Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

December, 2005

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Hip Hip Array

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    Chap Percival has an interesting blog entry (I borrowed his title for this post) in which he talks about how he explains why array indexes start at zero. He gets into the math of it - data size in bytes, calculating offsets, and that sort of stuff. I must admit that I like talking about the bits and bytes of computer science. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that I do not have to calculate where the data is by knowing the index, the size of the data type and other pieces of hardware when I write a program. I've been there and done that so I really do appreciate using higher level languages that take care of arrays, memory allocation and all that. But it's nice to understand what is going on under the hood. I think that this sort of detail helps students appreciate what compiler writers and people using Assembly language do. It also gives them some insight into the underlying hardware which may get some of them to thing about computer engineering as a field. Those are all good things in my opinion.

    Chap does a good job explaining things in any case. And as a math teacher (Chap not me) you can understand how much he likes showing how math is useful in real life. That is often a plus.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Engineering Education in K-12

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    Are you looking for resources for teaching engineering in K-12? The ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) has some online resources for you. From the About page:

    The ASEE EngineeringK12 Center seeks to identify and gather in one place the most effective engineering education resources available to the K-12 community. From comprehensive data on outreach programs to profiles of “cool” engineers to hundreds of links and readings related to engineering education, the ASEE EngineeringK12 Center offers immediately useful, easily accessible materials specifically tailored to students’ and educators’ interests. The ASEE EngineeringK12 Center hopes to serve as a resource hub for stakeholders in engineering education.

    They even have a free newsletter. Personally I think that we need to teach children about engineering as a career and fields of interest from a much younger age than we do now. Real success for a company, a country or even a person generally comes from actually making something people can use. Engineering is a big part of that.

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Steve Ballmer's Speechwriter Speaks

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     The latest in a series of interviews with women at Microsoft is with Katy Hunter who writes speeches for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Not the sort of job a student would automatically associate with a company like Microsoft but it's an interesting and important job.

    Quote

    Katy Hunter - Interview with Steve Ballmer's Speechwriter
    Did you know that Steve Ballmer gives between 125 and 150 talks a year?  Do you know what it’s like to write, coordinate, organize, compose, direct and manage those 125+ speeches a year for one of the busiest CEO’s in the world?  Watch this video with Katy Hunter who does this job every day for Steve Ballmer and find out why she loves working for Microsoft in another edition of our new show featuring cool women with cool jobs, WM_IN.  (And you thought you knew what death by PowerPoint meant . . . not as much as Katy!
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