NEWS

Computing Everywhere

May 19, 2014


We see computing in our phones, robots, and tablets, but have you ever thought that computing can be found even in static objects like tables and rocks?

Computer Science and Arts & Technology professor, Dr. Paul Fishwick explains how he takes abstract concepts of computing and makes them concrete in everyday objects.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.

The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
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We often teach computing by having a student sit down in front of a computer. The assumption is that computing is done in computers. This is a bit like saying the mathematics is done with a ruler and compass.

I recently gave a TEDx talk at UTD where I showed the example shown above in addition to others. The task for the computer scientist is to see the world as information – its structures and behaviors. This is not to take away from the code movement because learning to code is essential as a way to learn how powerful computing can be, and how creative we can be when we do code.

But we should not stop there. Computing can be framed as a particular way to see the world around us. Take a trip to the park. You will see information in all of its glory.

Paul FishwickPaul Fishwick

ATEC Distinguished University Chair and Professor of Computer Science
Director of the Creative Automata Laboratory