You are what you measure: Enhancing compiler error messages effectively

Compiler Error Messages (CEMs) play a particularly essential role for programming students as they often have little experience to draw upon, leaving CEMs as their primary guidance on error correction. Further, they provide immediate feedback, with implications discussed in this post. In the absence of an instructor, the compiler and its messages are the only … More You are what you measure: Enhancing compiler error messages effectively

China tops list of best programming nations

A new study has given insight into the world’s developers and how they score in various software development aspects. According to HackerRank‘s data, which includes over 1.5 million users, China and Russia score as having the most talented developers. The developers are scored based on a combination of skill and speed. Chinese programmers outscore all … More China tops list of best programming nations

Learning from instantaneous feedback designed for experts, provided by a machine

I remember reading Matt Jadud‘s thesis and being struck by a paragraph on punched cards, repeated here with kind permission: In 1967, the Univac 1107 system running at Case University (later to become Case Western Reserve University) in Cleveland, Ohio, boasted an impressive turnaround-time of 12 hours on most jobs. Lynch reports that “A user … More Learning from instantaneous feedback designed for experts, provided by a machine

‘Supercomputing’ in the curriculum

A recent article on ComputerWeekly.com is calling for supercomputing to be put ‘in the curriculum’. In it, Tim Stitt, head of scientific computing at the Earlham Institute, a life science institute in Norwich, UK, says children should be learning supercomputing and data analysis concepts from a young age. Although I agree in principle, the article … More ‘Supercomputing’ in the curriculum

A great resource for non-native English speakers studying computing

I have been teaching this semester in Beijing. The language of instruction is English but most of my students are not fluent – improving English is part of the program here. Two of my modules are CS1 and Computer Organization. Early on in this semester in both courses I encouraged students to look up a … More A great resource for non-native English speakers studying computing

Computer Science: More than just programming and telescopes

James H. Morris, former dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science had a nice piece in Information Week 13 years ago now, that is as true as if ever was. In it he argues strongly that CS is more than programming, and that students need a strong sense of empiricism.  The ability to … More Computer Science: More than just programming and telescopes