CMT119 Assessment 2023-24

Introduction to CMT119:

The CMT119 Computational Thinking module is a module run in the Computer Science school at Cardiff University as part of the Msc Computational and Data Journalism course, teaching an introduction to programming in Javascript, HTML, and CSS.

Computational Thinking - a Definition:

Wang defines computational thinking as the skills of applying “fundamental concepts and reasoning” such as creating algorithms “in all areas, including day-to-day activities” (Wang, introduction). Wing (2006, p. 33) determines that computational thinking is also about using computer processes to solve problems, regardless of whether they are solved by a computer or a person. These two definitions detail how logical reasoning is used to create processes to analyse everyday problems. In specific, computational thinking is about creating algorithms. An algorithm can be defined as “a process or a set of rules for accomplishing one or more tasks” (Michael and Voas 2020, p 13).

Data Journalism and Computational Thinking:

I feel that understanding computational thinking is essential to my course because if I am presented with a data set as a data journalist, I need to be able to think about how best to interrogate information. This could be in the form of an algorithm which breaks down step-by-step the ways I can filter out information. As well as that, being able to present information on a web page I have created using HTML and CSS is essential as it helps me to present data in a more accessible way. I feel that viewing large, detailed spreadsheets and interrogating them yourself takes time and understanding. I aspire to work as a data journalist for the Office for National Statistics, where the job of a data journalist is to present the information in a data set to the general public in a more visually manageable way.


Wang, P.S. 2016. From computing to computational thinking. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Wing, J.M. 2006. Computational Thinking. Communications of the ACM 49, pp. 33-35. doi:

Michael, J.B and Voas, J. 2020. Algorithms, Algorithms, Algorithms. Computer 53(11), pp. 13-15. doi: 10.1109/MC.2020.3016534