IFD:Computational Thinking-SoS16

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Computational Thinking for Media Practitioners
Instructor: Jason Reizner
Credits: 6 ECTS, 4 SWS
Capacity: max. 15 students
Language: English
Date: Tuesdays, 13:30 to 16:45

Location: Marienstr. 7b, Room 101

First Meeting: 19 April 2016, 13:30


"Computational thinking is the thought processes involved in formulating problems and their solutions so that the solutions are represented in a form that can be effectively carried out by an information-processing agent." – Cuny, Snyder, Wing (2010)

The ability to copy and paste code is not enough: Contemporary media practitioners must have a fundamental understanding of computational processes in order to articulate ideas and realize projects programatically. This module will introduce core computer science principles and programming concepts including data structures, variables, operators, control structures and functions, enabling participants to become familiar with C-syntax languages and develop the skills necessary to work effectively in Javascript, Processing or C/C++. Participants will also focus on identifying, selecting and implementing appropriate external resources, dependencies and libraries, while addressing relevant software development topics including design patterns, documentation and commenting, debugging, version control and licensing.

Admission requirements

This is an introductory course with no technical pre-requisites. Concurrent enrollment in another IFD course offering is strongly encouraged.

Registration procedure

Registration for Summer Semester 2016 is now closed.


Successful completion of the course is dependent on regular attendance, active participation, completion of weekly assignments and delivery of a relevant semester project. Please refer to the Evaluation Rubric for more details.

Eligible participants

MFA Medienkunst/-gestaltung, MFA Media Art and Design, MSc MediaArchitecture

Syllabus (subject to change)

19 April
Course Organization
Administrative Housekeeping

Semester Evaluation Rubric

26 April
An abridged history of Computing
What is Computational Thinking?

Sources and Links from the Lecture
Semester Project Overview

3 May
Foo = Bar: Variables and Data Types
Hello, World: Functions and Operators

Sources and Links from the Lecture

10 May
if, while, do, for, else: Iteration and Control Structures

Sources and Links from the Lecture

17 May
Under the Hood: Interpreters vs. Compilers
or, See where the sausage is made

Due to illness, this session has been cancelled. More information will be emailed shortly.

24 May
No Class - LPKF Workshop Hannover

For next week, please review the following text:

31 May
redux edition Under the Hood: Interpreters vs. Compilers
or, See where the sausage is made

Why is this happening to me?
Debugging & Existentialism

Sources and Links from the Lecture

7 June
Midterm Presentations

14 June
Libraries, Dependencies and Blobs
Don't Copy that Floppy: Licensing, Attribution, Open Sources, Piracy

Sources and Links from the Lecture

21 June
Design Patterns and Architectural Considerations

Sources and Links from the Lecture

28 June
Commenting, Documentation and the Needs of Humans

Sources and Links from the Lecture

5 July
No Class - xCoAx2016 Bergamo

12 July
Preparations for summaery16
Note: Final Project Presentations will be postponed until 18-19 July
Further information regarding time and location will be emailed shortly

18-19 July
Final Presentations

Please select a timeslot for your presentation on the Doodle here:
Presentation sessions will take place on both Monday and Tuesday (not exclusive or!)
You should be prepared to remain for the entire session (13:30-17:30) on the day that you choose.

Further Reading