December 16, 2003

Backlog: Fish – 2003.12.15

December 16, 2003 - Categories: cookordie
- Find small sections of fish. I haven't gotten around to eating fish bellies yet, although many people swear by them. I prefer the part that browns and gets all salty when you cook it. - Put fish into frying pan with a bit of oil. - Wait. This CookOrDie episode was hard because I couldn't see what I was cooking! It was early morning, so I hadn't put my contacts on yet, and I used chopsticks (yes, while cooking fish - darn difficult to hang on to the pieces sometimes) to test if the fish felt crunchy. I also peeked every so often to see if it was browning properly. The sputtering oil from the fish made me loath to look closer, though. Still, I think it was worth it. I'm particularly fond of daing na bangus (milkfish that's marinated and then fried), and my dad and I usually fight over who gets to eat the brown parts. Actually, no, we just try to be first at the fish. I haven't actually tasted the results yet due to a bit of a mix-up yesterday. I was supposed to bring it for lunch but the car couldn't take me to school. They sent the containers along later, but now that it's been out a few hours at room temperature, I'm a bit wary. All that rice will also be wasted unless I think of something to do later - and I'll have to eat it for lunch, as I'll be going home today! Hmmm. Which means I'm in a bit of a spot, as I have a couple of potatoes earmarked for potato soup (or a reasonable facsimile thereof). I am a little hesitant about rice and fish as they'd been out for a while. I think I will have cream of mushroom + potato soup later... The rice is such a waste, but I guess I can treat it as an experiment. CookOrDie

Recipe from [[bbdb://Aadisht][Aadisht Khanna]]

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

1. Set Capsicum, Minced Meat, Sweet Corn, Cheese 2. Slice off capsicum tops. 3. Scoop out capsicum innards. 4. Stuff Capsicum with (Cheese&&(Minced Meat or Sweet Corn)) 5. Microwave.

E-Mail from Aadisht Khanna

More about group reviews

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Perhaps setting up this kind of tutoring in-class is a good way to encourage student interaction and close the gap between students with extensive background and students who are new to the topic. Besides, it'll help the geeks develop communication skills, and sometimes they learn something too.


Meeting with Dr. Juerg Nievergelt

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

- Advocates strong mathematical approach in first year - Upcoming split - Computational science - common math: numeric and symbolic computation (6 courses?), slots for science specialization

Moving computing into the basics

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Mathematics users - elementary mathematics, technicians have more mathematics. So the mathematics teachers could say all we have to teach our students is how to look up a formula and apply it. But from high school on, all of you learned some form of proof, even though not all of you will go on to be a mathematician. Some concept of what a proof is. We don't trust anyone to apply mathematics if he doesn't have the concept of a proof. What it means for a mathematical statement to be something meaningful. We are all physics users when we turn on switches and schools have taught the second law of thermodynamics, even though few of us will actually use it. Basic ideas. Tremendous disparity between traditional foundations of technological society - principles of science to everyone - and computing, which is just hitting the right keys at the right moment. Example of the overreaction to the Y2K problem.

Once a society depends as much on the technology as we do today on the computer and information technology, it's not enough to have a bunch of specialists. principles should be a matter of general education.

When computers first popped up in universities some 40 or 50 years ago, everyone who wanted to use a computer had to learn how to program and the only question was what language to use. Justification was very simple. If someone wanted to use a computer for anything, he had to write his own program. In the 70s and 80s, something very drastic came up. Visicalc was the first spreadsheet. Fantastic innovation. That was simply the first of these fantastic app packages that we all use nowadays. Computer users today simply work with prepackaged applications done by specialists. If they use tools that other people make, then there's no need to teach programming.

If you want to understand the basic ideas that support this technology... How can I tell a politician or someone about what computers can or cannot do?

What would be the simplest possible setting where we can teach programming to high school students - not so that they will all be programmers, but so that they understand what it means to specify concretely what they want to do?

Traditional to take the language of the day. Understandable. But if you take a professional programming language, then you spend the first months or two studying the manual and the libraries. Too much information. What is the simplest setting in which I can try these?

Multikara is so cute! synchronization and stuff...

Main idea: finite state machines are easiest way to learn how to program

Hey, more thoughts on kara

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Finite state machines are perfect for pen and paper, because students can check it manually - and they can enlist their classmates for help!

Perl training

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized


- Day 1 morning: What is Perl? Lay of the land - Day 1 afternoon: Basic syntax, Perl for extracting data - Day 2 morning: Regular expressions, perl as glue - using Perl to connect two programs - Day 2 afternoon: Perl as glue - using Perl to connect two programs - Day 3 afternoon: CPAN

Why use Perl?

- quickly extract information from a lot of data - write programs that connect two existing programs together - take advantage of very rich libraries

Script ideas

- extracting top phone callers - summarizing surveys

More stuff from visiting professor

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

How do you pronounce your name, Dr. Nievergelt? (Neevergelt)

- Let me see if I understand your teaching approach. You develop

passive systems that students can explore in order to learn important computer science concepts like finite state automata and synchronization. Your role as a teacher, then, is to create and update these tools, come up with exercises that draw out ideas, guide students' discussion of solutions, and help them synthesize general principles. Did I miss anything?

Lecture also an animation device.

- How did you get started with this approach? It seems very different

from the way most teachers teach computer science - that is, a lecture on general principles and then assigned problems from the book to practice application.

Very positive feedback. Examples have a clear connection to applications. For finite state machines, control of traffic lights, how would you synchronize the traffic lights... automatically, if you do it systematically, you start by specifying the total state space. What are the states of these many lights that can occur. Make the map of the state space, and this is a state that you don't want to get into, so that state has to be outside, and you begin to relate the states to each other. So a static specification of all the possible states that a system can be in is the first stem, and only later the dynamics.

Not faithful reflection. Simplify, simplify, and then hope that the simplified version still shows some aspects.

- I collect exercises for my students, but sometimes I have a hard

time thinking up ideas and examples. When I talk to other students, it seems that most teachers use passive lectures. What do you do to think of these things?

Dream up examples for exams. Sometimes run into them in books or if you hear them. Collection of transparencies. Systematically collect them. Just collect them on transparencies. Select them as appropriate. Lots of work.

- What other alternative approaches are used by teachers at schools

you've been to?

Not noticed much because is personal style. (Also, doesn't seem to have swapped exercises with others...)

- How long have you been teaching? Any advice for someone starting out?

Suggests getting MS first.

Thank you very much for your time. I've learned about another way to approach computer science education research - developing systems to support student learning by making an environment they can explore. I firmly believe tat concrete examples help students learn, and I hope to collect many examples and exercises for the introductory courses - to help students learn principles and to challenge them to do well. I agree that too much emphasis has been placed on applications, and I'd like to help train college and high school teachers to teach computing concepts, not just how to use applications. I don't know much about computational science, but I know that Dr. Rodrigo and Dr. Dayrit are working on that. Again, thank you very much for your time. =)

educational technology


Intimidation factor is well known. No general recommendation, every teacher has to deal with that. Darwinistic approach. No entrance exam. They have an attrition rate of 40% at ETH. Can take an elitist approach.

Concrete, specific examples. UNderstand the intuitive examples first and then find the general principles. Algorithms and data structures but with examples. Like things that are intellectually challenging.

Two-finger typist! <impish grin>

Useful Perl resources

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Cultural differences between UNIX and Windows

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Oooh, cool way to split

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized
use Text::ParseWords;
@new = quotewords(",", 0, $text);

Perl for Windows administration

December 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized
- Keith_M: One that I use quite often is Win32::AdminMisc by Dave Roth.
- Keith_M: Win32API::Net
- Keith_M: Win32::Lanman