Fractal Brownian Tree

@fawnpnguyen whoa. Need to try and make this. — Dan Anderson (@dandersod) June 4, 2013 I started off and used VPython to create the fractal, but it was slow and buggy. Here’s a movie of my first attempt. When you click you create a new “seed” for the fractal to start.  So I rewrote it […]

Calculate Pi with Python

Intro to Computer programming worked at calculating digits of pi today. The actual algorithms aren’t too bad, but getting more than the standard number of digits from a double is a bit trickier. Here’s a program that calculates pi using: Bailey–Borwein–Plouffe formula Bellard’s formula and Chudnovsky algorithm Holy smokes is Chudnovsky algorithm’s fast! Plouff Bellard Chudnovsky Iteration […]

Powers of 2 without a Zero

2^86 is largest known pwr of 2 that does not contain 0.What about other digits?Does each non-zero digit occur inf often among the pwrs of 2? — James Tanton (@jamestanton) March 6, 2013 Interesting. The Intro to Programming Students gave a crack at this one; and after 30 minutes all were close and half had […]

Bret Victor’s Learnable Programming

Bret Victor (Inventing on Principle) wrote an excellent essay on Learnable Programming. If you have any interest in how people learn computer programming best, or how people learn in general, then go read it. Now. Shoo. And you probably want to read it on a computer; there are several short videos to accompany the text. This essay […]

Programming Software Tools

I thought it might be useful to share a list of programming tools that I use in my Intro to Programming class. This is also an update to my earlier programming ideas post from last year. My general rule for software in this class is that it should be free and multi-platform. If they kids […]

Google Blockly

From @joshgiesbrecht , fantastic web app from Google. Blockly is a web-based programming environment that allows you to export the code as Python, Javascript, Dart (anyone outside of google use this??), or XML (wow ugly code). Blockly was just released a couple of days ago so it’s still rough around the edges, but has a nice […]

Dr. Square

Much like the Collatz conjecture, the Dr. Square Puzzle (from the blog mathforlove) is an intriguing problem. With some playing around, we came up with what I think is an excellent (and solvable) puzzle. He dubbed it the Dr Square puzzle, because it involves one of the steps in taking the digital root (dr) and squaring numbers. Here’s how it goes. […]