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There is very little emphasis these days on teaching programming, in spite of the fact that technology is becoming more and more a dominant aspect of our lives. Perhaps this is because many programmers are self-taught, used to working alone on projects, and therefore the assumption is that students will learn programming "as they go" or "on their own". This is unfortunate because I think that this aversion to traditional instruction and the preference for "self-taught" programmers leaves some people who want to learn in the dust.   I have lately become interested in rectifying this problem. A few of my clients have discussed the option of learning programming through tutoring sessions with me. I think that if I had been able to avail myself of such an option when I was first learning to program, I might have had a much easier time in learning how to properly use computers as the powerful tools that they are. I believe, however, that... read more

''' Did you know?   A few hack, cracks and obfuscated examples, which may actually lead to less confusion and a greater knowledge of why things work and how. However, these examples have a purpose, and should not be taken, in any way as correct or just another way to achieve a common goal. They are purposely, in some cases, convoluted.   I. String, things, hacking, and unpacking '''   import string s = ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”   The string above (s) is called a pangram. This means it contains every letter of the alphabet at least once. Let’s  Prove that’s true.   Goal: To extract the alphabet in lexicographical form from the pangram below.   alphabet = string.ascii_lowercase # → ‘abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz’   #Algorithm 1. We begin by calling method lower() on our string to create all lowercase letters (A small amount of normalization).   s... read more

If you're going in for a tech interview here are some things tech interviewers are watching out for -. 1. Your interest in tech 2. How well you innovate a solution to a problem 3. Creative thinking 4. Analytical thinking 5. Your willingness to learn. 5. Your communication skills - think out loud. Don't jump into the solution Discuss your design. Come up with your own tests to break your code.. 6. Don't be a jerk, and Don't get defensive! 7. Your response to curve balls. 8. Your attitude - Have fun. if you're not having fun with code, the computer is probably not going to make an extra effort to cheer you up! 9. Your ability to work within a team.

Well done folks! We have finally arrived. This the third part of the three-part computer programming post. We will learn how to write a program that will accept data by user input through the keyboard and also print out a result to the computer monitor after performing a simple task of checking if the number is positive of negative. For simplicity, I have chosen the object-oriented, higher level programming language C++ to program the computer to perform a simple computation for us. We will write a C++ program that will prompt the user to type in an integer and the program will check whether the entered integer is positive or negative and display an appropriate output. //////////////////////// #include <iostream> using namespace std; int main() { /*variable declarations*/ int number; int threshold = 0; // we assume 0 is positive /*user prompted for input, then input received from keyboard*/ cout<<... read more

This is the second part of the Computer Programming three part blog post. Here is a synopsis of the background knowledge and the necessary terminology needed before writing a computer program. Those students who are curious about writing computer programs, those who are being home-schooled, or those who are in special education programs will find this post especially useful. I intend to prepare you to speak the language of computer programmers. This will also prepare you for the computer programming that we will engage in my next blog post of this series. If you have already written a computer program you will get a review of the basics as well as get a better understanding of what happens behind the scenes. On a humorous note, we are not talking about the sage on the stage, but the guide on the side.   Introduction to Computer Programming Terminology: 1. A programming language is a formal constructed language designed to communicate instructions to a computer or a... read more

Some of us come with a knack to program computers and with little effort we can get the computer to work for us. On the other hand, some of us don't have a clue how to even get started. We may dread the errors that computer programs give such as "Compile error", or "undefined variable" or we may just be indifferent to anything computer programming related.   I will attempt to unpack the knowledge that has intrigued some of you into simpler and more understandable concepts. Let me start by stating that this series of blog posts is by no means a complete course on how to program a computer. However, I will give you the basics that you need to create simple computer programs. I will also give it to you in easy digestible pieces so it will not be too overwhelming. This way you can impress yourself and others with your newfound knowledge.   So you may ask yourself the question: "How do we bridge the knowledge gap?" I agree. Computers... read more

When designing your manufactured product, you never forget to work on the process selection. The same applies when designing your app or your computer programming project. The designers of applications such as Twitter, Angry birds, Uber or the Wyzant application you are currently accessing engaged in their process selection work in order to give us these fine products.   As a major in computer science and a professional who develops anything from Android applications, websites, and client server applications, I have learned that a good software product is not good because it works but it has to meet the requirements too.    Process selection refers to the strategic decisions involved in choosing the production process to have in your production environment. Sometimes, this is already chosen for you when working on a school project. However, when working in real industry and creating your own Android apps or iPhone apps, you need to choose your own... read more

It’s 5pm on Sunday evening and you decide it’s time to break out your 1st Java assignment, which is due later that evening at 12am. No big deal, you have plenty of time! What can’t you do in seven hours? I mean that’s like at least 40 games of Halo. You stall another hour (playing Halo) until six 0clock at which point you decide you better get started just in case. You glanced at the problem earlier in the week, no biggie. A couple of inputs, some basic processing, some formatted output, and maybe the professor threw in some easy twist. Two maybe three hours tops, you’ll be counting sheep by ten.   The clock strike’s ten; you have 25 IM windows open (3 hopefuls). You’ve Googled the same thing 25 times, you have more red squiggly lines than if you had written a letter in Spanish inside MS. Word, your code doesn’t compile,  and it looks like this…   public class Chaos {       //default constructor public Chaos()    ... read more

Hello  All Programming Fanatics and Math Fanatics,   My name is Gustavo, I have been a math tutor for two years and have decided to start teaching Java Programming. In case you did not already know, Java is an object oriented computer language that is perfect for beginners who seek some knowledge in programming, it is also a great way to express your creativity with the use of math.    I offer tutoring in Java at a high school level as well as lessons, I cover all the basic topics as well as some intermideiate topics from data types and logic all the way to graphics and keyboard listeners. Some requirements needed for Java programming include a proper understanding of algebra and a computer running windows 7 or higher/ Mac running a form of OS X Yosemite.   If interested or if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Being my first WyzAnt post, I figured I'd just ponder on a fallacious belief new programmers generally have. But before that, allow me to introduce myself! My name is Jaffer, I am a student at APSU, a senior with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. I chose to become a CS major because, well, I love video games and I've always wanted to make them. That is why I really got into C# and XNA, as it makes the life of a game programmer significantly easier. I've used C, C++, Java, C#, Ruby, Fortran, Erlang, F#, VB, HTML, PHP, SQL and who really knows what else, and this is over the course of just 2 years really. So, onto the biggest fallacy a new programmer probably believes: Fallacy: Learning my first language was hard and took a long time (it usually does!). I don't want to learn another language because it will take forever. Truth: Learning a programming language is not about memorizing syntax or semantics, nor is it a test of if you can place each semicolon... read more

Why do we spend so much money on software? Is it because there is no other option? No! The truth is that just about every personal computer need can be fulfilled via open-source software! What is open-source software? Normally, when we purchase software, we are purchasing a compiled program that allows us to run it; if we have an idea for improving the application, we can only sit back and say "wouldn't it be nice..." Open-source software is freely distributed (although you may see it included in commercial packages such as Red Hat Linux) and includes source code. There is nothing prohibiting us from altering the application to our liking; in fact, it is standard practice to make changes or additions to the source code and redistribute it. Even those who are not so tech-savvy can recognize the obvious benefit of free software. Here are some of the most popular open-source packages: Firefox - A fully functioning web browser with consistent updates -... read more

Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer...   ...because it teaches you how to think.   -Steve Jobs     Knowing how to program is an incredibly important skill that is becoming more and more valuable as technology is becoming extremely important in our everyday lives.   And even if you don't plan to be a tech-savvy computer geek who is shaping the future, programming can still greatly help you reach your goals.   I have met many mathematicians, biologists, chemists, statisticians, and accountants who used their programming knowledge to make programs that help them reach their goals.   Many scientists who conduct research program their own applications that help them conduct research or properly store/interpret data.   I have met accountants who used programming to make Excel application tools and other database tools.   If for no other reason, one... read more

Greetings, scholars! One of my dad's favorite sayings is, "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is." The website Coursera is an example of why that saying needs the word "probably". The idea of taking real college courses from top-notch instructors at prestigious schools for free sounds impossible, yet students around the world are doing just that. When I first heard of Coursera, I was skeptical. To try it out, I enrolled in some basic undergraduate courses so that I could see how they stacked up against the classes I took at KU and Emporia State University. I am currently taking precalculus at UC Irvine, organic chemistry at Illinois, and calculus at The Ohio State University. All three classes are superlative. The video lectures give me new insights into familiar concepts, and the online quizzes motivate me to practice my skills and keep them sharp and up-to-date. Best of all, they haven't cost me a dime, and I can attend class from the... read more

I have an MS in Computer Science and over 40 years of experience.  I now tutor students in this area. I think that it is critical to be sure students are imbued with the importance of Design in doing Computer Programming. Who builds a skyscraper without blueprints?   Indeed, the importance extends to the entire development methodology: Requirements, Design, Build, Testing, and Deployment. Each area requires training to be a truly proficient Computer Scientist and Programmer.  I think we as tutors need to be sure students understand this. Programming is only a small part of the actual work.      

The Mutilated Chessboard A chessboard has 64 squares, 8 by 8. If you have 32 dominoes, each the size of 2 side-by-side chessboard squares, you’ll be able to exactly cover the chessboard with the dominoes. (In fact, there are very many ways you could arrange the dominoes to cover the 64 squares of the board!) But suppose you cut off any two diagonally opposite corner squares of the chessboard, leaving 62 squares. What patterns of 31 dominoes will exactly cover the mutilated chessboard? This is another good exercise in creative problem-solving. Try to observe your own thought processes as you try to solve this. Are you methodical or do you make random guesses? Do you visualize solving the problem or analyze it differently? Do you attack the whole problem head-on, or try to solve a similar but smaller and simpler problem first?

Although I am not a contestant on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", let me nevertheless ask the audience on this one... I want to know what makes a tutor more appealing (besides the profile picture). Is it affordability? Is it flexibility in hours? Is it number of years experience in tutoring a particular subject? Is it the ratings given to the tutor by students? Is it age? Please give me an idea of what I can do for you. Although I am new to this tutoring site, I really want to build more relationships with students who seek assistance in math and other subjects. Your feedback will not only help me cater to these responses, but it may also assist other tutors. Personally, I have noticed a variety of experience from other tutors, various rates, and a spectrum of ages. Some tutors seem quite qualified, yet they could be "selling themselves short" by only charging $25/hr for their services (and with their patience and charisma seem to be "worth"... read more

Many students claim to be just bad test takers. No matter how much they study or how well they understand the information, when it comes to taking the test, they can’t perform. Well, rest-assure that the problem probably isn’t that the student is a “bad” test taker, but that they let stress get the better of them. In 9 out of 10 students, inability to perform on tests is caused by stress and tension. Luckily, there are some test taking tips that will help any student conquer test apprehension. SECRET WEAPONS All students should have a few of these secret ways to improve not only their test-taking abilities, but also their confidence and self-assurance on the day of the test. The following tips can make a big difference right before a test. Students should try them all to see which ones work best for them. Special Advice to Students: 1. Use multi-sensory studying and memorization practices. When we study, we tend to focus on the visual, but actually, other senses... read more

During an unexpected one-day storm, years ago, several electronic items were destroyed in my house - causing a few thousand dollars worth of damage: * Air compressor in my air conditioning unit * Dishwasher * Crock Pot * Clothes washer * Stereo system amplifier * TiVo motherboard There may have been other items damaged in the storm, but these are what were noticed as having worked before the storm, and did not work immediately after the storm. The sad thing is, this damage could have very easily been prevented. Notice the distinct lack of computer-related devices in the list above? There are two defenses against power spikes (too much power at the electrical plug): * Surge protector * Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Only the UPS option gives you a defense against dips (lower than expected power at the electrical plug), brownouts and even blackouts. A UPS is what you want for your sensitive computer equipment. Each of my computer-related... read more

You would be shocked at how many friends, relatives and customers come to me with the same complaint: "My hard drive died, did I lose everything?" I've seen the entire range of emotions, and working through grief is a good thing. The sad thing is, these problems are completely preventable. * Here's the first lesson, even if you don't read any further: hard drives fail. I could expand that to say that everything fails eventually: your car won't drive for 100 years without a complete overhaul of most functional parts - making it virtually a completely different automobile; your home appliances will need to be replaced after a certain period of time; and each of your computer components will fail given enough time. The term mean time between failures (MTBF) refers to a guess (a prediction) of how long a specific component will run until it is likely to fail. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_time_between_failures Your computer has many working/functional... read more

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