teaching machines

STEM in Education 2018 Workshop

Welcome to the notes for the Computational Making with Madeup workshop at STEM in Education 2018. It’s my hope that you read the abstract for this workshop, and you consent to our stated goals: In this interactive hands-on workshop, participants will learn to build models using Madeup and gain skills and resources they can use […]

Stepping Up in Deltaphone

Recently I added chords to Deltaphone, which required me to rethink how I was structuring the blocks to play notes. Previously, the play block came in two forms. There was a form for an absolutely-specified note, like “play C natural in the fourth octave.” And there was a form for a relatively-specified note, like “play […]

Kookaburra in Deltaphone

Though we have been in Australia for several months, we have hardly seen any of its unique wildlife. Fearing that we’d return home with no distinctly Australian experiences, we set out to find some animals. Given the number of news reports I’ve heard about kangaroos injuring humans, we decided to take it slow. We headed […]

Sensing Shapes

In the late 1600s, William Molyneaux posed a question to a friend: Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which […]

Stolen Rings

Recently, I stole something precious from a friend. I was sitting in Andy’s office, and there it was. An interesting shape. Three rings nestled inside each other. They could rotate independently, but if any translated, the others would follow. I had to have these rings. So, I stole them. Well, I stole the idea of […]

Introducing Deltaphone

A collaborator and I have been talking about turtle geometry lately. Meanwhile, I’ve been taking the piano lessons I was never forced to take as a child. One thing led to another, and now these two separate activities of my life have had a child. That child is named Deltaphone. Deltaphone is a blocks programming […]

Bad Star

If you are an illustrator, there are two things that are harder to draw than anything else. The first is lettering. Bless you, illustrators, if you have to draw a busy street scene with lots of storefronts full of signs and words. The second is stars. Most illustrators just give up on stars. They are […]

Multiple Assignment in Twoville

As I dream up animations in Twoville, I find myself generating a lot of shapes that share properties with other shapes. For instance, these two circles have the same radius and color: a = circle() b = circle() a.radius = 10 b.radius = 10 a.rgb = [1, 1, 0] b.rgb = [1, 1, 0] I […]

With Blocks in Twoville

In my software engineering class in college, Dr. Drake dropped on us a half-written piece of software that managed a database of movies. Our challenge was to improve it. It was the first and only time I’ve touched Visual Basic, and I remember only one thing about the project and the language: with-statements. Suppose you’re […]

Twoville Inching Along

Thanks to a snow day yesterday, I can now export animated GIFs from Twoville, my 2D drawing language. Gif.js made this possible. However, Jeremy, I think naming your project with .js suffix was a big mistake. When one clones the project, one ends up with a directory with a .js extension, which messes everything up. […]

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