Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Learning to Think Like a Computer


A kindergartner organizes blocks into a sequence of commands.

Since 2011, the number of U.S. computer science majors has more than doubled, according to the Computing Research Association.

Credit: Charlie Mahoney/The New York Times

The number of computer science majors has more than doubled since 2011, according to the Computing Research Association, a phenomenon some say is due to an emphasis on "computational thinking," which is finding its way into all levels of education.

Brown University professor Shriram Krishnamurthi, the inaugural winner in 2012 of the ACM Special Interest Group on programming languages (SIGPLAN) Robin Milner Young Research Award, says this mindset demands reframing research so "instead of formulating a question to a human being, I formulate a question to a dataset."

Microsoft's Jeannette M. Wing put computational thinking into vogue by implying it can be used to improve people's daily lives and reduce stress. Adherents describe this mode of thinking as a way to make the fundamentals of working with computers a teachable blueprint.

The ease with which human-computer communications has improved is one factor underlying the growing advocacy of computational thinking. The goal of many initiatives is for people to be able to effortlessly acquire computational thinking skills.

From The New York Times
View Full Article - May Require Free Registration

 

Abstracts Copyright © 2017 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

No entries found

Read CACM in a free mobile app!
Access the latest issue, plus archived issues and more
ACM Logo
  • ACM CACM apps available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and Android platforms
  • ACM Digital Library apps available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices
  • Download an app and sign in to it with your ACM Web Account
Find the app for your mobile device
ACM DL Logo