Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Programming Team Success!

This week our programming team competed in two more programming competitions:

Last Thursday was the UD Unnamed Internet Contest 2010 in which we had three teams competing.  The Fairy Queen Princesses (Emily Bruckart, Philip Diffenderfer, and David Kelly) came in second solving six problems and Something Down (Rob Koch) came in third solving five problems. The Hexadecimators (Jimmy Quinn and Stephen Bussey) came in sixth solving four problems which is very impressive since they both are freshmen!  Rumor has it that the winning team (Charlie the Dinosaur from Dickinson) honed their skills by attending a programming team camp last summer.  We will have to work to beat them at regionals!

Friday we competed in a new type of competition:  the IEEE Xtreme programming competition that lasted 24 hours (8 pm Friday to 8 pm Saturday).  Competing against 971 teams from around the world, Jessica Burns, Stephen Bussey, and Danielle Leonard solved nine problems coming in 179th and Emily Bruckart, David Kelly, and Logan Kennedy solved six problems coming in 272nd.  Special thanks go to Dr. Armstrong who supervised for the whole 24 hours!

All of this is great practice for the ACM Regional competition coming up on November 6th.  I'll let you know how well we do!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fourth is a good start to the season!

This weekend Emily Bruckhart, Philip Diffenderfer, and David Kelly competed in a programming competition at the Consortium for Computing Science in Colleges East conference.  While they got off to a quick start by solving two problems before anyone else did, they ended the competition in fourth place.  They were close to solutions to two other problems and had strategies started for two more.  I think they learned some important strategy tips and will do even better at the Delaware Internet competition this Thursday.  This team will be together for that competition and the Mid-Atlantic regionals, so their experience with each other will certainly improve.

Emily, Philip, and David

Monday, October 11, 2010

Upcoming Events

The next few weeks will be VERY busy for us.

Next weekend (the 15th to the 16th), three faculty and three students are going to Conference of Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges - East.  The students will be participating in a programming competition and faculty will be attending sessions focused on issues in teaching computer science.  It's a great place to get ideas from places that are similar to Ship.

The following weekend is Homecoming!  We will have our semi-annual meeting with our Industrial Advisory Council.  They come visit us twice a year to give us feedback on what we are doing and where we are heading.  In addition, six students will be participating in the IEEExtreme competition: a 24-hour programming competition.  Thanks to our alumni because your donations are funding this event in its entirety!

October 27th to October 30th, Dr. Armstrong and I will be attending Frontiers in Education 2010.  This is the premier national engineering education conference and we will be presenting our results from a preliminary study in which we used videos to explore how students learn to program.  We are hoping we will find a partner school or two so that we can generalize our findings.

Finally, November 7th will be the annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition of the International Collegiate Programming Competition.  We are one of six sites and we will host about 20 teams.  Judging is run in Virginia and this is one of the largest competitions in the nation.

Clearly, I'll have plenty to blog about for the next month!  I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Google Docs Changes our Classes

We have given all of our students Google Apps for Education Accounts.  Not only does this give them email accounts, but it also gives them Google Sites, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and a bunch of other cool Google tools.  My Traditional Life Cycle class is a good example of how our students are using these tools.  They are working on a requirements document for a team project. Here is the team working away:
It might look like they are working individually, but, they are all editing the same document at the same time:

There is a constant hum as they debate the things I would expect them to be discussing, so they are clearly working as a team.  Different subgroups are working on different parts of the document, but they don't have to worry about combining those changes later.  They enjoy working this way and are building a good document.  My only real concern is that they are listening to Dirty Dancing!