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March 2011

Computer Science freshman A. Samuel Pottinger has recently launched the website Classes Worth Taking ( The purpose of the site is to allow students to share their positive experiences, recommending the courses they've found particularly rewarding.

According to Pottinger:

In high school I started an extra-curricular program that helped students explore their interests in computer science, CGI, music synthesis, and other creative digital media. Following its fundamental philosophy, I firmly believe that passion fosters a sense of being and I have long taken an interest in helping others find that necessary guiding force in their lives. As a freshman, I noticed that many college students still lack that critical foundation or, worse, continue to harbor unexplored interests without the leads necessary to pursue them. While academic advisors and course catalogs help immensely, the first comes in limited supply and the second is often too large to adequately digest.

For the short time that I have been a college student, I hoped to find avenues through which my peers and I could intelligently explore all of the options available to us. However, existing services mainly identify poor classes, providing a negative channel designed to inform students about courses they were are already considering. This limiting atmosphere keeps much of a university's population contained within in a fixed set of classes, sometimes even keeping people from fully exploring their own major. In response, aims to compile a community-maintained list of uniquely effective professors and courses that left a lasting impression on their participants' education. Using a vote-based system of nominations, this socially driven site asks users to discuss only the courses that they found worthwhile and would suggest to others. Through all of this, I hope that the site will help users find courses that they would have otherwise overlooked and learn about the instructors that promise to keep their enthusiasm strong. uses a number of open source libraries and runs on top of the Python API for the Google App Engine.

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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May 5, 2012 (13:46)