Rustie Lin UC Berkeley CS, Distributed Systems, Blockchain

Blockchain Education

I recently gave my second blockchain lecture – this time on alternative consensus mechanisms – and also an introduction to enterprise blockchain workshop for a campus entrepreneurship fraternity. Reception of both talks were positive, giving me encouragement that I am improving my communication style as an educator.

I start planning lecture around two weeks in advance. The first step of lecture planning consists of consulting our course’s master plan, and confirming the major topics that I will cover in the lecture. Because we are associated with the school, we required to follow our syllabus which is confirmed the semester before, so we usually follow this master plan when planning weekly lectures. However, there are cases when information gets outdated, or there are recent news events that shake up the blockchain ecosystem that are worth redesigning lectures for. Examples of such changes have been an increased emphasis on soft and hard forking within Bitcoin specifically. I anticipate that next semester we will discusss security, especially with recent developments regarding IOTA rolling out their own cryptographic hash functions and also parity multisig wallets.

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I try to create all my slides in one sitting, as this gives me a better idea of the flow of the lecture. After all the slides have been made, I do a timed dry run of my lecture slides. This is usually a bit over time, in which case I either trim down some sections, or remove them entirely to an “extra slides” section at the end of the powerpoint for curious students. I then undergo a process of rehearsing and editing slide wording, with the ultimate goal being the most concise and clear explanations for each of the week’s discussion topics.

I’ll be one of the main lecturers fo the Blockchain Fundamentals course next semester and will also be helping out with our second course, Blockchain for Developers. I’m definitely looking forward to communicating my deep interest in blockchain technologies,and of course improving my skills in blockchain and education.