March 30, 2005

The CS instructor's best friend

Today I discovered a teaching aid that is so mind-bogglingly useful that it served in not one but two completely unrelated classes: Artificial Intelligence on the one hand, and Data Structures on the other. What is it, you say?

A big bag o' D&D dice. :)

In AI we needed to learn conditional probabilities and all the various little details that come with that; so I can ask things like "What's the probability of rolling a 3 on a green die?" or "What's the probability of rolling a 7 given that the die I drew out of the bag was a d12?" before moving on to advanced topics like "If the bag has 8d4 and 4d8, and I randomly draw one die and roll it, what's the probability that I roll a 2?"

And in data structures, today we started work on the Bag data structure. Having a number of real-life Objects that I could point to made that introduction a total breeze.

"I've always been rather pro-life, but where in God's Word does that mean arresting and detaining people who perform or seek out abortions? For me, the "culture of life" means cultivating a world in which life is wanted, not forcing life upon the world whether it wants it or not." --Jonathan Prykop

Posted by blahedo at 4:46pm on 30 Mar 2005
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