2 years ago
csgeek
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Computer Science in 1974 vs. Today
Thomas Cormen, Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Dartmouth College, shares his experience with computer science classes in 1974. Back in the day, he had to type his Fortran programs in to punch cards and feed the cards into a hopper. Then he would get a printout from the line printer and see if his program worked by analyzing the output. If it wasn't working, he would have to take his output and go over it carefully until he figured out the error. Time was precious because the the IBM 360/91 he used at Princeton's computer center was loads slower than our computers today. Today, students own their own computers and use advanced IDEs that allow them to catch errors more quickly. Not only that, but code is compiled so much faster and you can run it more quickly because of that. Cormen mentions that the disadvantage of todays technology (although not all bad) is that students are not taking the same time he did back in his day to go through each line of code and fully understand how their programs works. The help recieved from IDEs and other sources is a risk because students might just be "randomly morphing" their code until it magically works (he admits that even he does that sometimes to debug his TeX macros.) This is something we really need to think about, do you think the students today are missing out on the full experience of computer science because of this? Sources: http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2014/12/08/how-teaching-computer-science-has-changed-from-1974-to-today/ http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/360-91-panel.jpg [img] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/FortranCardPROJ039.agr.jpg [img]
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I never considered the way that computers developing could actually harm out areas of them in some ways. As we don't have to worry about them not working or moving as slowly as they used to, we aren't getting the experience of having to learn from that! Just as I feel some young people today aren't learning as much during school, even though so much more knowledge is available, simply because they have Google at their fingertips to give them parts of the answers!
@greggr, yes, I agree...it's crazy. I guess we can say that today more is expected of us because we have access to so much information!
@TechAtHeart Yes! But we aren't being taught how to use that information appropriately in all cases, so it can be overwhelming!
@greggr that is a good point! Regardless of how much information we have, we need to be taught how to use it