cestlaz

A teacher looks at Advent of Code 2020 - Day 5

Day five's problem is a nice one for an early CS class. It can be very much brute forced but it also touches on some nice concepts and can be solved pretty elegantly. I've embedded a walk through in Clojure at the end but a Python solution would be pretty similar. Read the problem over if you haven't. At it's core you are taking a boarding pass representing a coded airplane seat number and you're converting it to a known seat (row...

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A Teacher Looks at Advent of Code 2020 - Day 1

So, yesterday I was chatting with my daughter. She was talking with her team and for some reason one of them pulled out an interview question from their company's question bank. Turns out it was today's Advent of Code problem. As with past years, I'm going to try to solve the problems in Clojure but if I can will talk Python when I talk about solutions. Part 1 of the problem basically asks for you to find a pair of numbers in an...

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Teachers Can Learn CS and CS people will go into teaching

A friend's post brought my attention to a new graduate CS Education Certificate program. It's not a New York State program so isn't in competition with what I do but it's the type of program that I was afraid of. The type that will hurt CS education more than it will help. There was enough discussion following the Facebook post that I thought I'd write about it here. Before talking about the program itself, one issue that came...

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Language choices for APCS

Over on Facebook the semi-regular "is APCS-A going to Python" once again appeared. I'm not going to get into Python vs Java. Each language giveth and each language taketh away but it got me thinking about the history of language changes. I titled this "Language choices for APCS" not APCS-A because back in the day it was just APCS. At some point that split with APCS-A being similar to what we have today and APCS-A...

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Getting the word out on Hunter CS in 2020

As we move through Fall, I'm missing one of the most draining but at the same time one of my favorite parts of the year. School recruiting visits. When I came to Hunter, I started the Daedalus CS Honors program. We started small but now, each year, we take in about fifty students, give them a laptop and a scholarship and all sorts of extras and bring them in for a great CS education at a fraction of the cost of say NYU or Columbia....

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Deadlines And Commitments

A few days ago I was part of a Twitter discussion on assignment deadlines. I noticed a tweet: Not sure who needs to hear this, but stop taking off points for late assignments. It’s not helping students learn responsibility, and it’s not making your job easier. It’s only making your class inequitable. 💯— Sydney Jensen (@sydneycjensen) September 26, 2020 I disagreed. I wasn't necessarily against floating or open...

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School leadership and COVID, or not

Teachers are back and students will soon follow either in person or remote. In person means in person one or two days a week with the rest of the time from home. This of course shows horrible leadership. It fails in terms of education, safety and even freeing up parents to get back to work. After all, if your kid is only in school one or two days a week it hardly allows you to get back to your own full time job. Of course the plan...