Sunday, September 20, 2009

Special Sunday Bonus Edition

Yes, I was ill through Friday. Thus, I am having an extra post today. Enjoy!

I am currently teaching a software engineering course, and am assigning an on-going project. Each week, the students update the project to the new specifications as well as fix any errors I found in the previous round. So far it's going great, and I don't even have any CS majors in the class!

On one of the recent parts, they were asked to implement Nimania, which I mentioned in this post. I gave them rules, but, being good students, looked around for more about it online. They found... this post (it's the same link).

I'm really enjoying teaching this class. It seems important that theoretical computer scientists keep up with their programming skills. As a grad student, I was somewhat surprised to find that the theory professors were quite competent programmers: keeping up with current languages and teaching some of the intro CS sequence. By next semester, I will have to learn Python in order to teach our CS1 class, which will be completely new for me. I'm looking forward to this challenge but I'm also grateful for the motivation to learn another language.

Even more so, I am anxious to see how my students will model some specific combinatorial game fundamentals. I see two potential paths for one point, and I'm curious to see which way they go. Will they model things to follow basic CGT, or will they do something else? So far, they have had to only model impartial games, and only one at a time. I will introduce adding games together as well as partisan games as separate projects, and it could certainly make a difference which comes first! I'd like to see if I can get them to go the non-traditional route, but without any actual pushing. This seems unlikely, but I'll see what I can do.

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