EppsNet Archive: Problem Solving

Teaching Computer Science: It’s Not Easy to Teach a Subject in Which You Have No Training

A recent issue of Science has an article on the pipeline for computer science teachers . . . The first sentence says, “It’s not easy to teach a subject in which you have no training.” That could be the whole article, really. That’s about all you need to know about the current state of computer science instruction: It’s not easy… Read more →

What Does a Programmer Do?

I was asked to give a talk last week to a high school computer science class on “What Does a Programmer Do?” (I’m indebted to Jim McCarthy for the “lords and ladies of logic” section.)   Programming is problem solving. At the highest level, the problem that programmers solve is that people want to be able to do things with… Read more →

The ‘Why’ Technique

The usual purpose of ‘why’ is to elicit information. One wants to be comforted with some explanation which one can accept and be satisfied with. The lateral use of why is quite opposite. The intention is to create discomfort with any explanation. By refusing to be comforted with an explanation one tries to look at things in a different way… Read more →

Challenge Assumptions

General agreement about an assumption is no guarantee that it is correct. It is historical continuity that maintains most assumptions – not a repeated assessment of their validity. — Edward de Bono, Lateral Thinking Read more →

How to Be a Genius

You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be… Read more →

One Problem After Another After Another

I could see life being a long sequence of one problem after another after another. After quite a while of thinking I decided, “No, I should be in the mass production of a variable product. I should be concerned with all of next year’s problems, not just the one in front of my face.” By changing the question I still… Read more →

Why People Don’t Succeed

In summary, I claim that some of the reasons why so many people who have greatness within their grasp don’t succeed are: they don’t work on important problems, they don’t become emotionally involved, they don’t try and change what is difficult to some other situation which is easily done but is still important, and they keep giving themselves alibis why… Read more →

Thought for the Day

Sometimes it is worth trying to find a way to solve problems that doesn’t involve more structure, more meetings, more roles, more documents, more setup. — Daryl Kulak Read more →

Drop an Assumption

Link: http://creativethink.com/8dv Read more →

Twitter: 2009-12-18

RT @capricecrane: "Twitter" was the most used word of 2009. Numbers two and three were "I'm" and "broke." # RT @Aimee_B_Loved: Sometimes I drive between lanes and pretend my car is Pacman gobbling up the dashed lines. # RT @FakeAPStylebook: Use "can of whup-ass" only, as whup-ass is not sold in jars, squeeze tubes or resealable bags. # RT @RogervonOech:… Read more →

Urgent vs. Important

From the Lean Enterprise Institute: Are we all clear on what is really important for our organization in order to solve customer problems and succeed in the long term? (Or, stated another way, can we get past the merely urgent?) Are we agreed on what big problems we need to solve as a team? Are we sure what obstacles are… Read more →