Computing in the News

Why Use News?

Highlights from the news make a great attention-grabber at the beginning of class, and provide handy concrete examples for thinking about the global impacts of computing. (In fact, there’s a move to use news in all undergrad CS classes at UC Berkeley!)

Tips and Options for Using Computing News in Class

  • Present a current news story about a computing innovation (including a video if there is one), then ask the students what they think about it, what computer science concepts are involved, and what the positive and negative implications are.
  • Once you’ve modeled the process several times, you can ask students to bring stories to the group.
  • Can be used as a five-minute bellringer every day, or save news for Fridays and give it more time.
  • If the discussion is going well, let it continue!
  • It can be easy — maybe a little too easy — to highlight the positive elements of a new innovation (especially when news stories are based on press releases!). So it’s important for students to see the negative (often unintended) implications as well — and to put some thought into how potential negative consequences could be prevented or mitigated.

This Page: Stories Curated for CSP

This page archives curated news stories that demonstrate the impact of computing innovations. Posted news stories include the CSP learning objectives and essential knowledge they demonstrate, along with discussion questions for a more extended activity.

In the TGI Forum: Community Contributions

In the community forum, you’ll find news stories suggested by site users. Please join in if you’ve got a cool story to share!

As of May 2017, new “Computing in the News” contributions can be found in the TGI community forum.

News Highlights Curated by Teach Global Impact

Curated By

Anna Clark, Tyler Daniell, Michael Morguarge, Nnamdi Onwumere, and Jonathan Corley at University of West Georgia and Julia Bernd at ICSI

Other Sources of News on Computing Innovations

RSS Computer Science News from ACM

  • New Quantum Crypto Scheme Looks Ahead to 'Quantum Internet'
    IEEE SpectrumA new quantum key distribution (QKD) method proposed by Chinese researchers employs a quantum state with the potential to encode more than one bit within each photon and significantly accelerate the speed of encrypted messages. A team from Xi'an Jiaotong University and Tsinghua University suggests measuring a photon's orbital angular momentum (OAM) instead of […]
  • Scientists Pave the Way for Resilient Robot Swarms
    University of SouthamptonResearchers at the University of Southampton in the U.K. say they are developing fault-tolerant robotic swarms using bio-inspired algorithms and machine learning. The team will conduct research designed to create the next generation of robot swarms, to be capable of sustained operation for extended periods of time without human intervention. The researchers note […]
  • Researchers Harness Brain Waves to Reconstruct Images of What We Perceive
    University of Toronto ScarboroughNeuroscientists at the University of Toronto Scarborough (U of T Scarborough) have for the first time digitally reconstructed images of what people perceive based on brain waves recorded via electroencephalogram (EEG). "When we see something, our brain creates a mental percept, which is essentially a mental impression of that thing," says U […]
  • AP Computer Science Sees Big Spike in Participation
    EdScoopIn the last year, the number of U.S. students taking the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science exams increased 79 percent, with 103,937 students taking only one of the exams, up from 57,937 students in 2016, according to the College Board. This significant uptick in the number of students taking an AP computer science exam can […]
  • Google Hopes AI Can Predict Heart Disease by Looking at Retinas
    USA TodayResearchers at Google have developed a new algorithm that can predict heart disease and whether someone has high blood pressure by examining retinal images. To build the algorithm, the researchers used models based on data from 284,335 patients and validated on two independent datasets of 12,026 and 999 patients. The method involves producing a […]
  • Supercomputers Aid Discovery of New, Inexpensive Material to Make LEDs With Excellent Color Quality
    Jacobs School of Engineering (UCSD)Researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and Chonnam National University in Korea have used data mining and computational tools to find a new and inexpensive phosphor material for white light-emitting diodes that yield better color quality than many commercial LEDs. They discovered the material, Sr2LiAlO4 (SLAO), via a […]

RSS Computer Science News from MIT

  • Private browsing gets more private February 23, 2018
    New system patches security holes left open by web browsers’ private-browsing functions.
    Larry Hardesty | MIT News Office
  • Neural networks everywhere February 14, 2018
    New chip reduces neural networks’ power consumption by up to 95 percent, making them practical for battery-powered devices.
    Larry Hardesty | MIT News Office
  • Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things February 13, 2018
    Special-purpose chip reduces power consumption of public-key encryption by 99.75 percent, increases speed 500-fold.
    Larry Hardesty | MIT News Office

RSS Computer Science News from Science Daily

  • Young children use physics, not previous rewards, to learn about tools February 23, 2018
    Children as young as seven apply basic laws of physics to problem-solving, rather than learning from what has previously been rewarded, suggests new research.
  • Metalens combined with an artificial muscle February 23, 2018
    Inspired by the human eye, researchers have developed an adaptive metalens that is essentially a flat, electronically controlled artificial eye. The adaptive metalens simultaneously controls for three of the major contributors to blurry images: focus, astigmatism, and image shift.
  • Charging ahead to higher energy batteries February 23, 2018
    Researchers have developed a new way to improve lithium ion battery efficiency. Through the growth of a cubic crystal layer, the scientists have created a thin and dense connecting layer between the electrodes of the battery.

Suggest a Story!

Link to a news story about a computing innovation
Anything else you want to tell us -- topic of the story, what you think the impact is, your suggestions for discussion questions, etc.

Banner Image:Network Visualization – Violet“, derivative work by ICSI. New license: CC BY-SA 4.0. Based on “Social Network Analysis Visualization” by Martin Grandjean. Original license: CC BY-SA 3.0.