“Computational thinking is the thought processes involved in formulating problems and their solutions so that the solutions are in a form that can be effectively carried out by an information-processing agent” [Cuny, Snyder, Wing 10]. Computational thinking and its outcomes (i.e., computers, software, and their usage) are increasingly shaping the world in which we live. In order to be productive citizens of the 21st century, UBC students need to have the opportunity to learn concepts such as how data can be processed to gain insights, how computers use their personal data, and why computational thinking enables some amazing tasks (e.g., finding directions, sharing videos, and communicating instantly) but is as yet so bad at others (e.g., translating documents between languages). CPSC 100 will give non-computer science majors key insights into (1) the building blocks necessary for computational thinking (2) applications of computational thinking and (3) how computational thinking and its applications impact the world around them. Students will explore the past, present, and future of computing including a student directed exploration of computing and computational thinking issues in the news. This course is targeted to first year students, but is open to all.
We make extensive use of active learning throughout this course.