Nice piece in Forbes, building on the recent NYTimes article, that details how Northwestern blends CS with each of its colleges to create something new and valuable. Indeed, we’ve also seen at Northwestern that combining students focused on computer science with other fields has yielded great dividends. If you look at each of Northwestern’s colleges outside engineering—Journalism, Communications, Music, Education, Arts & Sciences—most disciplines are advancing by being infused with computer science. We’ve had students from each of these schools in our experential NUvention classes Indeed, in areas like journalism and communications, modern journalist can ignore computer science only at their peril. Not only has the internet upended the business models of traditional publications
the tools of analysis and story composition will change from computer science as well. My CS collegues Larry Birnbaum and Kris Hammand started a seminar 4 years ago in concert with the Medill School of Journalism. Graduate Journalism students were paired to with computer scientists to look at new application areas in the evolving face of media. One output of this class has become the company Narrative Science. Narrative Science combines journalistic archetypes with statistical databases to compose stories for the long tail. Narrative started with baseball and softball recaps from box scores and also does earnings reports for some internet financial sites. I was fascinated at the backlash from traditional journalists; and to me this shows how essential it is that journalists get to know computer science as a tool, so it can be approached with understanding rather than fear.