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Introduction to computational thinking
Introduction to computational thinking

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1.1 Automation

Activity 2 Automation, abstraction and modelling

Timing: 5 minutes

After you’ve watched the following extract of Wing’s talk, complete this activity.

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Automation, abstraction and modelling
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The aim of this activity is to get you to think about what Wing is saying in the following, rather long but important, sentence: ‘… this feedback loop that one has when you’re abstracting from some physical-world phenomenon, creating a mathematical model of this physical-world phenomenon, and then analysing the abstraction, doing sorts of manipulations of those abstractions, and in fact automating the abstraction, that then tells us more about the physical-world phenomenon that we’re actually modelling.’

Place the following labels in the correct positions of the diagram below. (Note: the diagram will not work with Internet Explorer 8, if this is your usual browser you will need to use an alternate browser to view the diagram.)

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Discussion

It is important to have a good grasp of this diagram. It provides a high-level overview of the key ingredients of computational thinking and how they are related to each other. In the remainder of this course, we will flesh out some of the details that lie behind this diagram.