Problem Solving and Computing (CSC-103 98S)

[Instructions] [Search] [Current] [Changes] [Syllabus] [Handouts] [Outlines] [Journal] [Problems] [Computing] [SamR Docs] [Tutorial] [API]

# The Final Project

As a class, we have determined that an appropriate final project for this couse is to build a "web of problem solving". This document provides some notes on the expected structure of that web, the components of the web, and the process by which we will build the web.

## Components

What will our web include? Certainly, an overview of the problem-solving process as described in Thinking Mathematically. This overview will be supported by a number of short essays or lists (e.g., "resolving vs. solving"; "strategies for unsticking yourself"). At the same time, the essays and overview can be grounded in a number of examples (problems plus resolutions; problems to work on). At the same time, our book's problem-solving methodology is not the only one, so we should support it with descriptions and analyses of other problem solving methods.

Since this is also a course in computing, it would be appropriate to include a number of computer programs as well as discussions of computers in problem-solving. I can forsee at least two types of programs we might provide: programs that help solve problems and programs that illustrate or illuminate problems. For example, in solving the dominoes problem from problem set 5, many of us would have found it useful to have a program that let us select and unselect dominoes. It is likely that the towers of Hanoi problem from problem set 6 would benefit from a similar visual representation.

It would also be reasonable to have programming problems plus corresponding resolutions. In the field of computer science, these are often called case studies.

## Roles

For this to be a successful project, we'll each need to work on a variety of components and assume a number of roles. What roles will we need to undertake? Here are some possibilities.

• Managers. The managers are responsible for the overall process and must ensure that the components are assigned, created, tested, and linked. I am the "default manager", but would be happy to allow some of you to act as managers. Managers also bear some responsibility for ensuring that different members know about other components so that components can be appropriately linked.
• Researchers. The researchers will be responsible for identifying, reading, and summarizing other texts (e.g., other models of problems solving).
• Synthesists. Synthesists will be responsible for synthesizing existing information and putting that information into more readable or useful form. The synthesists and researchers are the primary essayists for the project.
• Developers. The developers will be responsible for finding or creating problems and for writing resolutions.
• Editors. The editors will be responsible for editing and refining the various components.

## Approximate Timetable

Most of us know that projects which are done primarily at the last minute rarely succeed. Hence, we need to begin work on the project immediately and continue until the end of the term. To begin with, I need you each to volunteer to act in one of the above roles and create some component that we can start working with immediately after break. I will ask for specific topics at the end of our discussion.

• Week Seven (this week)
• Develop primary strategy
• Week Eight (next week)
• Work on initial tasks
• Break
• Continue to work on initial tasks (if possible).
• Week Nine (after break)
• Turn in first set of components
• Begin editing of those components
• Assign second set of tasks (other than editing)
• Week Ten
• Discussion of first set of components
• Updates to first set of components
• Week Eleven
• Turn in second set of components
• Identify missing pieces
• Begin editing of second set
• Weeks Twelve and Thirteen
• More of the same
• Week Fourteen
• Putting it togetether

[Instructions] [Search] [Current] [Changes] [Syllabus] [Handouts] [Outlines] [Journal] [Problems] [Computing] [SamR Docs] [Tutorial] [API]

Disclaimer Often, these pages were created "on the fly" with little, if any, proofreading. Any or all of the information on the pages may be incorrect. Please contact me if you notice errors.

Source text last modified Thu Mar 5 12:37:13 1998.

This page generated on Thu Apr 2 13:50:19 1998 by SiteWeaver.

Contact our webmaster at rebelsky@math.grin.edu