Friday, August 29, 2014

MakerSquare Day 3: Surrender to the algorithm (1/3)

Theme: Don't worry--except about ping pong

In case you wondered, yes, I take a few notes every day. Or at least, I do when I remember to. The notes for Day 3 include the note "just lots of coding."

Which is like the time I wrote on my calendar "Thursday." I mean, at least I wrote "Thursday" on a Thursday, but... Dear Past Ben: "Thursday" is not a helpful note.

But it's hard to take really interesting notes when you're engrossed in really interesting coding. Which might sound sarcastic to some people--what is "really interesting coding"? But here's something else to add to the list of things I'm nerdy about: science fiction, movies, 19th century history, and Ruby code.

So Day 3 involved practicing with objects: thinking about how many classes you might need to create a really effective library object. Which, honestly, is something I could add to the nerd list: libraries.

That was the morning learning module; the afternoon lesson, after lunch, started with a quick walk around the building before we tackled algorithms. Now, at Bard College, I took a bunch of computer science classes; and I hated algorithms. Hated the subject in the way that you hate things where you don't really remember why you hate, but only remember that you do hate.

So it's an understatement to say that I wasn't looking forward to the subject. Well, that's not quite true; on the first day, we'd heard that our instructor Patrick had an interesting way of working through algorithms, so part of me was looking forward to revisiting algorithms. Maybe now I would like it?

And you know, I kind of did. I mean, we'll see what happens when we get to run-time algorithms--worst-case, best-case, average-case. But here, Patrick's idea of the processor touching each element does make a sort of intuitive sense.

Also, I'm a sucker for any example that uses Legos.

And, let's be honest, no matter how hard algorithms might be, they are not as hard as the ping pong competition in C9.

No comments:

Post a Comment