A Case Study of Puzzle Solving Applied to Programming Practice

  • Kang, Dae-Ki (Division of Computer & Information Engineering, Dongseo University)
  • Received : 2009.12.04
  • Accepted : 2010.05.10
  • Published : 2010.05.31

Abstract

In this paper, we report a case study of applying puzzle solving as a programming practice. There are many students, who have attended computer programming language courses, have had difficulties in accomplishing the course assignments. It is because just following and citing the programming language course materials is not sufficient for constructing computer programs. Many professional developers have stated that computer programming for small problems is an art of puzzle solving, where developing enterprise-size computer programming projects involves architectural insights which are already dealt in software engineering literatures. Following those backgrounds, we have explored the applicability of puzzle solving in a C++ object oriented programming course and have reported the results. The experimental results show that puzzle solving is effective to the students who are interested in computer programming and have at least beginner-level knowledge and expertise, but it turned out that puzzle solving assignments still does not draw much attention of the students who are not seriously interested in computer programming.

Keywords

Programming practice;Puzzle solving;Tower of Hanoi;Narcissistic Numbers

References

  1. Alexander, C. (1977). A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0195019199.
  2. Avigad J., & Reck E.H. (2001). "Clarifying the nature of the infinite": the development of metamathematics and proof theory. Carnegie-Mellon Technical Report CMU-PHIL-120.
  3. Bentley, J. (1999), Programming Pearls, Addison-Wesley Professional; 2nd Edition.
  4. Dods, R. (1997). An action research study of the effectiveness of problem-based learning in promoting the acquisition and retention of knowledge. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 20, 423-37. https://doi.org/10.1177/016235329702000406
  5. Gallagher, S., Stepien, W., Sher, B., & Workman, D. (1995). Implementing problem-based learning in science classrooms. School Science and Mathematics, 95, 136-146. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1949-8594.1995.tb15748.x
  6. Gamma, E., Helm, R., Johnson, R., & Vlissides, J. (1995). Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-63361-2.
  7. Hmelo-Silver, C. E. & Barrows, H. S. (2006). Goals and strategies of a problem-based learning facilitator. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 1, 21-39.
  8. Houston B. & Masum H. (2004). Explorations in 4-peg Tower of Hanoi. Carleton University Technical Report TR-04-10, November 2004.
  9. Katz, M. (1996). Teaching organic chemistry via studentdirected learning. Journal of Chemical Education, 73, 440-445. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed073p440
  10. Knuth, D. (1974), Computer Programming as an Art. Communications of ACM, 17(12), 667-673. https://doi.org/10.1145/361604.361612
  11. Korf, R. E., & Ariel F. (2007). Recent Progress in Heuristic Search: a Case Study of the Four-Peg Towers of Hanoi Problem. International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2324-2329.
  12. Mongan, J., & Suojanen N. (2000), Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job, Wiley, 2000
  13. Norman, G. (2008), Problem-based learning makes a difference. But why?. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 178(1), 61-62. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.071590
  14. Poundstone, W. (2004), How Would You Move Mount Fuji?: Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle -- How the World's Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers, Brown and Company, 2004
  15. Schmidt, H. G. (1995), Problem-based learning: An introduction. Instructional Science, 22(4), 247-250. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00891778
  16. Stepien, W., & Gallagher, S. (1993). Problem-based learning: As authentic as it gets. Educational Leadership, 50, 25-28.
  17. Stepien, W., Gallagher, S., & Workman, D. (1993). Problembased learning for traditional and interdisciplinary classrooms. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 16, 338-357. https://doi.org/10.1177/016235329301600402
  18. Stockmeyer P. K. and Lunnon F. (2008). New Variations on the Tower of Hanoi, In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Fibonacci Numbers and Their Applications, Julye -11, 2008, Patras, Greece.