1. Much like cooking, computational thinking begins with a feat of imagination, the ability to envision how digitized information—ticket sales, customer addresses, the temperature in your fridge, the sequence of events to start a car engine, anything that can be sorted, counted, or tracked—could be combined and changed into something new by applying various computational techniques. From there, it’s all about “decomposing” big tasks into a logical series of smaller steps, just like a recipe….

    just as knowing how to scramble an egg or write an email makes life easier, so too will a grasp of computational thinking. …

    The happy truth is, if you get the fundamentals about how computers think, and how humans can talk to them in a language the machines understand, you can imagine a project that a computer could do, and discuss it in a way that will make sense to an actual programmer. Because as programmers will tell you, the building part is often not the hardest part: It’s figuring out what to build

  2. Rubik’s Cube: A question, waiting to be answered (by Google)

  3. a knowledge set that will be invaluable is the ability to understand and apply information — so, basic computer science skills. I’m not saying you have to be some terrific coder, but to just understand how [these] things work you have to be able to think in a formal and logical and structured way.” But that kind of thinking doesn’t have to come from a computer science degree. “I took statistics at business school, and it was transformative for my career. Analytical training gives you a skill set that differentiates you from most people in the labor market
  4. In other words, “South America” is not a variable to be assigned, or an object or class to be instantiated. It’s a phrase that is known and understood, with significance and meaning and connections that can be pulled into your program with very little effort…
    “Just as we curate knowledge, we also curate APIs, devices, and digital information,” says Wolfram. …
    It changes the economics of building applications, because what used to take hours or days or weeks to do, can now take minutes. …
    It also changes who can program, because instead of programs being tens of thousands of lines of code, they’re 20 or 200. And that means kids can code or novice programmers can get started
  5. 10:23 14th Nov 2013

    Notes: 12

    Tags: womenstem

    Cecilia H. Payne-Gaposchkin is recognized today as a founder of modern astrophysics. But in 1923, Harvard’s physics department rejected her as a graduate student because women were not allowed to be doctoral candidates.

    Fortunately she had a mentor, Harlow Shapley, the director of the Harvard College Observatory, who took her on as a student. Within two years she had published six papers and completed a doctoral thesis that a leading astronomer of the day called the most brilliant ever in the field.

    But Harvard treated her shabbily. She taught graduate courses and advised Ph.D. students, but was paid a pittance and denied a real faculty position, despite Shapley’s lobbying on her behalf.

    She was not made a professor until 1956, when she also became head of the astronomy department — the first chairwoman of any department at Harvard.

  6. Hertha Ayrton, born in Britain in 1854, who as a teenager dropped her given name, Phoebe, to adopt that of a goddess.

    She became an electrical engineer specializing in electric arcs and lighting systems, and published a series of papers and a textbook about them. But at a meeting of the Royal Society of London in 1902, she was not allowed to present her own work; her paper had to be read to the gathering by a man. The Royal Society also declared her ineligible for membership, and did not accept a woman until 1945.

  7. 17:08 6th Aug 2013

    Notes: 1

    Tags: stemwomen

    297 girls sat the Computing A level in 2012 compared to 3512 boys: http://bit.ly/14gGWjm
  8. Last year only 375 students in London took computing A Level
  9. Code Club, a Google-backed London organisation founded last year, is helping Camden become the first local authority in England to introduce volunteer-led afterschool computer programming clubs across all its 41 maintained primary schools from September.

    Code Club has signed up Google and UCL’s Faculty of Engineering Sciences to provide staff and student to teach the classes, with 16 already committed from Google

  10. Devised, designed and now built in the UK, the Raspberry Pi is a global success story. Envisaged as a niche educational product, its creators hoped it might reach sales of 10,000 units. In fact, it sold a million before its first anniversary in February. Though created to teach kids about coding, such is its openness that it has been used — among other things — to operate a tweeting toy chicken, create a cocktail-pouring robot, and send pictures of a mini Tardis from the edge of space.

    The Raspberry Pi may not be slick, but it has managed to stir something not seen in British computing for a generation: it has inspired a culture of making things — not just experiencing things — with computers.

  11. What Most Schools Don’t Teach - Short Film (by CodeOrg)

  12. The 10,000 boards sold out within hours of going on sale in February last year, with an incredible 100,000 boards ordered on that first day.

    Today more than 700,000 Raspberry Pi computers have been shipped to modders who are fitting them to robotic drones in the sky and underwater, to hobbyists designing home automation systems, and to wannabe coders looking to build their first programs

  13. “Most of the female students were unwilling to go on in computer science because of the stereotypes they had grown up with,” said Zachary Dodds, a computer scientist at Mudd. “We realized we were helping perpetuate that by teaching such a standard course.”

    To reduce the intimidation factor, the course was divided into two sections — “gold,” for those with no prior experience, and “black” for everyone else. Java, a notoriously opaque programming language, was replaced by a more accessible language called Python. And the focus of the course changed to computational approaches to solving problems across science.

    “We realized that we needed to show students computer science is not all about programming,” said Ran Libeskind-Hadas, chairman of the department. “It has intellectual depth and connections to other disciplines.”

  14. When he is not volunteering as a computer science instructor four days a week, Mr. Edouard works at Microsoft. He is one of 110 engineers from high-tech companies who are part of a Microsoft program aimed at getting high school students hooked on computer science
  15. The Tiger Leap Foundation in Estonia has launched a program … which allows Estonian students from grades 1 to 12 to learn computer programming at school…. The first programming classes will be for primary schools, and are set to start after their teachers go through training this month. Next year, secondary level courses will be added for middle schools and some high schools.Study materials for all levels of training are already under construction. The program is only for pilot schools right now, but in the years to come all public schools will be able to join ProgeTiiger.