computational thinking, carnegie mellon
Sponsored by
microsoft research
  Please note: as of February 2013, this site is no longer being actively maintained or updated.  
  Seminar series organized by Roger Dannenberg  
Mark D. Gross,
Professor, Computational Design, School of Architecture
Carnegie Mellon University

Design Thinking is Computational Thinking
October 9, 3305 Newell-Simon Hall 4:00 p.m.
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Almost everything we encounter is designed, from shoes to software, yet we know surprisingly little about designing, other than specific knowledge about individual domains. Computational thinking can help us understand designing, which can lead both to better design processes and better designs. Skilled designers in every domain already understand, work with, indeed depend on computational ideas such as abstraction and encapsulation, search, and constraint satisfaction. Building on this can lead to a generation of software tools that is far more powerful than what most designers use today. Still, the culture of design varies widely among domains, and computational thinking is often wrongly perceived as antagonistic to creativity. Against this background I'll talk about some earlier work on design and constraints, on sketch recognition, and my group's current work on computationally enhanced design toys.


Mark D. Gross teaches computational design at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture where he also directs the Computational Design (CoDe) Lab. His interests include understanding design processes and developing computational environments based on this understanding, coordinating team design work, and human-computer interfaces, construction kits, architectural robotics, and tangible interaction for design.

Gross joined Carnegie Mellon's faculty in September 2004. He holds a BS in Architectural Design and a PhD in Design Theory and Methods, both from MIT. Prior to Carnegie Mellon, Gross taught for five years at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he co-directed the Design Machine Group, and before that for nine years at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Before joining the faculty at Boulder he worked at Negroponte's Architecture Machine Group, Papert's MIT Logo Lab, and the Atari Cambridge Research Lab.