Presenters (L-R): Diane Bates, Kim Pearson and Monisha Pulimood

PRINCETON, N.J. — The Dow Jones News Fund hosted a workshop at Dow Jones’ Kilgore Campus in Princeton June 12 on creating collaborations between computer science and journalism students advancing computational thinking. Twenty college media and computer science professors from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington, D.C. attended.

Computational thinking is a method that can be applied to problem solving in any field, and, is leading to embedded programmers in newsrooms with more frequency and great results.

“Collaborating Across Boundaries: Preparing Students for the New Newsroom” featured Monisha Pulimood, a computer science professor, and Kim Pearson, a journalism professor, at The College of New Jersey, who have a National Science Foundation grant to fund this project. Diane Bates, TCNJ evaluator of their work, also shared insights.

Linda Shockley, managing director of the Dow Jones News Fund, said, “We were delighted to provide a platform for journalism educators to present their collaboration, especially to help colleagues promote innovative thinking and problem-solving among future journalists.”

Both Pulimood and Pearson have overseen collaborations which resulted in a deep database and user interface focused on pollution and possible brownfields in Trenton and Mercer County.

Attendees brainstormed on how to find community or media partners for joint projects, issues to explore and the skills they need to learn in order to teach using this approach.

Among the guests were instructors from Howard University, Iona College, Columbia University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rider University, Monmouth University, La Salle University, Montclair State University, Delaware State University and Ramapo College. Almost all of the educators were former (and current) working journalists. You can find the tweets from the event at #newnewsroom15.

Two TCNJ computer science students explained how collaborating with journalism students helped them begin to speak the same language and consider the end-users’ needs.

The Fund hosted this event as part of its programs for college professors, to provide the tools and training necessary to better prepare students to launch journalism careers. The Fund also offers digital media training for professors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-serving institutions.