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Chadwick School - 26800 S Academy Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA - (310) 377-1543

News

Volume 65 Number 4

Practical math? Chadwick to integrate computer science into classes

by David Ding - 2015-02-19


If (study) return A; else return B. Computer science is everywhere.

Using logic to control the actions of machinery, computer scientists are becoming more and more important throughout the job industry.

Chadwick’s computer science program is currently part of the math department, and is an extracurricular that students may choose to take. The first class is AP Computer Science, and the post AP is called Graphics/Ai. Programming requires the use of basic lines of code, such as the one above, to give non-animate objects the ability to react to certain conditions. For example, an automatic door sensor most likely has some sort of code that checks to see if a person is nearby. If there is a person, the door will open; if not, the door will close. It is actually more complicated, but that’s the gist of computer science.

“Programming is a useful skill in itself. From spreadsheet analysis of data to programming your calculator to calculate restaurant tips, it can be very useful to tell a machine how to do something for you. Then there is a vast range of careers that involve programming. Having a head start on programming skills is a great advantage,” said Deborah Dowling, Assistant Head for Academic Affairs.

Chadwick realizes the necessity of computer science, so the math department is planning to incorporate math and computer science, making computer science a required class at Chadwick. According to Dowling, math should be taught to strengthen one’s abilities to think in structural and procedural ways about abstract questions.

“We are investing appropriate ways of integrating computer science into the math program,” said Kimberly Tatman, Math Department Director. “We don’t want to have it as an add-on, but rather as an integrated class. We’re still at the experimental stage, so we’re looking at other schools to see what they are doing. I do feel pretty strongly that coding is just as important as many other skills that education as a whole is lagging behind in.”

Engineering Club Leader Lydia Krauss, a senior, agrees.

“I think that’s 100% a great idea. School in general should be teaching the kind of skills you need in a future job. Especially now, coding will be essential in future careers,” Kraus said.

However, Adam Krieger, a senior in the post AP Computer Science class, believes that coding and math do not necessarily go hand in hand.

“The stuff you can do with computers are at a much lower level in math,” Krieger said. “When I’m learning algebra, I’m probably not going to know how to code. They’re not really related. Forcing subjects to be connected when they’re not will be problematic. I would not integrate it; I would make people have to take it.”

Even with the debate about integration, it is clear that many believe that computer science is becoming more and more necessary to not only Chadwick’s curriculum, but education as a whole.


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chadwick, computer, science, math, class, programming, skill


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