David J. Malan
|Thesis||Rapid detection of botnets through collaborative networks of peers (2007)|
|Doctoral advisor||Michael D. Smith|
David J. Malan (//) is an American computer scientist and professor. Malan is the Gordon McKay Professor of the practice of Computer Science at Harvard University and is best known for teaching Computer Science 50 (known as CS50) which is the largest course at Harvard and the largest Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at edX, with lectures being viewed by over a million people on the edX platform up to 2017.
Malan is a member of faculty at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where his research interests include cybersecurity, digital forensics, botnets, computer science education, distance learning, collaborative learning, and computer-assisted instruction.
Malan enrolled at Harvard College, initially studying government, and took CS50 in the fall of 1996, which was taught by Brian Kernighan at the time. Inspired by Kernighan, Malan began his education in computer science, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science in 1999. After a period working outside of academia, he returned to postgraduate studies to complete a Master of Science degree in 2004, followed by a PhD in 2007 for research into cybersecurity and computer forensics, supervised by Michael D. Smith.
Further information: CS50
Besides CS50, Malan also teaches at Harvard Extension School and Harvard Summer School. Prior to teaching at Harvard, Malan taught mathematics and computer science at Franklin High School and Tufts University.
Malan worked for Mindset Media, LLC from 2008 to 2011 as Chief Information Officer (CIO), where he was responsible for advertising the network’s scalability, security, and capacity-planning. He designed infrastructure for collection of massive datasets capable of 500 million HTTP requests per day, with peaks of 10K per second. In 2011, Mindset Media was acquired by Meebo, Inc. During 2001 to 2002 he worked for AirClic as an Engineering Manager.
Malan was also the founder and chairman of Diskastert, a data recovery firm that offered professional recovery of data from hard drives and memory cards, as well as forensic investigations for civil matters.
During his undergraduate studies, Malan worked part-time for the District Attorney's Office in Middlesex County, Virginia as a forensic investigator, after which he founded his own two startups. On the side since 2003, he volunteered as an emergency medical technician (EMT-B) for MIT-Emergency Medical Services (EMS). He continues to volunteer as an EMT-B for the American Red Cross.
Malan is also an active member of the SIGCSE community, a Special Interest Group (SIG) concerned with Computer Science Education (CSE) organised by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).