Computer Laboratory

Computational thinking

The Computer Laboratory will celebrated the 10th Anniversary of women@CL on Wednesday 14th May 2014, and the annual Wheeler Lecture was given on that day by Prof. Jeannette Wing.

Abstract

My vision for the 21st Century: Computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world. To reading, writing, and arithmetic, we should add computational thinking to every child's analytical ability. Computational thinking involves solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior by drawing on the concepts fundamental to computer science. Thinking like a computer scientist means more than being able to program a computer. It requires the ability to abstract and thus to think at multiple levels of abstraction. In this talk I will give many examples of computational thinking, argue that it has already influenced other disciplines, and promote the idea that teaching computational thinking can not only inspire future generations to enter the field of computer science but benefit people in all fields.

Biographical notes

Jeannette M. Wing is Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research. She is on leave from Carnegie Mellon University, where she is President's Professor of Computer Science and twice served as the Head of the Computer Science Department. From 2007-2010 she was the Assistant Director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation. She received her S.B. and S.M. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering in 1979 and her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science in 1983, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Wing's general research interests are in the areas of trustworthy computing, specification and verification, concurrent and distributed systems, programming languages, and software engineering. Her current interests are in the foundations of security and privacy. She was or is on the editorial board of twelve journals, including the Journal of the ACM and Communications of the ACM.

She is currently Vice Chair of the DARPA Information Science and Technology (ISAT) Board, Chair of the ACM Infosys Award Committee, and member of the Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship Selection Committee. She has been a member of many other advisory boards, including: Networking and Information Technology (NITRD) Technical Advisory Group to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), National Academies of Sciences' Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, ACM Council, Computing Research Association Board, DARPA ISAT, NSF's CISE Advisory Committee, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Academic Advisory Board, General Electric Academic Software Advisory Panel, and the Sloan Research Fellowships Program Committee. She served as co-chair of NITRD from 2007-2010. She was on the faculty at the University of Southern California, and has worked at Bell Laboratories, USC/Information Sciences Institute, and Xerox Palo Alto Research Laboratories. She spent sabbaticals at MIT in 1992 and at Microsoft Research 2002-2003. She received the CRA Distinguished Service Award in 2011. She is a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).