Working professionals and executives can now enroll in one- and two-day intensive programs exploring cutting-edge topics in computing with some of the most notable teachers and researchers in their fields, thanks to a collaboration between Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education and computer science faculty from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

The programs will appeal to both seasoned technology professionals and non-technical audiences and are designed to enable participants to apply current research to solve problems in their own organizations. Advanced topics geared towards those with a computer science background include cloud computing, software security, and developing web applications with Ajax and LAMP. For those without formal training in computer science, programs will be available in social networks and markets, privacy in the digital age, and conveying complex data through visual representations.

These noncredit, intensive sessions will take place during the University’s winter session in January and take place in state-of-the-art classrooms on the Harvard campus. One program, Privacy, Secrecy, and Censorship in the Digital Age, will also be offered online simultaneously; participants will see, hear, and interact with the instructor and other participants in real-time.

The initiative’s notable Harvard faculty include Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, former dean of Harvard College, and co-author of Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, and Michael Mitzenmacher, professor and area dean of computer science, and author or co-author of more than 150 publications.

This newly created professional development initiative will address a growing need among organizations to keep their managers up-to-speed in rapidly changing technology environments. “With the pace of technology changes today, employees and companies need to retool continually and update their knowledge and skills in order to remain relevant. We are excited to share the expertise of our faculty with other professionals, from economists and marketers to system administrators and chief technology officers,” said Cherry Murray, dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Registration is now open for the January session and will close when programs fill. Participants should register soon to take advantage of early-bird discounted pricing and to reserve their spot in a program. Space is limited. Please note: These seminars are noncredit, and DO NOT count toward Harvard degrees, certificates, or citations, nor will the seminars appear on Harvard transcripts. Harvard employees may not use the University’s Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) for payment; the Division of Continuing Education Professional Development Program does not participate in TAP.

In spring 2011, the Division of Continuing Education will offer a selection of management programs, taught by instructors from Harvard Extension School, as part of this professional development initiative. Of similar length and intensity as the computer science offerings, management programs will cover negotiation and executive communication skills, accounting fundamentals for nonfinancial managers, and strategy. The management programs are designed for middle managers from a variety of areas and industries.

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