teaching machines

CS 1: Lecture 38 – Binary Search

Dear students, We close our semester today with a discussion of finding things quickly with the binary search. We will illustrate the algorithm and implement it in the context of a dictionary/spell-checker. Earlier in the semester we discussed the linear search. Let’s revisit that algorithm first by locating a spice in our spice rack. What […]

CS 396: Meeting 14 – Applied Data Consultants

Dear students, Today we welcome Marc Harter of Applied Data Consultants as our guest. When I first moved to this town, one of my students told me about this guy named Marc that he worked with. This Marc apparently had an amazing knowledge of web technologies, and most of it was self-taught. A little later […]

CS 1: Lecture 37 – Lights Out

Dear students, It’s the last week! Given that we’re all stressed and ready to be done, let’s play a game today. Just kidding, let’s make one instead. We’re going to implement Lights Out, which started off as a handheld game from Tiger Electronics: The game is played on a 5×5 grid of lights, some of […]

CS 1: Lecture 36 – Unit Testing

Dear students, Today, we examine one of the less glamorous aspects of writing code: testing it. There are three big reasons to write systematic tests of your software: To make sure that your code does what you think it does. To expand your thinking into situations outside your normal parameter ranges and workflow. To ensure […]

CS 1: Lecture 35 – Implementing a Growable Array

Dear students, Today, December 6, is National Growable Array Day. We will celebrate growable arrays everywhere by growing one of our own growable arrays, right here, in our classroom. I hope you wore your festive gear. Behind every growable array is an plain old ungrowable array. When that ungrowable array gets filled up, a new […]

CS 396: Meeting 13 – Innovative Computer Software

Dear students, Today we welcome John Huss of Integrated Computer Solutions as our guest. John brings us the perspective of working for a small company. You’ll have to excuse me for using this class as an opportunity to reunite with old friends. John is a friend I haven’t seen since 2003. He and I were […]

CS 1: Lecture 34 – Volume Slicer

Dear students, When we last met, we made a slideshow application. This was our first graphical application that we wrote from scratch. We organized the code into two camps: model code and view code. This separation made the model code reusable under many different circumstances. Let’s do all that again today, but in a different […]

CS 1: Lecture 33 – Separation of Concerns in Slideshow

Dear students, A primary benefit of object-oriented design is that it helps us organize our programs coherently. We can put code and the data that it regularly processes together into the same chunk. Objects allow for the separation of concerns. Class A can focus on its task, and be very good at it. It can […]

CS 1: Lecture 32 – Stopwatch

Dear students, As with methods, a primary benefit of object-oriented programming is code reuse. We can create a utility and use it over and over again, in many contexts. We will do just that by designing a Stopwatch class. We will use it to time a few operations: a words-per-minute calculator the amount of time […]

CS 396: Meeting 12 – Digital Ocean

Dear students, This week we welcome Brian Hogan from Digital Ocean. How did I meet Brian? Well, back in 2012, I was teaching CS 330: Programming Languages for the first time ever, and I was looking for someone to come in and share about a language that few of us knew. A few students recommended […]

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