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Robert St. Amant
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Entries by Robert St. Amant

Orca and Usability

(3) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 9:46 AM

Imagine that it's a few months before the Presidential election. You've just received a call, asking if you'd be willing to offer your services as a usability consultant on a political software project. You're curious; what would something called "Orca" be for? You decide to do it. You're shown a...

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Computational Thinking About Politics

(18) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 9:41 PM

On The Atlantic Wire Gabriel Snyder gives what we'd call a combinatorial analysis of the presidential election. I like the analysis not for what it says about the possible outcome but because it illustrates an influential idea in computer science, called computational thinking: formulating a problem...

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Science, Engineering, and Innovation (for Everyone)

(3) Comments | Posted September 19, 2012 | 12:36 PM

We all know in our heads that science, engineering, and the work of creative people influence our everyday lives. But sometimes it feels more personal.

Chad Ruble's mother had a stroke some years ago and was left with aphasia. According to the National Aphasia Association, about 1 million Americans have...

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Code Year: Why You Should Learn to Code

(34) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 12:52 PM

You probably know about Code Year. Code Year, sponsored by Codecademy, challenges people to learn how to program in 2012. The Codeacademy website offers free online lessons in a variety of programming languages; it's received attention in the press and saw a large boost from a...

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