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Computing the Future


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ACM A.M. Turing Award laureates, from left, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Shafi Goldwasser, Butler Lampson, Barbara Liskov, and Ronald Rivest.

The ACM A.M. Turing Award laureates agreed that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's should have the core goal of teaching computational skills in a bidirectional way; for MITs existing schools to inform the colleges direction, and for the college to also teach concepts of computational thinking that are more generalizable than any programming language or algorithmic framework.

Credit: Rose Lincoln

As part of the public launch of the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) hosted a special fireside chat, featuring six MIT professors who have received ACM's A.M. Turing Award.

Moderated by Daniela Rus, director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the event included Turing laureates Tim Berners-Lee, Shafi Goldwasser, Butler Lampson, Barbara Liskov, Ronald Rivest, and Michael Stonebraker.

The panelists agreed that one of MIT's priorities should be to teach computational skills in a bidirectional way, meaning that the institution's existing schools should inform the college's direction, and for the college to also teach concepts of "computational thinking" that are more generalizable than any one programming language or algorithmic framework.

Said Goldwasser, "What separates us from industrial product — and even from other research labs — is our ability to pursue basic research as a pure metric rather than for dollar signs."

From MIT News
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