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The Beauty and Joy of Computing in the Big Apple

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"It is easy to think the study of computer science is synonymous with coding. Even worse, computer science is often confused with being adept at using a computing device to accomplish some goal. But using a computer or even learning to code is only a small part of the science of computing.

"The real transformative and empowering experience comes when one learns how to program the computer, to translate ideas into code," according to Brian Harvey, a senior lecturer in computer science at the University of California (UC), Berkeley.

Through the efforts of Code.org and the news that President Obama wrote his first line of code, computer science education has recently moved into the public consciousness in a major way. In much of the resulting publicity, the motivation to broaden learning in the field focused on jobs and national security, but in reality the issues are much broader.

"There is a fight to get people to understand the importance of computer science education," said Harvey. "Computing has given us a new way of understanding the world, one that has strongly influenced physics, biology, economics, mathematics, psychology and the arts. Even someone who isn't going to be a professional computer programmer should know something about computer science for the same reason that every educated person should know something about physics."

Harvey is co-lead of a team from UC Berkeley that, with support from the National Science Foundation, is embarking on a four-year project with the New York City Department of Education and Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) to create new computer science curricular materials and to train 100 computer science teachers."

See full article: https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=134330