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Foster Computational Thinking

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I was asked to present at a NAS event on "Computational Thinking." I tried to convey some perspectives on the role of computation in science. Of course the slides are mostly pictures, not words...

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Foster Computational Thinking

  1. 1. Some thoughts on computation Ian Foster Computation Institute Argonne National Lab & University of Chicago
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ Applied computer science is now playing the role that mathematics did from the 17th through the 20th centuries: providing an orderly, formal framework and exploratory apparatus for other sciences” </li></ul><ul><li>– G. Djorgovski </li></ul>
  3. 3. Knowledge generation in astronomy ~1600 30 years ? years 10 years 6 years 2 years
  4. 4. Knowledge generation in astronomy ~1600 30 years ? years 10 years 6 years 2 years
  5. 5. Astronomy, from 1600 to 2000 Automation 10 -1  10 8 Hz data capture Community 10 0  10 4 astronomers (+10 6 amateur) Computation Data 10 6  10 15 B aggregate 10 -1  10 15 Hz peak Literature 10 1  10 5 pages/year
  6. 6. Denning’s “great principles” <ul><li>Computation </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Recollection </li></ul><ul><li>Automation </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul>
  7. 7. NAE Grand Challenges
  8. 8. A C ommunity I ntegrated M odel for E conomic a nd R esource T rajectories for H umankind ( CIM-EARTH ) Dynamics, foresight, uncertainty, resolution, … Agriculture, transport, taxation, … Data (global, local, …) (Super) computers CIM-EARTH Framework Community process Open code, data www.cim-earth.org
  9. 10. <ul><li>for most people, computing in the large is more important than computing in the small </li></ul>
  10. 11. The world includes many analog components
  11. 12. Thank you! Computation Institute www.ci.uchicago.edu www.ci.anl.gov

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