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Oct 29, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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PROF. DANIEL ERNST

FEBRUARY 28
T H
, 2011



COMPUTATI ONAL AND CRITICAL THINKING

CS 146

The Big Picture in

Computer Science

Critical Thinking slides mostly created by Dr. Michael Wick


2


“Thinking like a computer scientist means more than
being able to program a computer. It requires
thinking at multiple levels of abstraction.”




-

Dr. Jeannette Wing

Main Message

3


A relatively new idea



First put forth by Dr. Jeannette Wing, Carnegie
Mellon University (CMU) in 2006



Developed since then through presentations,
workshops and other communication


Computational Thinking

4


Not just computer scientists!


Dr. Wing sees this as important for


children as well as university students


everyone as well as computer scientists



Implication: we have to think about what CS
material we teach K
-
12 as well as what is taught at
the university level

Computational Thinking


for whom?

5


About
people
, not computers


Trying to package what we, as humans, do based on
what we’ve learned from 50+ years of computer
science work



Supplements other analytical forms of thinking
(mathematical, engineering, scientific?)


Computational Thinking


about what?

6


At a high level

1.
Problem solving

2.
Designing models, systems and solutions

3.
Critical thinking about computational issues


More later about Critical Thinking

4.
Understanding human behavior in regard to computing


Another place where general education matters!



Note that programming is part of this, but is
certainly not the whole package


Computational Thinking


involves what?

7


At a detailed level


Abstraction



different levels of organization of concepts


Example: data type and instance variable


Algorithms



Decomposing a problem into sequential (and
parallel) steps


E.g. sequence for a basic web request through the HTTP protocol


Modeling



related to abstraction, the ability to build a
representative model for a system or situation


E.g. a program to simulate the Davies Center food court



Computational Thinking


involves what?

8


More detailed level items:


Recursion



a process can be defined in terms of or “call”
(programmatically) itself


Example: factorial can be defined in terms of itself (how?)


Data vs. Code

issue


recognizing the blurred line (and
advantages and disadvantages) between represented
information and represented processing


E.g. One byte can be a character, integer, part of a floating point
number, or part of an instruction


Planning, Searching, Scheduling, Learning, Dealing
with Uncertainty


E.g. Autonomous vehicle programming


Computational Thinking


involves what? (2)

9


More detailed level items:


Evaluating and Accomplishing Efficiency


E.g. Linear vs. Exponential time algorithms


Prevention/Detection/Recovery

from worst
-
case
scenarios


E.g. Computer security


Parallel Processing


activities that don’t rely on each
other can be accomplished concurrently


E.g. checking values in an array to find some value


Planning For Failure


building fault tolerance into
systems


E.g. use of exception handling in Java, C++ to catch incorrectly
formatted input


Computational Thinking


involves what? (3)

10


More detailed level items:


Heuristic Reasoning



developing approximation
functions to represent best guess and move toward solution


E.g. evaluating the quality of a position in tic
-
tac
-
toe by counting
pieces plus adding value for owning certain positions (e.g. center)


Redefining Problems


e.g. re
-
structuring problems by use
of “reduction, embedding, transformation, or simulation” (or
emulation)


E.g. modeling new hardware chips by building a software
emulator of that chip before actually manufacturing it


Computational Thinking


involves what? (4)

11


Computational thinking is more about:


Developing conceptual skill


than just programming


Judgment and analysis


than rote application of rules


Developing ideas and concepts for problem solving


than focusing on the artifacts that those processes create


Building “virtual” systems


than just physical ones


though physical systems are a part of an
overall computational system

Computational Thinking
-

Summary

12

What is Critical Thinking?


Critical Thinking
is the general term given to a wide
range of cognitive and intellectual skills needed to:



Effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments.


Discover and overcome personal prejudices and biases.


Formulate and present convincing and relevant reasons in
support of conclusions.


Make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe
and what to do.

13

What is Critical Thinking?

CRITICAL

THINKING

SKILLS

Analyzing

Reasoning

Evaluating

Decision Making

Problem Solving

14

The most significant critical (intellectual) thinking
standards:



Clarity


Accuracy


Precision


Relevance


Depth


Breadth


Logic


Fairness

Universal Intellectual Standards

15

Clarity


Could you elaborate further on that point?


Could you express that point in another way?


Could you give me an illustration?


Could you give me an example?

Source:
http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources/content/Ruland
-
CriticalThinkingStandards.pdf


Clarity is the gateway standard


16

Clarity

Give several examples of places in the areas of
computer science that we’ve discussed or that you
know about where clarity could be an issue.

17

Accuracy


Is that really true?


How could we check that?


How could we find out if that is true?

Source:
http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources/content/Ruland
-
CriticalThinkingStandards.pdf


This chicken
weighs over 300
pounds.


A statement can be clear but not accurate

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Accuracy

Think of a statement you heard recently that was
clear but inaccurate.

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Precision


Could you give more details?


Could you be more specific?


Source:
http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources/content/Ruland
-
CriticalThinkingStandards.pdf


A statement can be both clear and accurate,

but not precise

Yao Ming is
TALL
!


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Precision

Identify a situation in which the details and specifics
were important. Then identify the negative
consequences that resulted because you didn’t get
the details you needed to think well in the situation.

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Relevance


How is that connected to the question?


How does that bear on the issue?

Source:
http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources/content/Ruland
-
CriticalThinkingStandards.pdf


I studied hard all
semester, therefore I
should get A+.

A statement can be clear, accurate, and precise,

but not relevant to the question at issue.

22

Relevance

Can you identify circumstances in which people
tend to introduce irrelevant considerations into a
discussion?

23


How does your answer address the
complexities in the question?


How are you taking into account the
problems in the question?


Is that dealing with the most significant
factors?

Depth

Source:
http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources/content/Ruland
-
CriticalThinkingStandards.pdf


A statement can be clear, accurate,

precise, and relevant, but superficial.

24

Depth

Identify a problem you have experienced lately
where the solution presented to the problem was
superficial in nature.


If decisions were based on this surface thinking,
what were the consequences that followed from the
decision?

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Breadth


Do we need to consider another point of view?


Is there another way to look at this question?


What would this look like from another view?


What would this look like from the point of view
of...?

Source:
http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources/content/Ruland
-
CriticalThinkingStandards.pdf


A line of reasoning may be clear, accurate,

precise, relevant, and deep, but lack breadth.

Headache!!!

26

Breadth

Consider the question, “Is abortion morally
justified?” Some argue yes, others argue no.


Try to state and elaborate on each of these points
of view in detail. Try to present each point of view
in such a way that a person who actually takes that
position would assess it as accurate.

27

Logic


Does this really make sense?


Does that follow from what you said?


How does that follow?


But before you implied X and now you are saying
“not X”; how can both be true?


Need to know the rules of logic.

Source:
http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources/content/Ruland
-
CriticalThinkingStandards.pdf


All professors are human.

I am a human.

Therefore, I am a professor.

When the combination of thoughts are

mutually supporting and make sense in combination,

the thinking is "logical.“

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Logic

Remember a time when decisions at work or home
seemed to be based on illogical thinking.


What was the thinking in the situation that you
consider to be illogical?

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Fairness

Critical thinking demands that our thinking be fair.


Open
-
minded


Impartial


Free of distorting biases and preconceptions


Source:
http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources/content/Ruland
-
CriticalThinkingStandards.pdf


Fair
-
mindedness is an essential

attribute of a Critical Thinker.


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Fairness

Think of a situation in the last several weeks where
you were not fair. Try to look for situations where
your behavior was selfish or self
-
serving and as a
result, you negated another person’s desires or
rights.

31

The most significant critical (intellectual) thinking
standards:



Clarity


Accuracy


Precision


Relevance


Depth


Breadth


Logic


Fairness

Universal Intellectual Standards

32

Practice


Identify the Universal Intellectual Standards not
followed in this statement.



Since we have never been visited by extraterrestrials,
and have had no communication from outer space,
we can safely assume that intelligent life exists only
on our own planet.

33

Practice


Identify the Universal Intellectual Standards not
followed in this statement.


It is pretty obvious that smoking marijuana causes
people to crave more potent drugs, like cocaine and
heroin. Statistics show that almost all the people who
become addicted to drugs smoked marijuana before
they began using more potent drugs.

34

Practice


Identify the Universal Intellectual Standards not
followed in this statement.




The increase in violence by adolescent gangs in this
country is just another result of the liberal thinking
that has more sympathy for criminals than for their
victims.

35

Practice


Identify the Universal Intellectual Standards not
followed in this statement.




Why are the people in this class so much better
looking and intelligent than people in other
introductory classes?

36

Practice


Identify the Universal Intellectual Standards not
followed in this statement.



A mother was trying to dissuade her son from
marrying a girl he had met just three weeks before.
The son’s response was “But I know she’s the one;
the first time I saw her I began to tremble and see
spots before my eyes, and I had flutters in my chest
and strange sensations in my stomach. When I’m
with her, I feel like I could just take off and fly.”

37

Practice


Identify the Universal Intellectual Standards not
followed in this statement.



I looked at several issues of the Journal of
Parapsychology, a periodical that publishes research
on psychic phenomena. Every article confirmed the
existence of ESP, so I don’t understand why most
psychologists are skeptical about it.

38

Five
Powerful Barriers

to Critical Thinking:







Barriers to Critical Thinking

Self
-
centered thinking


self
-
interested thinking


self
-
serving bias

Group
-
centered thinking


Group bias


Conformism

Beliefs that are presumed to be true without adequate
evidence or justification


Assumption


Stereotyping

Believing that something is true because one wishes it
were true.

The truth is “just a matter of opinion”


Relativism



Subjectivism



Cultural relativism

Egocentrism

Unwarranted

Assumptions

Sociocentrism

Relativistic

Thinking

Wishful

Thinking

39

Quiz


Question 1

In a 1989 international study of 13
-
year
-
olds, Koreans
finished first in mathematics and Americans finished
last. Yet when asked whether they thought they were
"good at mathematics," only 23 percent of Koreans
said "yes," compared to 68 percent of Americans.

Which critical thinking barrier do the American students
exhibit:


A)
Self
-
interested thinking

B)
Group bias

C)
Self
-
serving bias

D)
Conformism

40

Quiz


Question 2

Which critical thinking barrier

does Ali display in this passage?


A) Self
-
interested thinking

B) Group bias

C) Self
-
serving bias

D) Conformism

Muhammad Ali [speaking in Zaire, Africa]: "There's no country

as great as the smallest city in America. I mean [here in Zaire]

you can't watch television. The water won't even run right.

The toilets won't flush. The roads, the cars
-

there's nothing as

great as America."

41

Quiz


Question 3

Which critical thinking barrier

does Lee exhibit?


A) Self
-
interested thinking

B) Stereotyping

C) Group bias

D) Conformism

Adam:

My friend Andy is a 1
st

year student at UWEC. He is


cool, loves hanging out, and has a very laid
-
back


personality.


Lee:

I bet he’s from Minnesota.

42

Quiz


Question 4

Which critical thinking barrier

does Suzie exhibit?


A) Stereotyping

B) Self
-
interested thinking

C) Wishful thinking

D) Relativistic thinking

Suzie
: I can't believe I got a B
-

on this marketing paper. My friend
Sarah



turned in this same paper in a different marketing class last semester,


and she got an A.


Ali
: Don't you realize it's wrong to plagiarize someone else's work?


Suzie
: That's your opinion. What's wrong for one person isn't necessarily


wrong for another, and
I

say there's nothing wrong with plagiarism
-


as long as you don't get caught.

43


44

Questioning


Questioning is one approach to motivate others to:



Get information


Test understanding


Develop interest


Evaluate the ability of individuals towards



understanding certain things.


“A person who asks questions

is a person who thinks.”’

-

William
Wilen


45

Questioning
-

Five Ws and H



The Five W’s and H, is an
influential, inspirational and
imaginative checklist (often used
by journalists) to generate:



Data
-
gathering questions, during
the early stages of problem solving
when you are gathering data.


Idea
-
provoking questions (e.g.
whilst brainstorming).


Criteria for evaluating options.

W
hat

W
ho

W
here

W
hen

W
hy



H
ow

5Ws

H

46

Questioning
-

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Remember

Understand

Apply

Analyze

Synthesize

Evaluate

Lower
-
level

Thinking

Higher
-
Level

Thinking

Why?

How?

What?

Who?

When?

Where?

47

Questioning


Understand


Understand


Seek to select and organize facts and
ideas, discovering the relationships between them.



What is the main idea of…


Retell in your on words what happened.


“There are many students who are educated

but few who can

think out of the box
.”


Pak Lah

48

Questioning


Apply


Apply


Help us take knowledge or concepts learnt
in one situation and apply them to other situations.


How would you apply the principles of decision
making when seeking a job?


How do you apply this rule in your daily life?

49

Questioning


Analyze


Analyze
-

To separate the entire process into
component parts and understand the relation of
these parts to the whole.



What are the parts or features of …


What evidence can you present to support…



Explain the reasons why you think…


50

Questioning


Evaluate

Evaluate
-

to make informed judgments
and decisions by determining the reliability
of things.



Do you agree with…?


Why or why not?


What criteria would you use to assess…




51

Questioning


Synthesize


Synthesize
-

to combine ideas and come to a
conclusion.



What ideas can you add to…


What might happen if you combine … with …?


What solution would you suggest for…


52

Questioning


Create


Create
-

to build on other ideas and develop
something new and useful.



How and where is what’s been done so far not
sufficient to (completely) solve the problem?


What might happen if you combine … with …?


What new idea can solve the problem?



NOTE: this is the core of much research!


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Asking the Right Questions

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/profile
-
von
-
ahn.html