The professors behind the first massive online open course at Rice University

In this edition of “Campus Conversations with the President,” David Leebron sits down with Scott Rixner, associate professor in computer science, and electrical and computer engineering and Joe Warren, professor and chair of computer science.

Their course, An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python, had an enrollment of more than 80,000.

The two professors are part of a team of Computer Science Department faculty that developed and launched Rice’s first massive open online course (MOOC) on Coursera. Coursera, which launched in 2012, was the first education platform to host MOOC content from multiple world-renowned universities on one website.

The nine-week course includes more than 70 video lectures, each just a few minutes long. There are also weekly quizzes and assignments called “mini projects,” which involve writing about 100-200 lines of code. If the code is written correctly, the students can play the game they’ve created and even email a link to let friends and family play too.


About Brandon Martin

Greetings, I am a video producer at Rice University in the Office of Public Affairs. I became a Rice Owl in June 2011. Before that, I was at KPRC-TV in Houston as a special projects photojournalist for seven years, where I covered everything from hurricanes to sports. Southeast Texas has been my home my entire life. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife and two of the cutest girls I have ever seen. Go Owls!