ACM SIGCSE 2013 Special Session: Engaging Mathematical Reasoning Exercises
Search Strategies: Hi-Lo Game
Clif Kussmaul, Muhlenberg College, kussmaul at muhlenberg.edu
After completing this activity, learners should be able to:
- Explain the pros & cons of various simple search strategies.
- Explain common tradeoffs between the complexity and performance of algorithms.
- Assess the performance of simple algorithms as a function of their input size N.
Why Is It Engaging
- Based on familiar children’s game
- Students work in collaborative teams
Reasoning Topics Covered
- Search strategies
- Ways to measure and evaluate algorithms
- Tradeoffs (complexity vs. performance)
I use this the very first day of CS1, and often in CS2 as well
(depending how many of the CS2 students were in my CS1 class).
I can imagine expanding the activity for use in Data Structures.
Discussion (Difficulty, Strengths, Weaknesses, Dependencies, Variants)
- I like using this activity the first day of class because it shows:
- how we (in CS) identify and evaluate ways to solve problems
- common tradeoffs and their role in problem-solving
- how CS can be a collaborative team activity.
- This is structured as a process-oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) activity,
but I have used a similar structure to guide full class discussion with similar results.