Hacking the Pandemic

Course Description

This timely project-based course provides a venue for students to apply their skills in computing and other areas to help people cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CoViD-19) pandemic. In addition to brief lectures, guest speakers, and moderated discussions and brainstorming sessions, the course will primarily consist of self-organized team projects where students find creative ways to contribute by leveraging any and all computational tools at our disposal (e.g., algorithms, app development, HCI, remote interaction and communication, data visualization, modeling and simulation, fabrication and 3d printing, design, computer games, VR, computer systems and networking, AI, statistics, bioinformatics, etc.). Prerequisites: CS 106B (or equiv.) and a strong desire to solve problems and help others. Spring 2020. 3CR (S/NC).

TuTh 10:30-11:50 am PST on Zoom (first class is Tues, Apr 7)


  • Prof. Doug James (djames @ stanford.edu)

  • Course Assistants:

    • Ryanne Ramadan (ryanner @ stanford.edu)

    • Krishnan Srinivasan (krshna @ stanford.edu)

    • Lauren Zhu (laurenz @ stanford.edu)

Course Links


- Introduction (summarize goals, course organization and communication)

- Background (virology, epidemiology, clinical, diagnosis, treatment)

- Summarize current and anticipated problems and concerns; opportunistically identify areas where help is needed.

- Summarize existing tools and hacks, associated resources and experts, and opportunities for improvement.

- Guest speakers (experts, other COVID-19 hackers)

- Student-led brainstorming and ideation sessions

- Project proposals and team formation

- Project working sessions

- Project presentations