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About Allen B. Downey

Before coming to Olin, Dr. Allen Downey taught at Colby College and Wellesley College, and held research positions at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and Boston University. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California/Berkeley in 1997, with a dissertation on operating system support for large-scale parallel computation. His undergraduate and master's degrees are from MIT, in civil engineering.
Dr. Downey is the author of several textbooks, including "Think Stats", "Python for Software Design", and "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist". These books are available under free licenses that allow readers to copy and modify the text as well as contribute material.
He has developed novel classes on physical modeling, statistics, operating systems and scientific computation. Dr. Downey believes that engineering and computer science are a valuable part of a liberal education, and that the thinking skills students develop at Olin are ideal preparation for the 21st century.


Present Professor of Computer Science, Olin College of Engineering

Curriculum Vitae


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Honors and Awards

  • 2012 Undergraduate Computational Engineering and Sciences (UCES) Award


  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Software Design
  • Software Engineering
  • Bayesian Statistics

Contact Information

Articles (9)

Books (10)

Conference Proceedings (9)