Programming to 'Make Sparks Fly'?
|Tools for making sure that "Sparks will Fly"|
Across the three lectures, the audience got to take part in building systems that used internet connected lights to play Tetris on a London skyscraper, to holographic communications and a robotic orchestra. Through this process, we understood how to build solutions to complex problems by:
- decomposing them into simpler sub-problems;
- identifying technologies that could help us solve the sub-problems, using techniques like abstraction and analogical reasoning;
- building prototypes to test our hypotheses about these technologies could be extended to solve each sub-problem; and
- integrating the individual solutions to build a system that addresses the initial challenge.
Although the engineer in me found this to be a very engaging way to inspire the next generation of inventors and engineers, the computer scientist in me was disappointed by the very cursory treatment of computing and computational thinking - with only the briefest references to programming in the first lecture. This seemed like a missed opportunity but I guess with only three lectures to cover everything, something had to give. Hopefully there will be a future lecture series that explores ubiquitous computing in greater depth - bringing to life the exciting opportunities (and threats!) of the Internet of Everything.