Computers obviously not harmful (was: Re: [plt-scheme] Computers considered harmful)

From: Noel Welsh (noelwelsh at
Date: Fri May 8 14:45:08 EDT 2009

On Fri, May 8, 2009 at 6:52 PM, John Clements <clements at> wrote:
> The bulk of my original posting was clearly garbage.  The only thing I think
> is interesting (and I have nothing further to add at the moment) is the
> notion that using robots as the lead-in to CS education may lead to a poor
> mental model of computation in that it encourages the student to think of
> the computer as a large robot with many state variables (a.k.a. main
> memory).

Depends on the model you use to program the robot -- you can do nice
FRP on robotics, for example. However, in most robotics courses you'll
spend a lot of time wrestling with the failures of the hardware, which
can obscure the main points in a CS introduction.


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