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Hi everyone!   I have tutored students who take this class many times.  It is a very confusing class and teaches old concepts rarely used in business anymore, as the internet has changed how we use Excel and other data management tools. Further, it does not teach definitions of terms so it becomes difficult to look for information online.   I wanted to give some definitions here that will help you at least search for help online: In Excel, things that start with = are called "formulas". A bunch of characters together are called a "string". Strings can have spaces and punctuation. If you cut off a piece of a string (which is done using the LEFT, RIGHT, and MID formulas), that is called "parsing a string". An "array" is a list of numbers or cells. Arrays have have a : in them, and mean STARTING CELL:ENDING CELL (like A1:A20). Each formula has a name, and starts with = and the name, then has... 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

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

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.      

You'd think that, "If I'm paying for tutoring, he should be answering MY questions. Not the other way around." While I can sympathize with the general sentiment, I'd say,"you're way off base there!"   I think that the tutor/teacher/coach should never ask the student directly,"Do you understand __________ ?" Not knowing the subject matter, how would the student know/evaluate/determine if they understood or not ? Generally they can't, that's why the need a tutor. Rather than ask about specific content, directly, I ask questions to determine if the student understands the material and how the pieces fit together. Sometimes that's five or six questions.   Here's my general GAME PLAN: Find out where they are. Tell them, show them, then see what they heard and saw.   When your tutor's asking you questions, he/she is probably working the same kind of plan. You can help them help you by always providing the syllabus... read more

What Are Variables? Essentially we can think of variables in computer memory as boxes sitting on a shelf. With boxes we can put things in and take them out again, or we can just look inside a box and see if anything is there. The same goes for variables; we place data in them and can take it out or look at it, as required. Although all data in a computer is effectively the same thing (a series of zeros and ones), variables come in different flavors, known as types. Again, using our box analogy we can imagine that our boxes come in different shapes and sizes, and some things will only fit in certain boxes. The reasoning behind this type system is that different types of data may require different methods of manipulation, and by restricting variables into individual types we can avoid getting mixed up. It wouldn't, for example, make much sense to treat the series of zeros and ones that make up a digital picture as an audio file. In order to use variables, we have... read more

This post shows you how to get a good, free IDE for C++ and get started writing a program. To get your free IDE: 1. Go to this link: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/downloads#d-2010-express 2. Click the plus sign next to the tab which says Visual C++ 2010 Express. Then click install now. 3. A download should start, then if you are using Internet Explorer click run on the bottom of the screen (if you are using Chrome or Firefox then go to the downloads folder and double click the file named vc_web.exe). The installation should start. 4. Click next. Click I have read and accept the license terms, and click next. Then click install. (at this point, I stopped the installation because I already have the program so if there are any more screens just do the default settings and click next.) 5. To create a C++ project click  File>New>Project. 6. A "New Project" window will appear. Click "Empty Project"... read more

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