Eight Ways to Use Computation to Teach Everything Else
Allen Downey, PhD
Professor of Computer Science
Olin College of Engineering
Programming is not just a way of translating well understood ideas into code; it is a tool for communicating, teaching, learning, and thinking. Students with basic programming skills can use coding as a "pedagogic lever" to learn other topics in engineering, math, natural and social science, arts and humanities.
In this workshop, we explore eight ways to use computation in the STEM curriculum and beyond. I will present examples from Olin and other colleges. Participants will describe their current activities and design new examples and experiences for their classes. We'll discuss the challenges of implementing computation-based activities and suggest practices for overcoming them. Laptops are not required, but if you bring one you will be able to try out the examples.
Allen Downey is a professor of Computer Science at Olin College and the author of a series of open-source textbooks related to software and data science, including Think Python, Think Bayes, and Think Complexity, published by O’Reilly Media. His blog, Probably Overthinking It, features articles on Bayesian probability and statistics. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from U.C. Berkeley, and M.S. and B.S. degrees from MIT.