My class and I are learning about algorithms, together. I was nervous because:
- I don’t know much about algorithms
- I had always found algorithms a fairly dry subject.
In fact, the process has been a beautiful example of student enthusiasm and knowledge motivating the teacher, of us learning together.
- Teach yourself to code
- Teach yourself to solve a rubik’s cube (Every student can do this, and the craze is slowly spreading across the year-group. I cannot solve it still.)
Intro sessions, to understand the journey from words, to pseudo-code/flowchart, to formal python code.
Collaboration with Computer Scientists:
- We have joined up with the Computer Science class. We send them algorithms, they make them sexy and efficient. They send us algorithms, we prove they always work.
- Example: the above pseudo-code for corridor greetings became this code. A joke death-predictor became this
- A student who studies both maths and Computing went away and revised his knowledge of matrices to find the inverse of a matrix
We debated, inspired by the moral arguments of Cathy O’Neil in Weapons of Math Destruction. The Wright brothers used to swap sides when they couldn’t agree, to empathise with the other point of view. In that vein, the computer scientists had to argue that “Algorithms do more harm than good”.