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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,
Editor-in-Chief

 

LATEST ARTICLES
Commentary

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.

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Communication Corner

Why writing short sentences may be short-changing your reader

August 2017
by Philip Yaffe

Each "Communication Corner" essay is self-contained; however, they build on each other. For best results, before reading this essay and doing the exercise, go to the first essay "How an Ugly Duckling Became a Swan," then read each succeeding essay.

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Interview

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.

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Interview

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). This is a confluence that has, at its roots, the thorny problems that arise when you mix computation with people. Some beautiful technical results, many originated by Marianne Winslett, now address those challenges, but some surprises crop up along the way.

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