checkout line with the shortest wait time, and representation of correspondences between symbols and the physical world such as between online banking and money.

Robert M. Panoff, founder and executive director of the Shodor Education Foundation, Inc., illustrated the generality of computational thinking by identifying three fundamental ideas that ground computational thinking:

• What you have now is what you had before plus what has changed. That is, Xnew = Xold + change in X.

• I am the average of my neighbors; that is, add up a bunch of numbers and divide by the number of numbers. This is the essence of solving Laplace’s equation.

• When two entities interact with each other, one of the entities acquires with some probability a property that the other entity already had. For example, if the two entities are people and the property is a wallet, there is some probability of a crime—an example found in criminology. If the entities are trees and the property is being on fire, there is some probability that the tree not on fire will become a tree that is on fire—an example from forest management. If the entities are particles and the property is momentum, there is some probability that one particle will acquire some of the momentum of the other particle—an example often found in physics.

Ursula Wolz, associate professor of computer science and interactive multimedia at the College of New Jersey, noted that concepts of computational thinking permeate journalism. The similarities stem from the reliance of both fields on language. Languages can be natural as found in journalism or formal as found in computer science. Both formal and informal languages involve access to information, aggregation of data, and synthesis of information. Concepts of reliability, privacy, accuracy, and logical consistency are essential to both formal and informal languages. Both involve knowledge representation (e.g., determining the appropriate granularity for reporting a story or taking data) and abstraction from cases.


Workshop participants extended the discussion of activities associated with computational thinking that had been initiated at the first workshop. During the second workshop participants focused on educationally relevant activities.

Robert Tinker, founder of the Concord Consortium, argued that the

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