Questions tagged [algorithms]

This tag is for questions about presenting specific algorithms or general principles of algorithmic design and analysis to students. It IS NOT for questions about writing or fixing algorithms.

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4 votes
4 answers

How to avoid misconceptions about while loop when using null loop

Is it problematic to teach students to use an empty while loop to create an until loop? If so, what learning progressions avoid ...
Bennett Brown's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers

Is there any pedagogically motivated reason to teach quadratic probing?

I'm currently preparing a unit on the implementation of hash tables for a data structures and algorithms course (this is a university-level class if it matters). Specifically, I'm focusing on ...
Michael0x2a's user avatar
  • 4,005
7 votes
6 answers

Single-dimensional array and simple looping activities of significance

I give a lab on single-dimensional loops and arrays. By "single dimensional loops", I mean that there is no nesting of loops. (I will later give a second lab on multi-dimensional loops and arrays, ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 32.5k
5 votes
3 answers

How do I construct a basic lesson on computational complexity and undecidability?

Essential Understanding 4.2 of the AP CS Principles curriculum is as follows: "Algorithms can solve many, but not all, computational problems." Among the topics I am expected to cover in the context ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 9,102
9 votes
3 answers

How to teach algorithms: implementation or application?

One unit of CS50 AP's curriculum focuses on three main sorting algorithms: bubble sort, selection sort, and insertion sort. There is also discussion of something more efficient like merge sort. One ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 9,102
25 votes
17 answers

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

I teach 13-14 year old boys an "Introduction to Computer Science" course. For most of them, it is their first structured coding experience. Before we even touch an IDE, I have them walk through ...
Tom Bertin's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers

Pseudocode or Flowcharts?

For GCSE CS in the UK, students have to analyse, design, code, test and review a solution to a problem. For the design section of their project, students have to plan out the algorithm for each part ...
pddring's user avatar
  • 806
10 votes
6 answers

How to bring attention to computational complexity?

Many beginners strive to solve given problems, without thinking about efficiency of solution. Consider such Python code: ...
enedil's user avatar
  • 205
5 votes
1 answer

Significant algorithm from CS for DrRacket that emphasize cons, car, and cdr

When my students move up to junior year, they make a series of transitions: from programming to theoretical computer science, and from imperative to functional programming. We use DrRacket, and one ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 32.5k
5 votes
2 answers

Introducing A* Search Algorithm

I created a group lab where one student makes a random maze generator, one student makes a corresponding maze solver, and the last student calls the methods created by both students and creates an ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 32.5k
-1 votes
3 answers

How to explain to people the importance of algorithms in computer programming?

Many computer science problems can be solved by more than one algorithm. Usually those algorithms have different problem-solving approaches and therefore different strengths and weaknesses. My ...
A Biswas's user avatar
  • 139
16 votes
3 answers

What are effective approaches for teaching dynamic programming?

Dynamic programming is a subject that's notoriously difficult to learn and to teach. It's one thing to educate oneself, say by reading the appropriate chapters in Kleinberg & Tardos or CLRS, and ...
Andrew Sundstrom's user avatar