Prof Tim Bell (1980-82) Has been recognised for global achievement with a prestigious annual award.

The Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGSE) 2018 Award will be presented to Tim at an international symposium in the US next year.

Tim developed Computer Science Unplugged for teaching computer science without computers. It is now used around the world.

The idea took seed when Tim visited his to his son’s Year 1 class when his son had just started school. Tim was asked to explain what he did for a living.

“I had no idea that would lead to an international project involving hundreds of people, and used in dozens of countries around the world,” he said.

“I like finding things that people say are impossible, then coming up with a solution. There was nothing exciting I could do on a computer that would be interesting for five-year-olds, so what if there were no computers? I gave myself that challenge and it forced me to think outside the box.”

Since then, using Computer Science Unplugged as a way to teach children and young people has become well-known in the world of computer science education.

Computer Science Unplugged teaches Computer Science using cards, string, crayons and physical activity. Games and puzzles introduce students to Computational Thinking (CT) and concepts - such as binary numbers, algorithms and data compression - “unplugged” from the distractions of using computers.

   Tim Bell

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