CommanderCoder
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:21 am

As part of writing the Raspberry Pi manual* (for apprentice computer scientists), we'd like someone inspirational in Computer Science / Computing to write a prologue or the introductory section. This somebody ought to be recognisable to school age children, 11+. A name like "Stephen Fry" or "Brian Cox" but specifically for computing, or computing related sciences. We've been racking our brains but aren't satisfied with any ideas so I'm putting out this request for suggestions.

Any ideas?

* If you'd like to know more about the manual (which is looking more like a handbook), please feel free to contact me or Clive Beale or Computing At School

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:42 am

All the major ones I can think off have died.

How about Bill Gates? He's sure to want to promote a Linux based Arm device. Oh, hold on...

How about Linus Torvalds? Tim Berners-Lee?John Carmack?
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:00 am

Wozniak ?

I'm not sure Bill Gates is as evil as he's made out to be, outside of Microsoft ^^

How about going the other way round, and finding a celebrity who also hacks ? I remember a writer. Obviously Neal Stephenson, but there was a more mainstream one...

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:02 am

Elon Musk (Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla), Jeff Bezos (Amazon, Blue Origin).
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:19 am

How about Ian McNaught-Davis or Chris Serle? Probably not well-known to kids, but as presenters of "The Computer Programme"...

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:25 am

John Carmack. (EDIT: sorry, didn't spot James had already suggested him)

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:54 am

Another vote for Woz!
John Carmack, Linus Torvalds, Donald Knuth might also be good choices, but for me Woz just fits very well to the intention and spirit of the r-pi.

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:19 pm

I thought of Wozniak once I read the post. As was already said, he seems like a good fit for the project.

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liz
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:22 pm

I just can't think of someone who'd be recognised by kids. (Although my vote goes to Elon Musk because Eben wants a Tesla…)

I thought of Richard Stallman, and then swiftly discarded the idea.
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:47 pm

Chris Curry or sophie Wilson to name but a few of the greats that started the Arms race pun intended.

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:50 pm

Eben, Gert and Jamesh work in the same building as Sophie, so at least she'd be easy to ask! (Unfortunately, I don't think anyone we've mentioned so far has any name recognition at all among kids, though.)

What about Tony Stark, in cartoon form? (Imagines the negotiations with Marvel. Goes pale.)
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:51 pm

Quote from liz on November 2, 2011, 12:22
I thought of Richard Stallman, and then swiftly discarded the idea.

Yes - you have to think of the children, that beard would give nightmares! :o

Actuallly, rms reminds me of a Ronald Searle illustration from the Molesworth books; "I am keen on the latest developments in education" ...
I'm just a bouncer, splatterers do it with more force.....

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:12 pm

I went to a talk he gave once. He's a very itchy man, who is not afraid of scratching in public. It was so distracting that it's all I remember about the talk.
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:22 pm

I went to a party once where rms was a guest. very er er er how do i put this politely? lets just say I never went to another party where he was a guest if I could find out that he was going to be there too.

As for inspirational people how about the foundation members/trustees doing it collectively and then get justin beiber to do a concert?

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:26 pm



:D
[I'll get me coat....]

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:27 pm

Quote from liz on November 2, 2011, 12:22
I just can't think of someone who'd be recognised by kids. (Although my vote goes to Elon Musk because Eben wants a Tesla…)

I thought of Richard Stallman, and then swiftly discarded the idea.

I'd go for Elon, not for a Tesla, but a ride in a Dragon....

As for Stallman.....he's a weirdo. IMHO.
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:31 pm

Quote from liz on November 2, 2011, 12:50
Eben, Gert and Jamesh work in the same building as Sophie, so at least she'd be easy to ask! (Unfortunately, I don't think anyone we've mentioned so far has any name recognition at all among kids, though.)

What about Tony Stark, in cartoon form? (Imagines the negotiations with Marvel. Goes pale.)

Musk was allegedly the inspiration for Tony Stark in the films, and SpaceX did appear in Ironman2, and Musk had a cameo as well.
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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:02 pm

How about Niklaus Wirth? He's done so much for computer science education.

Regarding RMS: while I am the first to agree that RMS lacks social graces, I find him a compelling speaker and writer. He has contributed so much to liberating software from greedy corporations so that people can use their computers for what users want rather than what corporations allow. It's an ongoing fight and one that the children will need to carry on. Given how RasPi is primarily based on free (libre) software, I think he's quite appropriate.

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:20 pm

Hey,

As said above, most of the computing world celebrities we know of won't be recognisable to children but I've thought about this for a while and I've come up with the perfect answer.

Mark Zuckerberg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....Zuckerberg

Recognisable to young people (by name at least) from the recent movie The Social Network. Recognisable by reputation because every kid spends a lot of time on facebook.

Inspirational because he was a young programmer who became very very rich (most kids aspire to fame and fortune). And relevant to our cause because he is a proper programmer, not just a business man.

Also from the Charity point of view Wikipedia says "Zuckerberg founded the Start-up: Education foundation. On September 22, 2010, it was reported that Zuckerberg had arranged to donate $100 million to Newark Public Schools, the public school system of Newark, New Jersey" which would suggest he could be very interested in the primary aim of the Raspberry Pi project.

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:46 pm

Quote from Beakster on November 2, 2011, 15:20...

As said above, most of the computing world celebrities we know of won't be recognisable to children but I've thought about this for a while and I've come up with the perfect answer.

Mark Zuckerberg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....ckerberg...
I emailed my old mate Mark a few weeks back (seriously - he was one of our first thoughts). I must say that I was surprised and disappointed to have heard nothing back from him ;). And all I wanted was for the children to have a decent life *sob*

Zuckerman would be great, but something tells me it might have to come from a bit further up than the likes of me. god, for example :D

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:01 pm

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:03 pm

I was surprised and disappointed to have heard nothing back from him

I didn't say it would be easy :D but you won't find anyone more suitable.

Getting him to even consider it will of course take some effort. If it were me I'd start here http://www.facebook.com/startupeducation. As the Pi project is aimed at education you could start with a charity to charity correspondence between Raspberry Pi and StartupEducation (they may be interested in placing an order for Pis). I'd try and get the head guy there on the phone, (Gregory Taylor), sell the idea of the Pi to him then see if he can forward the idea of a few paragraphs by the facebook CEO to Mr Zuckerberg.

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:46 pm

How about some Brits? It's a UK charity. And we did invent Computing after all 8O

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:54 pm

Who is a publicly known Geek Chef ? (They have to bake a Raspberry Pie, right?)
And is known by the kids. ( Actors, Musicians, Authors, Comic books, Real-life heroes )

An example of reaching the youth, look at how Intel is making use of will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas for their out reach and educational benefit. Just a few months or so ago there was a hour long TV special featuring the Black Eyed Peas, students competing in team robotics, and having a staged party showing how "cool" it was to be there and be Geek.

See also http://www.sciencefriday.com/p...../201108123

I'll have to think more on this.

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Re: Inspirational people in Computer Science

Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:16 pm

How about ... Bruce Dickinson: flies planes, fencer, rock star ... does all that he must be into computing.

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