Google. Sun. Yahoo. HP. Cisco. And?

You might think I’m stupid. Dumb. Lame. Irrelevant. Arrogant. Or worse.

But this guy is none of those things. In fact, he’s the opposite of all those things.

So, why is Mehran Sahami worth listening to?

He runs Stanford University’s undergraduate computer science department.

We have a 45-minute-long discussion about what’s going on at Stanford University, and also computer science education trends. Among other things happening in the industry.

Mehran is simply one of the most interesting people I’ve interviewed. You’d have to be to get a job running probably the most important computer science University department in the world. Hope you enjoy.

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OK, some of you are asking for more text to judge whether the video is interesting, or not, so I took an hour out to do one for the interview of Mehran Sahami, head of Stanford University’s undergraduate computer science department.

00:00 introduction to Meharan Sahami
1:38 What’s the big thing he’s focused on? Joke about bubbles. Working on improving curriculum.
3:10 Why are numbers of computer science students going down?
5:30 Discussion of off shoring.
7:20 Discussion of social aspects of technology development.
9:00 Discussion of amazing things students are doing.
10:45 Discussion of the mythology of Stanford’s computer science department.
11:15 Discussion of the pressures that heading up such an important department brings.
12:58 What is Stanford not doing well?
14:50 How is the Internet changing education?
16:30 Joking about having Larry Lessig (law professor who started Creative Commons, among other things) at the school.
Which leads into a discussion of Stanford’s advantages and resources.
18:30: Discussion of the entrepreneur’s frustrations. Getting people to use new technologies.
22:20 What is the next big idea that’s cooking in your classrooms right now?
24:10 Did anyone working here understand how big Google would turn out to be? (Back when Google was being developed at Stanford).
25:00 What is it about big companies that keeps them from seeing the small idea (innovator’s dilemma discussion).
27:40 What would you like to tell the world about Stanford?
29:00 What’s the role of mobile in the world?
What kind of work is Stanford doing?
32:30 Is Stanford working with CERN?
34:09 If you were coming to Stanford this fall, what class would you take?
39:00 Talk about some of the famous names who are on the faculty here. Don Knuth for one.

63 thoughts on “Google. Sun. Yahoo. HP. Cisco. And?

  1. Hi Robert,

    Thanks a lot for bringing Dr. Sahami’s interview to us. I studied one CS course under him a few years back, and it was fun to be taught by him. He is a good teacher, and he seems right in deciding to come back to academia…

    Regards,
    Reema.

  2. Hi Robert,

    Thanks a lot for bringing Dr. Sahami’s interview to us. I studied one CS course under him a few years back, and it was fun to be taught by him. He is a good teacher, and he seems right in deciding to come back to academia…

    Regards,
    Reema.

  3. Hi Robert,

    Thanks a lot for bringing Dr. Sahami’s interview to us. I studied one CS course under him a few years back, and it was fun to be taught by him. He is a good teacher, and he seems right in deciding to come back to academia…

    Regards,
    Reema.

  4. “You might think I’m stupid. Dumb. Lame. Irrelevant. Arrogant. Or worse.”

    You must get a lot of complaint mail. I think your insight is great. Must be hard ignoring so many negative people.

  5. “You might think I’m stupid. Dumb. Lame. Irrelevant. Arrogant. Or worse.”

    You must get a lot of complaint mail. I think your insight is great. Must be hard ignoring so many negative people.

  6. “You might think I’m stupid. Dumb. Lame. Irrelevant. Arrogant. Or worse.”

    You must get a lot of complaint mail. I think your insight is great. Must be hard ignoring so many negative people.

  7. @14. You may have a point. However I think the experience of sitting in a classroom, attending a conference session, or even watching TV is far different than watching unpolished videos on a computer screen. So I don’t think the comparisons are quite the same. Of course we have the counter argument that 60 Minutes chops their show up into 15-20 minute interview segments. And hour long talk shows usually have a series of guests.

    You surely understand your audience better than I, but judging by the recent feedback, it seems at least some prefer shorter videos, and/or text.

  8. @14. You may have a point. However I think the experience of sitting in a classroom, attending a conference session, or even watching TV is far different than watching unpolished videos on a computer screen. So I don’t think the comparisons are quite the same. Of course we have the counter argument that 60 Minutes chops their show up into 15-20 minute interview segments. And hour long talk shows usually have a series of guests.

    You surely understand your audience better than I, but judging by the recent feedback, it seems at least some prefer shorter videos, and/or text.

  9. @14. You may have a point. However I think the experience of sitting in a classroom, attending a conference session, or even watching TV is far different than watching unpolished videos on a computer screen. So I don’t think the comparisons are quite the same. Of course we have the counter argument that 60 Minutes chops their show up into 15-20 minute interview segments. And hour long talk shows usually have a series of guests.

    You surely understand your audience better than I, but judging by the recent feedback, it seems at least some prefer shorter videos, and/or text.

Comments are closed.