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Episode 131 | Saturday December 3, 2022, 5:30 pm Eastern

Life is filled with challenges and adventures. Imagine teaching over 10,000 students in a single class. Sounds quite daunting, doesn’t it? Now what if those learners come from 120 different countries with their unique cultural norms, languages, backgrounds, expectations, technology access issues, and educational opportunities. Would you be a tad worried? Well, what if these people have come to your course to learn a very employable skill called computer coding? Most of them would have at least some expectations of being able to immediately apply the skills that you are teaching. The pressure mounts. And those 20,000 eyes would all be on you…or would they? Not exactly. With the “Code in Place” project from Stanford University, you would actually have around 900 volunteer teachers supporting and helping to individualize the instruction. These online army of volunteers would certainly lighten the load. The Code in Place project has likely the most people virtually assembled to ever teach a single class. Attend this session and find out what is working as well as the challenges and solutions to date for those challenges. Can Code in Place be replicated, expanded, and appreciated in other universities or parts of the world? We will see. More about our guests after the video.

Chris Piech is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science Education, Stanford University. According to Chris, “I was born and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. When I was twelve I moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I lived until I came to Stanford for university, liked it a lot and stayed. I love teaching and I’m into exploring our world (through both science and travelling). My research is in machine learning to understand human learning.” His homepage is at and his LinkedIn page is at He can be contacted at

Mehran Sahami is the James and Ellenor Chesebrough Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor (Teaching) in the Computer Science department. He is also a Bass Fellow in Undergraduate Education and previously served as the Associate Chair for Education in Computer Science. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Google. His research interests include computer science education, artificial intelligence, and ethics. He served as co-chair of the ACM/IEEE-CS joint task force on Computer Science Curricula 2013, which created curricular guidelines for college programs in Computer Science at an international level. He has also served as chair of the ACM Education Board, an elected member of the ACM Council, and was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to the state’s Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan Advisory Panel. He can be reached at

Julie Zelenski. Per Julie: I left my rural hometown of Stevinson, CA (population: 262) to come to Stanford as a wide-eyed freshman in 1985. My undergraduate tour of duty included SLE, LSJUMB, a year on leave, RAing a wonderful frosh dorm, building an enormous sleep debt I still owe on, the beginning of life-long friendships, near-constant self-doubt, moments (brief) of glory, and, finally, a BS in Mathematical Sciences. My love of building things led to my first job as a software engineer at NeXT in 1989. We had an incredible team, awesome technology, and a whole lot of fun. In 1997, NeXT was acquired by Apple and I continued on with the MacOS X team; my greatest achievement was part-time possession of the Smart Torch. After many wonderful years at Apple, I stepped out in 2003 to raise my kids. In a parallel life to my industry career, I went back to grad school in CS at Stanford in 1992 and got lured into teaching, first as an industry affiliate, then a teaching fellow, a lecturer, and now senior lecturer. I teach courses in the undergrad systems curriculum, including programming methodology and abstractions, language paradigms, computer systems, compilers, and object-oriented design and development, but I especially enjoy working with the section leaders in the CS106 courses. I have been the advisor to the Stanford SWE and ACM-W chapters and served on the Computer Science Advanced Placement development committee, writing and grading an exam for 20,000 students nationwide. A quarter’s worth of my CS106B lectures were unleashed as a pilot for Stanford Engineering Everywhere, a project to provide a Stanford-quality education to all seekers. I am currently having great fun leading CS107, the second course in the systems core of the redesigned undergrad major, and collaborating with my brilliant colleague Pat Hanrahan on CS107E, the “embedded” variant that uses the Raspberry Pi to explores systems from the processor up. In the year of the pandemic, I joined forces with the awesome team of Chris Piech and Mehran Sahami to spread coding joy with Code In Place, a grand experiment and community service project in teaching and learning at scale. Her homepage is at and she can be contacted at

Famous Stanford coding course seeks to repeat success of novel model of online learning, Stanford News Service, March 22, 2021,

Code in Place on LinkedIn: