TITLE: Quick Thoughts on "Computational Thinking"
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: September 07, 2010 4:53 PM
When Mark Guzdial posted his article
Go to the Data,
offering "two stories of (really) computational thinking",
I thought for sure that I'd write something on the topic
soon. Over four and a half weeks have passed, and I have
not written yet. That's because, despite thinking about
it on and off ever since, I still don't have anything
deep or detailed to say. I'm as confused as Mark says
he and Barb are, I guess.
Still, I can't seem to shake these two simple thoughts:
I do agree with Mark that we runners can learn a lot by
looking back at our running logs! An occasional short
program can often expose truths that elude the naked eye.
- Whatever else else it may be, "computational thinking"
has to involve, well, um, computation. As
several commenters on his piece point out, lots of
scientists collect and analyze data. Computer science
connects data and algorithm in a way that other
- If a bunch of smart, well-informed people can discuss
a name like "computational thinking" for several years
and still be confused, maybe the problem is with the
name. Maybe it really is just another name for a kind
of computer science, generalized so that we can speak
meaningfully of non-CS types and non-programmers doing
it. I believe strongly that computing offers a new
medium for expressing and creating ideas but, as for
the term computational thinking, maybe there's no there