TITLE: More on Programming and Computational Thinking AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: February 19, 2009 4:32 PM DESC: ----- BODY: I've heard from a few of you about my previous post. People have strong feelings in both directions. If you haven't seen it already, check out Mark Guzdial's commentary on this topic. Mark explores a bit further what it means to understand algorithms and data structures without executing programs, and perhaps without writing them. I'm glad that he is willing to stake out a strong position on this issue. Those of you who receive inroads, SIGCSE's periodical, should watch for a short article by Owen Astrachan in the next issue, called "Cogito Ergo Hack". Owen hits the target spot-on: without what he calls "computational doing", we miss a fantastic opportunity to help people understand computational ideas at a deeper level by seeing them embodied in something they themselves create. Computational doing might involve a lot of different activities, but programming is one of the essential activities. We need as many people as possible, and especially clear thinkers and writers like Mark and Owen, to ask the questions and encourage others to think about what being a computational thinker means. Besides, catchy phrases like "computational doing" and "Cogito Ergo Hack" are likely to capture the attention of more people than my pedestrian prose! -----