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. […]

Obfusticated Mandelbrot Set

Coolest thing I’ve seen in a while: High Resolution Mandelbrot code in Python. The following Python script, on the other hand, begins as ASCII art: It renders the Mandelbrot set as a full-color, anti-aliased, 1500×1000 image. Fantastic. Notice that the code also looks likes the mandelbrot set. A true accomplishment with python being so fussy […]

1st Day for Intro to Programming: Lightbot

I forget who introduced the Light-bot game to me, but thank you. I got the link from Hélène Martin. Much thanks! First day went excellent in Introduction to Programming class. “We get to play a game?” Introduction to loops, functions (methods), and debugging all on the first day, without me saying a word? Yes please. Side-question: Are there were […]

Changes to Intro to Computer Programming

This will be my third year teaching Introduction to Computer Programming. The first year I had 15 students which was a good showing, but last year I only had 5 students. It turned out to be a scheduling issue, but I was still worried about the health of the course, and whether or not it […]

My Favorite Podcasts of 2010

After some of my favorite bloggers wrote posts talking about their favorite books of 2010, here and here, I’ve decided to do the same but with a twist.  I don’t end up reading more than 5 books a year, but I do listen to numerous podcasts while on the daily walks with the dog and […]

Project Euler

My name is Dan, and I’m addicted to Euler (pronounced Oiler). Not really, but this site is fabulous: http://projecteuler.net/ The gist of it for non-math people is that it has a list of problems, for example, find the 10,001st prime number.  When you think you have your answer, then you type it in the webpage, and […]