teaching machines

Jewel Find

My son, who just turned 8 a couple of weeks ago, has been hard at work on building a game for his school’s science, technology, engineering, art, and math fair. (We just call it a STEAM fair.) He designed all the levels, typed all the code, and generally used me only for the initial levels, […]

CS 352 Lecture 16 – Hack Assembly Cont’d

Dear students, Today we continue discuss low-level ideas of assembly language using Hack. We start with a little number I like to call What Does This Do. I will show some code, which you should read any mentally evaluate. After a few moments, we’ll discuss. WDTD #1 @R0 D=M @R1 M=D @R0 D=M @R1 M=D+M […]

CS 145 Lecture 15 – Logic Cont’d

Dear students, We’ve had an exam, which is mostly graded but not quite. I will hand them back in lab next Tuesday so that you have time to ask questions. Instead, we will carry on with our discussion of the logical operators. Let’s start with some Blackboxes: Blackbox #1 Blackbox #2 Blackbox #3 Then, let’s […]

CS 145 Lab 5 – Logical Operators

Welcome to lab 5! If you have checkpoints from the last to show your instructor or TA, do so immediately. No credit will be given if you have not already completed the work, nor will credit be given after the first 10 minutes of this lab. You must work with a partner that you have […]

CS 491 Meeting 6

Dear students, We are in the working phase of developing our games, so most of our time will be spent giving weekly progress reports. Here are some questions we will probably ask you: What’s the riskiest part left to investigate in your endeavor? What three or more specific things will you accomplish before we meet […]

CS 352 Homework 3 – Alumem – due before October 24

See the PDF.

CS 352 Lecture 15 – Hack Assembly

Dear students, Now that we have all the fundamental hardware components for our computer, let’s rise another layer of abstraction. We will discuss the machine code and assembly code, which are really just encodings of the inputs that will be fed to our hardware components. The Nand2Tetris computer has the following architecture: It supports three […]

Secret Coders

My foray into technology-themed graphic novels began with a book about consumerism, but now we turn to a book on what I call developerism—the insatiable need to design and make your own stuff using the computer. Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes have published two books so far in a series called Secret Coders, which […]

CS 145 Lecture 14 – Logical Operators

Dear students, Our computer can now ponder our data. It can examine order and equality, two operations at the root of all decision making. Before we sign up for something, we ask ourselves if the benefit exceeds the cost. We compare two brands of pasta on price and weight. We scan the details of our […]

CS 352 Lecture 14 – Program Counter

Dear students, The next homework is due in a few days, and I want to revisit some HDL concepts in hopes to roust up any questions you have. In particular, the advanced chips can benefit from array slicing, which we haven’t talked about yet. We’ll start today with an example of a hardware component that […]

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