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What Everyone Needs to Know About ComputationPowerPoint Presentation

What Everyone Needs to Know About Computation

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### What Everyone Needs to Know About Computation

Steve Cooper ([email protected])

How to Think Computationally

- Jeannette Wing’s CACM article, 3/2006

Jeannette’s Grand Vision

- Computational Thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world by the middle of the 21st Century.
- Just like reading, writing, and arithmetic.
- Incestuous: Computing and computers will enable the spread of computational thinking.
- In research: scientists, engineers, …, historians, artists
- In education: K-12 students and teachers, undergrads, …

Automation

Computing is the Automation of Abstractions1. Machine

2. Human

3. Human + Machine

4. Networks of 1, 2, or 3

Computational Thinking is the process of abstraction - choosing the right abstractions - operating in terms of multiple layers of abstraction simultaneously - defining the relationships the between layers

as in Mathematics

guided by the following concerns…

Jeannette M. Wing

Measures of a “Good” Abstraction in C.T.

as in Engineering

NEW

- Efficiency
- How fast?
- How much space?
- How much power?

- Correctness
- Does it do the right thing?
- Does the program compute the right answer?

- Does it do anything?
- Does the program eventually produce an answer? [Halting Problem]

- Does it do the right thing?
- -ilities
- Simplicity and elegance
- Usability
- Modifiability
- Maintainability
- Cost
- …

Jeannette M. Wing

What does CT mean for everyone? - 1

- Identifying meaningful contexts for students
- Media
- Alice
- Media Computation
- Scratch

- Robots
- Web Programming/Services
- Graphics

- Media

A pitch for contexts

- Birds of a Feather
- Teaching your computer science course in context
- Leader: Steves (Cunningham and Cooper)
- 102C
- 5:15 – 6:00 PM tonight

What does CT mean for everyone? - 2

And, identifying and sharing appropriate abstractions to help students to develop the ability to abstract

Challenges - 1

- Convincing CS faculty/departments of the importance of teaching CS courses for non-majors
- Creating several such courses for students with different needs/interests
- Convincing other departments as to the importance of CT, and helping them to incorporate CT into others of their courses

Challenges - 2

We have lots of courses that have shown to be successful individually, but how do we scale them?

“Letting one hundred flowers blossom…”

Chairman Mao

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