Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

New York Times interviews professor about technology in the classroom

Professor Mark LeBlancWhen it comes to digital humanities, Wheaton faculty lead the way. A number of professors are incorporating technology into the classroom and scholarship in novel ways, from the use of Twitter to extend and document class discussions on literature to data analysis of texts.

The New York Times picked up on the trend with an article, headlined “Computer Science for the Rest of Us,” that highlighted how information technology and computer programming is being taught to students who are not majoring in computer science.

The article included an interview with Professor of Computer Science Mark LeBlanc, who teaches the course “Computing for Poets,” in which students learn the Python programming language and use it to create software that analyzes large bodies of text.

The course is part of Wheaton’s Connections curriculum. Through the connection “Computing and Texts,” it is linked with courses on Anglo-Saxon literature and the works of the Old English scholar and Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Professor LeBlanc says teaching such courses together demonstrates the contributions that different disciplines make to studying an issue, and it serves a very pragmatic purpose as well: preparing students for professional careers.