Explicative Programming

Staff - Faculty of Informatics

Date: 16 November 2021 / 16:30 - 17:30

USI Campus EST, room D1.13, Sector D // online on MS Teams

You can join here 

Alexander Repenning, Hasler Professor and Chair of Computer Science Education at the Pädagogische Hochschule FHNW, Switzerland 

With substantial confusion left regarding the meaning, as well as the purpose, of Computational Thinking (CT), 15 years after Jeannette Wing's seminal CACM article, two different schools of computational thought have emerged. In the more prominent school of thought—let's call it vocational education—the boundary between programming and CT is somewhat blurry. No doubt, the understanding of coding constructs is an essential part of CT education. However, if teaching and assessing CT is largely based on concepts such as loops, sequences, and conditional statements, then how is this fundamentally different from programming? Enter the second, less developed, school of computational thought focusing on general education. We will call this "Explicative Programming." In this school, programming may not be in the foreground, but it becomes an interdisciplinary instrument of thought to truly understand powerful ideas in disciplines such as STEM, art, language, and music. In the Explicative Programming school of computational thought, CT is about thinking with the computer. The presentation will outline trade-offs between these two computational school of though and will demonstrate Explicative Programming in the context of Math, Music, and Computer Science. 

More info in the Novermber CACM: Alexander Repenning, Ashok Basawapatna, Explicative Programming, Communications of the ACM, November 2021, Vol. 64 No. 11, Pages 30-33

Dr. Alexander Repenning is the Hasler Professor and Chair of Computer Science Education at the Pädagogische Hochschule FHNW in Switzerland and a computer science professor at the University of Colorado. He is directing the international Scalable Game Design Initiative. He has offered game design workshops in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Repenning is a pioneer in blocks-based programming and the creator of AgentSheets and AgentCubes. Repenning’s research exploring Computational Thinking Tools and teacher professional development has been funded with over $20M through government (e.g., US National Science Foundation) and private (e.g., Google, Hasler) funding organizations. Repenning is an advisor to the National Academy of Sciences, the European Commission and the National Science Foundation

Host: Prof. Marc Langheinrich