School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

The Magic of Computing

26 May 2015

Time: 3:30 - 5:00pm
Venue: EECS Computer Science Building Queen Mary, University of London Mile End London UK E1 4NS

New free Computing workshops for London teachers. Prof Paul Curzon of cs4fn and Teaching London Computing is running a new series of his popular free workshops for London-based Computing teachers on the 18th and 26th May. This is the third in the series.


Abstraction – essentially just hiding information – is a core part of computational thinking that is closely linked to the choice of data representation. We will give a deeper understanding of abstraction, providing fun ways to teach it, based on cs4fn / Teaching London Computing resources. The great explorers didn’t just wander around new continents finding things. They drew maps. Maps are just abstractions of the world. Based on games and puzzles, we will see how drawing a special kind of map called a graph and a variation the finite state machine is a part of computational thinking problem solving. They are useful tools for understanding how to use, exploring and designing computer systems.

Session material
This session will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking.
  • What is abstraction?
  • Why does the choice of data representation matter when solving problems?
  • What is a graph and why are they useful?
  • What is a finite state machine and why are they useful?

Activities are suitable for all age groups and can be adapted to fit your teaching needs.

Paul Curzon is a Professor of Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London. He runs the cs4fn ‘Computer Science for Fun’ (cs4fn) project, It aims to inspire school students about computer science through a series of free magazines, website and school shows. He regularly gives such shows around the UK as well as continuous professional development talks to teachers about the cs4fn approach to teaching. He is Director of the Teaching London Computing Project. He was made a UK National Teaching Fellow in 2010 in recognition of his excellence in teaching and outreach, was a finalist in the 2009 Times Higher Education Innovative Teacher of the year award and has twice won the student nominated Queen Mary University of London award for excellence in teaching.

This session comes with linked activity sheets and ‘story’ write-ups that you can download:

This is a self-contained evening interactive seminar session. It will last 60-90 minutes plus time for networking.  For our programme of longer courses for teachers please see CPD courses.

Costs and discounts for London teachers
Our one-off sessions are free, thanks to funding by the Mayor of London and the DfE and support from Google. However you must register in advance to book a place.

Similar sessions on other topics
Want to get up to speed on computing concepts like computational thinking or ideas for how to teach computing in a fun, inspiring way? Teaching London Computing with cs4fn run as series of free one off sessions for teachers of ICT and computing such as this one.


For full details see