Challenging the Computational Metaphor: Implications for How We Think

Lynn Andrea Stein
MIT AI Laboratory

Thursday, March 11, Volen 101, 2:10-3:10 pm. (Refreshments at 2:00pm)

We have historically characterized computation as a sequence of steps calculating a desired result. This metaphor for computation remains central in the discipline today, in spite of its increasing failure to capture essential aspects of today's computational practice.

In this talk, I will discuss the role of this central metaphor in computer science and propose an alternate metaphor in terms of communities of interacting entities. This new metaphor changes the way in which we think computational artifacts.

Drawing on my work in introductory computer science curriculum and in artificial intelligence, I will explore the implications of this shift in metaphor on how we think along three dimensions:

Host: Liuba Shrira