Comments on: Computational Thinking Benefits Society 40th Anniversary of "Social Issues in Computing", C.C. Gotlieb and Allan Borodin, 1973 Mon, 09 Mar 2015 00:30:32 +0000 hourly 1 By: Research Report | hwiltzerbxe12 Mon, 09 Mar 2015 00:30:32 +0000 […] 10. Wing, Jeannette M. “Computational Thinking Benefits Society.”┬áSocial Issues in Computing. University of Toronto, 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 7 Mar. 2015. <;. […]

By: jdd Thu, 03 Apr 2014 17:22:44 +0000 In reply to Lorraine’s comment, before and during the year 2000, many of our computer science students told us they were there because they believed a computer science education would lead to a lucrative career. At the time both the Year 2000 date bug (Y2K) and the dot-com boom were fueling demand for computer professionals of many sorts. But after 2000, the demand for computing professionals plummeted: 2001 saw a recession, the Y2K bug was solved, and the dot-com bubble effectively burst. So students looking for a lucrative career began to look elsewhere. However in recent years, we have seen a huge surge in demand for computer science education, dwarfing previous demand. This time around, when we ask our students why they are interested in computer science, they tell us that they are not so much interested in computing for its own sake, or for a lucrative career, they want to use it to change the world. They mention many different areas where they want to apply computer science: biology, medicine, economics, urbanization, sociology, the environment, and many more. It seems to me to be much more than a matter of mobile technology (though of course that is a factor), but an emerging realization that computer science can make a huge difference in a great many areas.

John DiMarco
IT Director, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

By: Lorraine Akemann Thu, 03 Apr 2014 17:04:08 +0000 Thank you for the article. As a mother of two daughters, and a beginning programmer myself, I appreciate this “grand vision” stated about advancing computational thinking as a fundamental educational skill. I have a few comments:

In section 3 about computational thinking and education, the first paragraph notes a decline in CS undergraduate majors around the year 2000, as compared to today’s (2014) upsurge in enrollments. I think one reason for the upsurge may be expansive adoption of mobile technologies that put computing in our back pockets. Could this have ignited interest in the field, anecdotally even from someone like me, who does not have a computer science background but a keen interest in technology?

Another point I’d like to underscore is the distinction between computational thinking, computer science, and computer programming. Those unfamiliar with these fields may have a tendency to lump them together (again, speaking from my own perspective) which creates distance from the diverse audiences computing is trying to attract. Continuing to explain the value and differences of all three may open new doors for engagement.

Finally, and simply, thanks for the reference to I have reviewed the site and this will be a terrific tool for my kids, and I plan to pass on the resource to their K12 teachers in our local public schools.


Lorraine Akemann @momswithapps

By: Calvin Gotlieb Sat, 11 Jan 2014 17:22:18 +0000 An insightful and inspiring article
Easy to see why the writer is so greatly admired and in demand.