Three Modes of Thinking

September 10, 2017
  • Logical thinking - Mathematics (inference)
  • Empirical thinking - Physics (observation, induction)
  • Computational thinking - Computer Science (abstraction, automation)

I’m taking COMP 330 Theory of Computation this term, and here are some of my understandings:

What’s unique about computer science?

The combination of computing theory and mechanical implementation. Computer science has something common with mathematics which is abstraction. But one major difference is that the computation needs to be implemented, not by pencil and paper, but by automated mechanical operations.

What’s great about Turing machine?

Abstraction and automation are well combined in Turing machine. A computation problem is first broke down in to finite, determinable steps as table of instructions, which is the process of abstraction. Then the type moves left or right, which is a mechanical operation. Combine them both, the computation can now be complete.