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30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Heriot-Watt University Programming Challenge Greg Michaelson School of Mathematical &

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Presentation on theme: "30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Heriot-Watt University Programming Challenge Greg Michaelson School of Mathematical &"— Presentation transcript:

1 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Heriot-Watt University Programming Challenge Greg Michaelson School of Mathematical & Computer Sciences Heriot-Watt University

2 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Introduction aimed at top Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher candidates –equivalent to English AS/A Level running since 2006 free entry prizes: –individual: laptop –team: iPods

3 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Rationale improve school-level profile of HWU as good choice for studying UG CS grow wider awareness of HWU CS engage directly with teachers & pupils support teachers

4 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Constraints we dont have additional resource to support challenge –cant manage/process many entrants target high achieving school students –cant resource direct engagement with entrants interact only with schools –avoid having to supply/install/maintain project specific resources variety of languages/platforms used in schools dont be over prescriptive

5 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Constraints teachers heavily committed and poorly resourced students have busy timetables & instrumental approach to studying challenge: –shouldnt involve too many new skills/techniques for students or teachers –must integrate/articulate with/build on school curriculum –e.g. potential project or computer club activity

6 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Challenge Design cant assume more than full curriculum: –1 or 2 D arrays –for/while –if –keyboard/display/file –elementary GUI?

7 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Challenge Design achievable in reasonable time –e.g. 15 hours effort core for individual & extensions for group –e.g. individual: command line; group: GUI off-beat/fun a wee bit open ended

8 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Challenge Design engage with teachers! –show them challenge –ensure they feel could do it themselves –ensure they think entrants could make a decent attempt –identify what challenge-specific support teachers need solution guidance/sketches support workshops

9 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Preparation clearly identify/nominate: –secretarial/technician support –colleagues to set/assess challenge WWW page email lists key dates Uni PR engagement

10 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Preparation timing is crucial! –advertise challenge well before start of autumn term –ensure availability of support colleagues to: wrangle teacher queries receive entries make sure entries run on local equipment assess entries –prize giving must not clash with school exam cycle –ensure availability of room/senior person for prize giving

11 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Rules must be explicit/unambiguous about –use of information about entrants/winners –ownership/use of challenge submissions –judges decision is final rules agreed with Uni Secretariat/Registry we require: – written confirmation from school of entrants & submissions with agreement to our regulations –confirmation of parental consent for use of winner information

12 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds 2006 Challenge hurricane has trashed central Edinburgh guide robots to locate/rescue survivors trapped in buildings learn map of arbitrary damage by exploring area good solutions included simple real-time simulation

13 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds 2007 Challenge meteor shower has taken out arbitrary nodes on central Scottish motorway system plan tanker schedule to supply hospitals with fuel for emergency generators good solutions included simple real-time animation

14 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds 2008 Challenge meteors have scattered alien seed which possess those that eat them, turning them green individual challenge – find alien sheep in non-occluded image group challenge –find alien sheep in occluded image

15 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds 2008 Challenge image is a bit map (.bmp) WWW page includes: –teacher guidance –suggestions for how to approach the challenge –links to other resources http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/cs/challenge/

16 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds 2008 Challenge range of technologies in solutions: –C++, Java, VB, PHP –Windows, Linux, Apple good solutions included GUI

17 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Reflections major efforts are: –preparing new challenge –assessing entries –organising prize giving cant assess effectiveness but... –one of last years winners now an HWU CS student –another is a HWU Chem Eng student

18 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Reflections management: –very supportive Principal gives prizes –pleased with higher public profile of HWU & CS prize winners: –really enjoy challenges –say schools/teachers may not be equipped to support challenges time skills/knowledge

19 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Reflections every year, high interest but low entries teachers: –may be intimidated by challenge –want: hierarchy of challenges something more students can attempt something for earlier years far more supporting material

20 30th April, 2009K3/4 Programming Competition, University of Leeds Thanks Ruth Aylett –set 2006 & 2007 Challenges Brian Palmer, Peter King, Monica Farrow –marked entries Liz Andrew –managed entrants Iain McCrone –managed entries Fiona Dick –organised prize givings


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