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Peter J. Denning, Editor in ChiefThe digitally connected world has become a large, swirling sea of information stripped of context. We help our readers make sense of it, find meaning in it, learn what to trust, and speculate on our future.

Peter J. Denning,



Computational design

August 2017
by Peter J. Denning

Computational thinking refers to a deliberative process that finds a computational solution for a concern. Computational doing refers to use of computation and computational tools to address concerns. Computational design refers to creating new computational tools and methods that are adopted by the members of a community to address their concerns. Unfortunately, the definitions of both "thinking" and "doing" are fuzzy and have allowed misconceptions about the nature of algorithms. Fortunately, it is possible to eliminate the fuzziness in the definitions by focusing on computational design, which is at the intersection between thinking and doing. Computational design is what we are really after and would be a good substitute for computational thinking and doing.


Communication Corner

Why writing short sentences may be short-changing your reader

August 2017
by Philip Yaffe

The tenets of good writing usually include the advice to keep sentences short. However a series of short sentences often gives less information than a well-crafted longer one. ...


Is quantum computing for real?: an interview with Catherine McGeoch of D-Wave Systems

July 2017
Interviewed by Walter Tichy

In this interview, computer scientist Catherine McGeoch demystifies quantum computing and introduces us to a new world of computational thinking. ...


Mixing computation with people: an interview with Marianne Winslett

July 2017
Interviewed by Richard T. Snodgrass

In this interview, we learn about five fascinating subjects: security in manufacturing, negotiating trust in the web, updating logical databases, differential privacy, and scientific computing (including its security issues). ...