ssp 2011
Shodor > SUCCEED > Workshops > Archive > ssp 2011

In the beginning, Dr. Panoff set up multiple different exercises to test the workshop students' abilities to think in a computational manner. These exercises included video, audio, and verbal discussions. The first "experiment" was the "do not hang out of the window" exercise. Dr. Panoff displayed a sign of three different languages aside from English that all said the same thing. He had the students translate the languages into English. The students learned from this exercise that the human mind is instinctively able to interpret patterns when looking at different sets of data or information. This, they learned, is extremely important when it comes to dealing with computational science. After working through multiple pattern recognition activities the students moved on to the egg experiment. Dr. Panoff had a dozen eggs that were labeled with either the letter R or H and had numbers on them as well. He challenged them to determine whether or not the eggs were hardboiled or raw eggs by putting them through a series of tests. These tests included listening to the sound of the egg when they shook it, checking how fast or slow they spun on the table, as well as the "fwump" test, which described how the egg fell when it was stood on its end, etc. The students were amazed when Dr. Panoff opened what they thought was a raw egg and found that it had water inside it! They realized that they needed to be more general and that the eggs either had a liquid or a solid inside them. This had tested the students' skills in determining the outcome of a function based on a pattern. It also made them realize that jumping to conclusions is not something that should be done in the scientific field. This day was very productive in making the students think about different ways to solve problems. Today emphasized the key principle of Shodor: there are many ways to find the answer to a problem.