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Computing Explained

The briefest of overviews of computing (computer science) for the layman.
by

Graham Hastings

on 23 March 2013

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Transcript of Computing Explained

COMPUTING Abstraction Children can learn computing from the minute they start school. What is computing? The ability to generalize the information that is necessary to represent an idea or process in general terms so that we can use it to solve similar problems. Algorithm Design The ability to develop a step-by-step solution to a problem. Algorithm design is often based on a combination of decomposition of the problem and the identification of patterns that will help to solve it. Computing involves computational thinking. Computational thinking can be done unplugged - without a computer. Computational thinking is the use of problem-solving skills and techniques to work out the solution to a problem. Computing is the study of how computers and computer systems work and how they are constructed and programmed. Pattern Recognition The ability to notice similarities or common differences that will help us make predictions or lead us to shortcuts. Pattern recognition is frequently the basis for solving problems and designing algorithms. Children identify patterns in the results of a science experiment - 'the higher the temperature the faster the water evaporates'. The ability to break down a task into minute details so that we can clearly explain a process to another person or to a computer, or even to just write notes for ourselves. Decomposing a problem frequently leads to pattern recognition and generalization, and thus the ability to design an algorithm. When we give someone directions to our house, we are decomposing the process of getting from one place to another. Decomposition Make perfect toast:
1. Cut slice from loaf of bread.
2. Turn on the grill.
3. Place slice of bread under grill.
4. Repeat until toast is brown...
Leave for 10 seconds.