What good is computer science anyway? How does it help anyone understand the world around them/ Good questions both. And in the last few days I’ve seen several good answers. Those are not directly the questions the blog posts I found were addressing but I think they are relevant. The first one was a post called Crafty and CS-y written by the Wicked Teacher of the West aka the Geeky Knitter. She points out that many patterns in knitting and quilting are digital. Reading that it made me think of the ASCII art and other line printer art we used to do back in the old days before modern graphic printers and monitors.
A recent blog post by Dan Reed uses a number of examples from real life to talk about computer science concepts. The post is called Driving: Integers and Reals as starts with an evaluation of how different drivers regard the lanes in multi lane highways. “Integers” see the lanes as discrete and specific lanes. “Reals” see the lines as guidelines and think of an infinite series of lanes. The whole post is interesting and thought provoking on several levels. While he’s at it Dan talks about set theory, famous names in computer science and historic computing projects. Good stuff.
And lets not forget about about things like the Fibonacci Series in nature, Mandelbrot fractals and other overlaps between math, nature and computer science. I’ll bet others reading this post can think of other examples to talk about as well.