Computational Tales

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

Computational Tales

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I recently found out (thanks to the SIGCSE mailing list)  that Dr. Jeremy Kubica, software engineer and manager at Google, has been putting together a set of examples of CS concepts written as fairy tales.  From  what I understand, his goal is to provide students an overview of each concept before getting all technical.  I’ve only read one so far (a quirky tale of a king trying to get his knights to use a binary search to find a rampaging dragon) but I really like the idea.  He’s written a bunch of storied that cover a wide range of topics from algorithms and data structures to general programming concepts. There is discussion in the comments after some of them as well.

I love this idea. I can see using these stories in class. I can also see asking students to write their own stores, perhaps in difference genre, to illustrate concepts as they understand them. Putting a concept into a non-computer related story is likely to help student extrapolate the concept into new and different areas. Thinking out of the box often stop with a story.  I know that a lot of universities are getting more interested in writing assignments in technical disciplines. I think that is a wonderful idea because communication is more and more important all the time. These sorts of stores allow for some cross curriculum work with English/ Creative Writing classes. And writing these could be fun as well.



  • The Computational Tales link also appears on the CSTA webpage.

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