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C'est la Z

Tag: problem solving

Advent Of Code 2019

It's almost December which means it's almost time for Advent of Code 2019. Advent of code is an annual computer programming competition created and ruyn by Eric Wastl. It's been running since 2015. I've written about it before, mostly from a teacher's point of view (Solve A to Solve B, Data structures and Hidden Complexity, Tools can shape how we think and a few others). Basically, Eric releases one poblem a day at midnight from Dec 1 through Dec 25.

Maze Solving (for real) and Code Tracing

Every year for the past sixteen we venture down to Lancaster Pa. for a weekend of car camping. Actually, there's not much camping anymore. I used to be a bit more hardcore having done a few sections of the Appalachian Trail in my youth. Now, as I've gotten older I've come to appreciate little things like air conditioning, showers, beds, and toilets. So, nowadays we usually try to get a cabin at a camp site.

Solve A To Solve B

So many programming assignments involve a direct solution. Write a program to do this or write a problem to solve that. It's pretty typical. There's nothing wrong with assignments like these. They allow students to practice what they've been learning and it gives them the opportunity to create some cool programs. All the same, I like it when there's an indirect problem. You're faced with a problem but in order to solve it you first have to solve some other problem That's why I liked day 10 from this year's Advent of Code.

Breaking down problems and writing

This question appeared on Facebook a few days ago: Does anyone have an effective way to teach students how to break down a problem into steps and then solve each step one by one? I think my students are struggling with a large question and breaking it in subsequent parts. There were some good suggestions. I wanted to add something but didn't have time then so I thought I'd write it up now.