computational thinking, carnegie mellon
Sponsored by
microsoft research
Computer science is having a revolutionary impact on scientific research and discovery. Simply put, it is nearly impossible to do scholarly research in any scientific or engineering discipline without an ability to think computationally. The impact of computing extends far beyond science, however, affecting all aspects of our lives. To flourish in today's world, everyone needs computational thinking.

  The mission of the Center for Computational Thinking is to advance computing research and advocate for the widespread use of computational thinking to improve people's lives. The Center accomplishes this by seeding research activities, seminars, and symposia that lead to vivid demonstrations of the value of computational thinking in diverse areas of human life.
What is computational thinking?

"Computational Thinking is the thought processes involved in formulating problems and their solutions so that the solutions are represented in a form that can be effectively carried out by an information-processing agent."

Cuny, Snyder, Wing

Computational thinking is a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science. To flourish in today's world, computational thinking has to be a fundamental part of the way people think and understand the world.

Computational thinking means creating and making use of different levels of abstraction, to understand and solve problems more effectively.

Computational thinking means thinking algorithmically and with the ability to apply mathematical concepts such as induction to develop more efficient, fair, and secure solutions.

Computational thinking means understanding the consequences of scale, not only for reasons of efficiency but also for economic and social reasons.

Computational thinking is a Carnegie Mellon thing

Computational thinking makes it possible for transplant surgeons to realize that more lives can be saved by optimizing the exchange of organs among pools of donors and recipients. It enables new drug designs to be analyzed so that they are less likely to create drug-resistant strains of diseases. Artists, when given the tools to think and express themselves computationally, can create totally new modes of human experience. Users of the Internet, when empowered with computational thinking, can demystify privacy technologies and surf the web safely.

These and several other possibilities are being realized in the Center for Computational Thinking at Carnegie Mellon University through a collection of PROBlem-oriented Explorations. Working closely with Microsoft Research, PROBEs explore specific opportunities to demonstrate the power and value of computational thinking in a wide range of domains. Our vision is that computational thinking is for everyone, not just computer scientists. To see more, visit our PROBEs page .


Seminar Series

Paul S. Rosenbloom

Principal Researcher, Microsoft New England Research Center

On Computing: The Fourth Great Scientific Domain

April 23, 2012

Madhu Sudan

Professor, Computer Science Department and Project Leader, Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California

Towards Universal Semantic Communication

February 18, 2010