TED Videos with Computational Thinking

Cross posted on the Exploring Computational Thinking Forum:

A colleague of mine wanted to understand more about one of the projects I am working on at Google. He is an Artist and felt that Computational Thinking was something he used everyday but still a little unsure. I decided to send him a bunch of TED videos showing how much we use and rely upon Computational Thinking everyday.

When I began to look through the TED Videos, I was amazed at how many of them relate to computational thinking in some way or another and that is why these videos amaze us. TED videos showcase people doing extraordinary things and seeing the possibilities when we look at the big picture.

See if you can find the 4 aspects of Computational Thinking in each video:

  1. Decomposition - Breaking down the data
  2. Finding the patterns in the data
  3. Generalizing your findings and discovering the big idea
  4. Turning them into a set of instructions that others can reproduce

Whether you are an artist, scientist, Engineer at Google, or student, Computational Thinking is present and makes possible the world we see. I hope these videos are equally useful to you in explaining to others what Computational Thinking is:

How Algorithms Shape Our World - If you thought Algorithms were only used by computer scientists, think again.

The Best Stats You've Ever Seen - Hans Rosling shows how big data and patterns can tell humanity's story. Al Gore did something similar with big data to show humanity's impact upon the planet.

Making a Car for the Blind - You may have heard of Google's Autonomous Car but what about a car that allows the blind to drive?

Synthetic Life - Craig Venter started the human genome project and they used that information to make the ultimate algorithm, a synthetic cell

What We Learned from 5 Million Books - Hilarious as well as inspiring as we see what happens when we start looking for patterns in our books. This is the power behind Google Translate.

Nature in Architecture - Many of our most useful innovations have come from emulating nature.

Teaching Kids Real Math with Computers - In this viral video, Conrad Wolfram says that math > calculation and with Computational Thinking we can teach students far more than we ever thought.

Computing a Theory of Everything - Stephen Wolfram, shows how knowledge is related and can be used to better understand the universe.

The End of Theory - Not a video, but a revealing article about why students need to learn how to work with data and statistical analysis.

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