Human brains are extremely good at evaluating a small amount of information simultaneously, ignoring anomalies and coming up with an answer to a problem without much in the way of conscious thought. Computers on the other hand are extremely good at performing individual calculations, one at a time, and can keep the results in a large bank of short-term memory for quick recall. These two approaches are fundamentally different.
Humans can only reasonably retain seven plus or minus two pieces of information in short-term memory, and new items push older items out, whereas a computer is hopeless when given multiple pieces of information simultaneously.
Understanding this fact is key to being able to write instructions for computers – also known as programs – in a way that takes advantage of their strengths, and overcomes their drawbacks.
Suitable for the programming novice, this webinar is good preparation for researchers wanting to learn how to program.