Sai University recently organised a webinar on Computer Science and future of Computing in other disciplines as part of its Synaptic Forum which explores ideas of visionary thought leaders around the world. Sai University aims to be a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary Indian university of global eminence through active learning inspired by thought leaders who challenge the boundaries of traditional education.

The session, moderated by Founding Vice Chancellor Dr. Jamshed Bharucha, hosted Dr. John Mitchell from Stanford University where he chairs the Department of Computer Science. Dr. Mitchell is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Sai University and also a member of its international advisory board.

Dr. Mitchell is known for his usage of computer applications in online learning methodologies and his work on computer security and programming language theory are well-known.

At the webinar, Dr. Mitchell spoke about the evolving trends of computer science and its applications in various fields such as Liberal Arts, Science and Engineering among others. Dr. Mitchell delved into detail the importance of computer security and privacy in the current era and spoke about how block chain methodology has a lot of applications aside from Bitcoin.

Extending on his areas of research interest, Dr. Mitchell explained about the evolving teaching and learning methodologies in the pandemic era. Explaining about computer assisted learning and adaptive machine learning methods, Dr. Mitchell also dug into the world of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and its wide reach. It is important to note that Dr. Mitchell’s work in CourseWare in Stanford led to the creation of more flipped classroom experiences and inspired the first MOOC from Stanford that captured global attention in 2011.

He spoke about how computing is a language that can be used by practitioners in different ways even as it keeps evolving over the years. Stressing the importance of providing a space for students to practice what they study, Prof. Mitchell said that the system of instant feedback led by solid ideas and a place for solving problems individually and as a team, will help students internalize a curriculum better.

Dr. John C. Mitchell was the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at Stanford University, the Mary and Gordon Crary Family Professor in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, co-director of the Stanford Computer Security Lab. He has been Vice Provost at Stanford University since 2012, first as the inaugural Vice Provost for Online Learning and now in a broader role for Teaching and Learning.

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