of computers in pre-college education; I used to be a high school teacher, and was involved in the development of the Logo programming language. More recently I've been helping develop the Snap! language (see below).
Brian's Last Lecture (Quicktime) (download it to watch; don't try to stream it in the browser)
|Build Your Own Blocks
a/k/a BYOB) is an extended version of
drag-and-drop programming language for kids from MIT.
I've been working on it with Jens Mönig, adding
higher order functions and true object
inheritance for first-class sprites, to
support an undergraduate-level
introductory computer science course. We have
established such a course
at Berkeley, and are working on spreading it to other colleges and high
schools through teacher preparation and support efforts.
This project really excites me — sneaking the ideas of Scheme
into the visual metaphor of Scratch!
|The Beauty and Joy of Computing is Berkeley's computer science course for non-majors, and also, in somewhat different form, a high school CS course intended for a wide audience, including the kids who have not traditionally viewed themselves as CS nerds. In addition to programming in Snap!, it includes a strong component of the social implications of computing. The high school version is being developed in collaboration with EDC, a nonprofit R&D company with long experience developing K-12 curricula. It is College Board endorsed as meeting the requirements for the new AP CS Principles exam.|
Berkeley Logo (download manual)
is a freeware interpreter that I wrote along with
several students. (Major contributors are Daniel van Blerkom, Khang Dao,
Michael Katz, Douglas Orleans, and Sanford Owings.)
News! UCBLogo development has been taken over by wonderful chief volunteer Josh Cogliati and bunches of other volunteers: dmalec, Barak A. Pearlmutter, janekr, hosiet, reinerh, atehwa, kilobyte, pahihu
The newest source tree is here:
The current version is 6.2, posted 30 Dec 2020.
Click here to retrieve the complete distribution archive for Unix/Linux, MacOS X, or Windows, complete with C source code.
Here are links to version 5.3 for frozen platforms DOS or Mac pre-OS X. A version for the One Laptop Per Child XO is here.
(If you think Logo is just a graphics language for little kids, check out a sample program that should impress you.)
Also consider David Costanzo's FMSLogo, an updated version of George Mills' MSWLogo, a multimedia-enhanced version for MS Windows based on Berkeley Logo. Or Andreas Micheler's aUCBLogo, a rewrite and enhancement of UCBLogo.
Here are links to other versions of Logo.
If you got here by Googling "logo" and are looking for someone to design a logotype (an identifying symbol) for your organization, you're in the wrong place. This is the Logo computer programming language for learners!
(The beautiful cover art|
is by Jon Rife.)
Now FREE for personal use: The second edition of Computer Science Logo Style, a three-volume series intended mainly for teenagers and their teachers, or for adults who aren't professional programmers. You can look at the tables of contents and complete downloadable PDFs and browsable HTML versions of
MIT Press web pages for Computer Science Logo Style v1 v2 v3
Now FREE for personal use: The second edition of
Simply Scheme: Introducing Computer Science,
written with my colleague
The book is intended for college-level non-CS majors and
for students who intend to major in CS but whose high school programming
background hasn't prepared them for our first course for majors.|
The second edition was published in 1999.
You can look at complete downloadable PDFs and browsable HTML versions of the chapters.
Note: This book is still in copyright, and in print. It is posted here for your personal use, not for resale or redistribution. Thanks!
Here are the program files for use with the book (or by HTTP).
MIT Press web page for Simply Scheme
I've written several papers about computers and education.
I'm a member of the Exploratorium, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the League for Programming Freedom, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Other organizations I support include the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Berkeley Food and Housing Project, the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, and Camp Winnarainbow. (The latter group are not membership organizations, hence the grouping.)
|presents new political cartoons daily M-F, by great cartoonists such as Keith Knight, Ruben Bolling, Jen Sorensen, Tom Tomorrow, Matt Bors, and Mike Dawson. (Links are to their patreon pages or equivalent.)|
Check out the Marxism page and the Marxists Internet Archive.
Check out the world's best turkey stuffing recipe.