Course Details

Course Name
Introduction à la pensée computationnelle
Course Type
Université de Lausanne
Department of Language and Information Sciences
record actively maintained
Course Language
Start Date
Michael Piotrowski
Disciplines: Theory and Methodology of DH
Techniques: Brainstorming
Objects: DigitalHumanities, ResearchProcess
Access Requirements
Objective By the end of this course, students should be able to - understand and explain what computational thinking means, - identify important elements (abstraction, formal modeling, evaluation), - apply computational thinking to general problems and to problems in their field of humanities or social sciences in particular, - design, implement, and evaluate formal models themselves, and - assess and critique computational approaches. Students should also be able to - critically read and reflect on scholarly publications and - jointly develop an understanding of scholarly work in plenary and small group sessions and to present the results. Content Seymour Papert noted in his 1987 paper "Computer Criticism vs. Technocentric Thinking": One might imagine that "technologists" would be most likely to fall into the technocentric trap and that "humanists" would have a better understanding of the role of culture in the so called "effects of the computer." But things are not so simple. People from the humanities are often the most vulnerable to the technocentric trap. Insecurity sometimes makes a technical object loom too large in their thinking. Particularly in the case of computers, their intimidation and limited technical understanding often blind them to the fact that what they see as a property of "the computer" is often a cultural construct. ( This course aims to give an introduction to computational thinking in order to allow students to gain a basic understanding of the methodological foundations of computing; this is motivated by two complementary goals: 1. to enable students to describe, interpret, and discuss the workings of computer-based systems and services-and thus be able to critically evaluate them with respect to the aspects studied by humanities and social sciences. The course aims to give students the basics necessary to engage, for example, in critical algorithm studies. 2. to enable students to apply computational thinking to their own fields of studies in humanities or social sciences, so that they can make use of computational approaches in their studies and their research. Consequently, we will read and discuss scholarly texts (research papers, book chapters) as well as representations of computing in general media, but also engage in the practical construction of computational models in small groups using the Inform 7 system (
Disciplines: Theory and Methodology of DH
Techniques: Brainstorming
Objects: DigitalHumanities, ResearchProcess