Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Reading

Why post anything on Thanksgiving? I mean people are all spending time with family or sleeping through football games on TV and generally staying away from the Internet for a couple of days.  Well maybe not. I get bored and I don’t watch TV and my wife loves me enough to let me stay home while she enjoys “Black Friday.” Honestly she loves it. So typically some time over a long week end I get online hoping to find something to read. And lo and behold the Internet is closed. OK not closed but there is far from the typical amount of stuff out there to read. So clearly I should do my part for those of you who are like me. If any …

Here is an interesting article on games. The Army is spending $50 million over 5 years to develop games to train solders. That’s a lot of money. But even more than as something to train solders I think (hope) it might inspire a lot more people to look at other sorts of educational games. Especially those that are more customizable. [Hat tip: Brian Scarbeau for the link.]

Teamwork in searching? Interesting article in the NY Times (free subscription required) about a Microsoft Research project that allows several people to research together using different computers. The product is now available for free and is called Search Together. It seems like this might be a very helpful tool for students doing group research projects. Maybe you want to use some time this long weekend to try it out?

Functional Programming? Ever wonder about it? It’s getting a lot of attention in many higher education computer science circles. Sure you can use a special functional language like F# but what if you want to learn in a different context? Eric White has a blog post that introduces a set of tutorial information that uses Visual basic as the language for functional program. You may want to start out at Introduction to the FP Tutorial which makes the case for functional programming.

Study: Math Teachers 1 Chapter Ahead of Students – This is a typical problem in computer science education as well. I taught a course where I was only 1 chapter ahead of students once and still feel guilty over it. How can we fix it? I don’t know. If you have ideas I’m interested in hearing them.

Leigh Ann Sudol has a post titled Numb3rs and Trains and CS with a bunch of interesting links and a discussion on the TV show and how it relates to making computer science mean something to people.l

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