It's not often that you get to sit at the heart of an educational revolution, but that's exactly what happened when Georgia Tech announced their new Online Masters of Science in Computer Science last month. OMSCS will be the first degree offered at a major research university on the new MOOCs platform with a full degree tuition running about $7000, far less than most traditional master's programs. While the degree will be administered at the College of Computing, most of the initial set of courses will be taught from faculty in the School of Computer Science using the Udacity platform and with some generous support from AT&T. I've had a few discussions with Udacity head Sebastian Thrun and I'm quite impressed with how much he cares about the quality of the courses and the technology and support that Udacity provides.
We've had considerable interest in this program but in the first year we are limiting enrollment of the degree to students from corporate partners. The courses will be available online and if you are interested please sign up to get announcements and updates. See the FAQ for more information about the OMSCS program.
Will OMSCS have a strong effect on education? It's already happening. Whenever I travel I get bombarded with questions about OMSCS and stories on how other departments are beginning to rethink their own programs.
Will OMSCS succeed? Too early to tell, but I promise we'll do our best to produce a great product and no doubt we need more trained computer scientists in this data-driven world. Technological changes will drive higher education into many new directions and it's great to see Georgia Tech take a leading role as we enter this brave new world.