Proof By Authority

No,I'm not talking aboutArgument from Authority - something that very much plagues CS Education and education in general where an annointed few who may, or may not really know what they're talking about are given creedence because they've been there the longest, work for the companies with the biggest names, have the economic backing or otherwise have been given the stage. I'm talking about Proof by Authority which I fondly remember from those silly Proof techniques lists that went around in the day.
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MongoDB World 2019

For those of you who don't know, MongoDB is a very popular NoSQL database. NoSQL is an overarching term describing databases that are not relational and don't implement Structured Query Language (SQL). In a relational database your data is stored in tables with columns - think spreadsheet where each row of the table is a record in the database. You link tables together via a common field or row name. NoSQL databases work differently.
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Judging a High School Hackathon - StuyHacks VIII

Today I got to be a judge at StuyHacks VIII. This isn't the first time I've been a judge there, I've been doing it for a few years now. I've also been lucky enought to have been asked to judge a handful of other local hackathons over the years. StuyHacks is a high school hackathon organized and run by students at Stuyvesant High School. Since it's run by students, the cast of organizers regularly changes.
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Celebrating Perfect AP Exam Scores

So, it turns out that there were 601 perfect scores on this years APCS-A exam. Over on Facebook a great question was raised - what does this mean and should we celebrate this? What does it mean? There's no way to know. Maybe the number of perfect scores is just scaling up linearly with test takers. Maybe More kids are being exposed to CS prior to APCS-A and that's leading to more correct answers.
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Back To Python

With summer right around the corner I'm hoping to spend at least a little time on some personal coding projects. There are a few work related tools I'd love to develop and just some random areas of CS I'd like to explore. If I finish them, the work projects will be web based. I was thinking about using this as an opportunity to do a deeper dive into Clojure having used it for some experiments and competitions like Advent of Code but at the end of the day I decided not to.
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Year in Review - the classes

Now that the semester's over I've had a chance to reflect a bit on my teaching over the past year. This year I taught two classes each semester so the load was a little higher. First semester was one class of our CS0 and one of the lab/enrichment component that goes with CS1. Nothing big to report there as I've done them both before. The biggest difference was that I had to deal with two separate classes even though they're one cohort.
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Grokking Algorithms

Someone mentioned Grokking Algorithms by Aditya Y. Bhargava in one of the CS educator Facbeook groups. It looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a once over. It's certainly an accessible book. Text mixed with cute line drawings, "hand written" text, diagrams and picture.s It reminded me of one of my favorite, most accessible Calculus books Who Was Fourier. Overall I enjoyed the book but I'm not sure what its best audience is.
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Do It First

Reading Garth Flint's end of year post and Alfred Thompson's follow up had me thinking about a couple of things. One was spurred when Garth wrote "They also have to figure out the math before they code." This made me think about all the details we sometimes take for for granted. Things that are hard for our students that we just know. It's frequently math that we might find trivial but it could also be much simpler things.
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AP Classes, Placing Students, and First Topic Exposures

Just like last year, I'm taking in two classes worth of students in to my honors program. The challenge is that I can only teach two classes and I've got to figure out what to teach and then which students belong in which class. It basically comes down to one of two courses, our CS0 (CSCI127) and our CS1 (CSCI135). CSCI127 is a first programming experience. The normal class is taught as a large lecture with small recitation/labs.
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Predicting Grades

Just saw this: Evaluation metric idea: take snapshots of students' grades each week (specifically, the grade they actually see in your LMS). How well do these correlate with your final assigned grade? Were students getting good estimates? — Austin Cory Bart (@AustinCorgiBart) May 18, 2019 It made me think of a couple of conversations I had with more senior teachers early in my career. They'd tell me "by and large, you know what the kids are going to get after a few week.
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