My vision for the 21st Century: Computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world. To reading, writing, and arithmetic, we should add computational thinking to every child’s analytical ability. Computational thinking involves solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior by drawing on the concepts that are fundamental to computer science. Thinking like a computer scientist means more than being able to program a computer. It requires the ability to abstract and thus to think at multiple levels of abstraction.
Computational thinking has already influenced many disciplines, from the sciences to the arts. In my talk, I will give a few examples from Microsoft Research of how computational thinking is changing the way research is conducted in different disciplines and helping to address societal issues. Computational thinking is also changing what we teach in colleges and universities today. I will speak about some recent educational efforts in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and India on adopting computational thinking in education, especially at the K-12 level. Computational thinking can not only inspire future generations to enter the field of computer science-it can also benefit people in all fields.