Advancing Algorithmic Reasoning and Computational Thinking

In May 2016, Chair of the Faculty and Professor Krishna Rajagopal and then-Dean for Undergraduate Education Dennis Freeman created a working group to conduct an in-depth study of whether – and if so, how – MIT should ensure that undergraduate students learn about algorithmic reasoning and computational thinking. The final report of the working group is now available. A key recommendation of the final report is to explore ways to connect algorithmic reasoning and computational thinking to domain-specific contexts across different intellectual disciplines. The working group envisions that some elements of computational thinking could best be taught in subjects that are designed for a major, or designated as suitable for a major, enabling students to understand computation in a disciplinary context, thereby increasing the utility of what they learn.

To advance this recommendation, funding was made available to develop subjects that use and teach computational thinking in domain-specific contexts.