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Computing the Future

By MIT News

March 7, 2019

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As part of the public launch of the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) hosted a special fireside chat, featuring six MIT professors who have received ACM's A.M. Turing Award.

Moderated by Daniela Rus, director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the event included Turing laureates Tim Berners-Lee, Shafi Goldwasser, Butler Lampson, Barbara Liskov, Ronald Rivest, and Michael Stonebraker.

The panelists agreed that one of MIT's priorities should be to teach computational skills in a bidirectional way, meaning that the institution's existing schools should inform the college's direction, and for the college to also teach concepts of "computational thinking" that are more generalizable than any one programming language or algorithmic framework.

Said Goldwasser, "What separates us from industrial product — and even from other research labs — is our ability to pursue basic research as a pure metric rather than for dollar signs."

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