David Malan received his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate in computer science from Harvard University, where his research focused on the detection of patterns in large datasets. He teaches Harvard College's introductory computer science course and holds an appointment as the Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He was awarded the Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007. He also serves as chief information officer for Mindset Media.
While in graduate school, he founded two startups: Crimson Tutors and Diskaster. Malan also worked part-time for the Middlesex District Attorney's Office as a forensic investigator. And, on the side, he volunteered as an EMT-B for MIT-EMS. He continues to volunteer as an EMT-B for the American Red Cross.