The Crimson picked up the news that I will be teaching half time for the next two years and then officially retiring on July 1, 2020 (after taking some banked sabbatical). Long way off, and I have no intention of going anywhere anyway.
My colleagues are organizing a Celebration of Computer Science in my honor, which should be a lot of fun. I have been privileged to have amazing students over the years and I am hoping to see many of them there. By my count, nine Harvard professors took courses from me, and six were my teaching assistants as undergraduates.
Thinking about this, I noticed something that is probably unique about my career, and will be hard for anyone ever to replicate. When I retire after 46 years of teaching at Harvard, I will, with only a couple of exceptions, never have taught a course I didn't create. The exceptions are CS51, originally called AM110, which I taught nine times and took over from Tom Cheatham, and Nat Sci 110, which I took over from Bill Bossert and Chuck Prenner for three years in the 1970s. (My second, third, and fourth years on the faculty, so I pretty much started as an assistant professor teaching classes that filled Science Center B.) Everything else I have taught -- CS121, CS20, CS50, CS124, Bits, my new Classics course, my Amateur Athletics seminar, and a few others -- I created, not always under those names. (And frankly, I did a lot of redesign on AM110 and Nat Sci 110 too!)
Of course, I had an unfair advantage in setting that record, if it is one. I started teaching in a field that barely existed, and was teaching at a university that offered almost no undergraduate courses in the field! So I could teach almost anything and be offering it for the first time. In that sense, the miracle is not how many courses I started, but the fact that most of them have proved durable.
And by the way, even though my undergraduate and graduate degrees are all from Harvard, I have never taught a course that I took.