IS5000xx Foundations of Problem Solving Dr Lahen Ouarbya Content of the course Delivery of the course Assessment
McCreary, Mallory, Contributing Editor has reference to this Academic Journal, PHwiki organized this Journal IS5000xx Foundations of Problem Solving Dr Lahen Ouarbya Content of the course At the end of the problem solving part of the course, the student will be able to: Underst in addition to basic problem solving algorithms in addition to corresponding data structures Devise algorithms in addition to build programs that solve concrete problems Per as long as m test on algorithms in addition to programs in addition to correct faults Discuss in addition to criticise basic programming principles Read in addition to underst in addition to simple programs in addition to present them to others in a workshop setting Different algorithm will be examined during this course
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Delivery of the course The course will be taught via lectures only One 2-hour lecture per week Assessment Two courses in addition to one exam Coursework 1 (first term) is worth 20% Coursework 2 (second term) is worth 20% Exam (end of the year (May)) is worth 60% Resources We will start by working through the textbook How to think like a programmer by Paul Vickers. The course web page on learn.gold will contain: Lecture slides Assignments in addition to model solutions Any important news about the course Discussion as long as um
About the title of this course What is the relationship between programming in addition to problem solving About the title of this course A computer program is a solution to a problem. It is not the computer that solves a problem: it is you, the programmer who solves it by: Identifying the problem Underst in addition to ing the problem Identifying what factors are known in addition to unknown Figuring out a systematic procedure as long as finding the unknown values, given the known ones Telling the computer what to do. From problem solutions to programs (I) Programming involves distinct skills such as Ability to code in one or more programming languages; underst in addition to ing concepts such as variables, loops, conditionals; knowing where to put brackets, arrows, semi-colons, quote marks etc; knowing how to run programs on different computers Ability to analyse problems in addition to as long as mulate solutions which are explicit, unambiguous in addition to systematic, so that they can be coded in a programming language This str in addition to of lectures focusses on the second skillset.
From problem solutions to programs (II) Human beings are very good at solving problems, we do it all the time: Getting from your home to this room Cooking dinner as long as 6 people Making sure you can pay your bills every month What we are sometimes less good at is explaining in addition to reasoning about problem solutions. From problem solutions to programs (III) We will start by taking a closer look at everyday problems that we usually solve with very little thought, in addition to see what is involved in analysing them as computational problems This may involve trying out different ways of as long as mulating or visualising problems We will gradually introduce computational concepts such as variables, loops, conditionals etc We will cover different ways of representing solutions such as flowcharts in addition to pseudocode. Class exercise Suppose your cousin from the country is staying at your house. He has never been to London be as long as e or travelled on an underground train. You have decided to meet in Trafalgar Square after the class. Get together in groups of 3 or 4 in addition to compose a list of instructions as long as your cousin, which will ensure that he reaches Trafalgar Square by the agreed time without getting lost, run over or arrested.
Class exercise: discussion Some discussion points: Does the problem naturally break down into sub-problems What kind of terminology have you used Can you be sure your cousin will have understood it Are any of your instructions vague or ambiguous For instance, could your cousin have taken the wrong exit from a tube station What assumptions have you made Class exercise: discussion (cont) Are there multiple solutions If so, how do you evaluate them in addition to choose the best one For example, solutions could include: Walking all the way Taking a taxi Getting a lift all or part of the way Hiring a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce Cycling Using public transport Flying to Paris in addition to taking the train through the Channel Tunnel What constraints might influence your choice of solution Complicating the problem Your cousin doesnt speak English However, you can speak in addition to write his language Will your previous solution still work If not, what will have to change
The How to think like a programmer (HTTLAP) approach Underst in addition to the problem Devise a plan to solve the problem Carry out the plan Assess the result Describe what you have learned Document your solution An extended version can be downloaded from http://www.cengage.co.uk/vickers/students/Vickers-CH02-019-036.pdf 1. Underst in addition to ing the problem A poor underst in addition to ing of a problem can prevent you finding an optimal solution, or any solution at all. Two examples: An ant is at the corner of the ceiling in addition to wants to get to a bowl of sugar, which is on the floor at the far corner of the room. How would you calculate the shortest path it can follow Two trains are 100 miles apart on a single track, in addition to heading towards each other at 60mph in addition to 40mph respectively. A bird is flying back in addition to as long as th between them at 70mph. How far will the bird have travelled be as long as e they collide Please do NOT shout out the answers; give everyone a chance to think it through. Summary of todays lecture Practicalities of the course Relation between programming in addition to problem solving Starting to look at everyday problems in a computational way A first look at the HTTLAP strategy (more next time)
Activity as long as week 1 Download in addition to read through the HTTLAP strategy. Think about how you could apply it to the following problem: You have a friend who comes from a very wealthy family. He is reasonably intelligent in addition to well-educated, but has never had to do anything as long as himself around the house or seen the inside of a kitchen. Write out precise in addition to explicit instructions he can follow to make a pot of coffee in addition to pour a cup, using an electric filter machine. Make a list of discussion points as long as next weeks lecture
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