A question on cs.SE brought a website called “The Big-O Cheat Sheet” to my attention. It seems to be a laudable effort at summarizing the performance characteristics of certain data structures and algorithms. Unfortunately, it is so deeply flawed that I think it does more harm than good. What gave me pause that the sheet is intended for practitioners. Having studied and taught algorithms for a few years, I am well aware that textbook algorithmics are only half the work for algorithms in the real world, if that. So when this sheet shows even less I highly doubt it has any relevance in practice.Continue reading…
Last winter, I tried to engage a small group of students in class by using a method of active learning: audience response. The idea is that you ask reasonably scoped questions during your presentation or discussion and have the audience respond, typically using some technology that enables quick and accurate counting as well as anonymity (at least among students).Continue reading…
Gunter Dueck is one of my favorite voices on (and off, I guess) the internet. Also on Twitter and YouTube. In a recent blog article he observes that while we1 have embraced the paradigm of agile software development, we have not thought to transfer the ideas to an arguably more critical application: education.
Read: a non-trivial subset of the people in this area of work. ↩