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Ang, K. C. (2020). Computational thinking as habits of mind for mathematical modelling. In W.-C. Yang, & D. Meade (Eds.), Electronic Proceedings of the 25th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics (pp. 126-137). Mathematics and Technology, LLC.
The growing interest in computational thinking and its use in problem solving had led teachers and educators, as well as other researchers, to ponder over what it means and how best to introduce such a notion to students in schools. Many ideas on “teaching computational thinking” have also been suggested, and in many countries, courses on coding or computer programming have been made very popular as more people begin to believe that the ability to write code is an important skill in this increasingly digital world. In this paper, we focus on the habits of mind that are related to computational thinking and that can be developed from learning to code. Some of these habits include looking at trends in data and analyzing them, examining a process and simulating it, and systematically constructing a solution to a problem. More specifically, we shall discuss how these habits of mind can enhance and support one’s skills and competencies in the context of mathematical modelling, using three examples. Individually, each example illustrates some aspects of computational thinking applied to the modelling tasks. Collectively, through these examples, we attempt to demonstrate that the related habits of mind of computational thinking, developed through computer programming exercises, could strengthen one’s ability and expand one’s capability of tackling modelling tasks in a significant, albeit sometimes subtle way.
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