2016 Visionaries in Technology Event

Thayer Distinguished Speaker Series

Thayer School's Visionaries in Technology series honors engineers and scientists whose insights have benefited humanity through revolutionary engineering solutions, paradigm shifting scientific advances, novel fields of inquiry, or policy shaping debate.

The 2016 event took place on October 21st:

Computational Thinking: My vision for the 21st Century

Jeannette M. Wing, Corporate VP, Microsoft Research
Consulting Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon

Computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world. To reading, writing, and arithmetic, we should add computational thinking to every child's analytical ability. Computational thinking involves solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior by drawing on the concepts fundamental to computer science. Thinking like a computer scientist means more than being able to program a computer. It requires the ability to abstract and thus to think at multiple levels of abstraction. In this talk I will give many examples of computational thinking, argue that it has already influenced other disciplines, and promote the idea that teaching computational thinking can not only inspire future generations to enter the field of computer science but benefit people in all fields.

About the Speaker

Jeannette Wing

Professor Wing is Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Research and Consulting Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon where she twice served as the Head of the Computer Science Department. She is also affiliate faculty in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. From 2007–2010 she was the Assistant Director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation. She received her SB, SM, and PhD degrees in computer science, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Wing's general research interests are in the areas of trustworthy computing, specification and verification, concurrent and distributed systems, programming languages, and software engineering. Her current interests are in the foundations of security and privacy. She was or is on the editorial board of twelve journals, including the Journal of the ACM and Communications of the ACM.
She is currently Chair of the AAAS Section on Information, Computing and Communications and on the Board of Trustees for the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics. She has been a member of many other advisory boards, including: Networking and Information Technology (NITRD) Technical Advisory Group to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), National Academies of Sciences' Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (former chair), ACM Council, Computing Research Association Board, and DARPA ISAT (former chair). She served as co-chair of NITRD from 2007–2010. She was on the faculty at the University of Southern California, and has worked at Bell Laboratories, USC/Information Sciences Institute, and Xerox Palo Alto Research Laboratories. She received the CRA Distinguished Service Award in 2011 and the ACM Distinguished Service Award in 2014. She is a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).