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Learning to think like a computer

from The New York Times

In "The Beauty and Joy of Computing," the course he helped conceive for nonmajors at the University of California, Berkeley, Daniel Garcia explains an all-important concept in computer science — abstraction — in terms of milkshakes. "There is a reason when you go to the 'Joy of Cooking' and you want to make a strawberry milkshake, you don't look under 'strawberry milkshake,'" he said. Rather, there is a recipe for milkshakes that instructs you to add ice cream, milk and fruit of your choice. While earlier cookbooks may have had separate recipes for strawberry milkshakes, raspberry milkshakes and boysenberry milkshakes, eventually, he imagines, someone said, "Why don't we collapse that into one milkshake recipe?" more


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