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Core course teaches researchers how to work together

Education Achievements

Core course teaches researchers how to work together

A core course for trainees, Computational Thinking, covers interdisciplinary research involving computational tools and methods. The emphasis is on skills and ideas that let computer scientists and others work together. Students focus on how interdisciplinary groups can design and implement tools, such as simulators, inference engines and special-purpose programming languages, which allow team members to explore ideas collaboratively and computationally. Material focuses on strategies for communication and interaction in diverse teams. This year we extended the background reading in computational cognition, and extended the projects to bring in more ideas from students' own research, while emphasizing implementation and teamwork. The course challenges students to work together in ways representative of interdisciplinary research collaborations. Matthew Stone described the course at a recent workshop (ACL Workshop on Issues in Teaching Computational Linguistics, 2008).