Thursday, June 02, 2011

Computational thinking across disciplines - an overview by Jeannette M. Wing, and a link to a C# programming course for school psychologists

I think every graduate level discipline should offer at least one computer programming class. In today's technological world, it makes sense that any discipline that requires students to take statistics should consider this idea!

One of the first steps to make this happen is to convince people from non-technical fields to learn more about computational thinking.  In my opinion, this needs to start at the university level so that each department has at least one tech-savvy professor who is inspired to figure out how computer programming and computational thinking can help further his or her discipline in some way.  

Below is  video of a presentation about computational thinking by Jeannette M. Wing, a professor of Computer Science and Department Head at Carnegie Mellon University.  If you have an hour to spare, you'll be treated to a good overview of the topic.

At any rate, I was happy to learn that there is a graduate course in C# programming offered by H. A. Chris Ninness, the director of the school psychology doctoral program at Stephen F. Austin State University.

"This course provides students with structured lessons and step-by-step guidance in computer programming while they learn to develop and deploy applications using object-oriented computer programming. Students will learn to develop and deploy applications using Object Oriented Programming (OOP) in the Visual C# 2008 /2010 language. The primary focus in this course will be on the 2008 version of Visual C#, supplemented with programming techniques from Visual Basic, C++, and ActionSript 3. Each class will include exercises, didactic instruction, Adobe notes, and hands on practice with an emphasis on developing and deploying a wide range of OOP techniques.
The course is designed to provide school and behavioral psychologists with the necessary skills to adapt their research agenda to the changing face of behavioral technology and applied human-computer interactive research. The course will show students how to computerize stimulus presentations and a wide range of data collection procedures (e.g., functional behavior assessment and rotation scan procedures). The course will provide details regarding the specific programming routines that can be customized and incorporated into human-computer interactive designs. A major component of the course will provide doctoral students in the school psychology program to conduct research based on stimulus equivalence and relational frame theory."

FYI:  I learned C# when I took "Artificial Intelligence for Game Development".  

Computational Thinking, Carnegie Mellon University