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Re: Re: Teaching bottomline, part 3: what should improve.
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 Date: 2007-05-23 (17:21) From: Pal-Kristian Engstad Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Re: Re: Teaching bottomline, part 3: what should improve.
```Sorry, I forgot to mention the point of the game. Person B is supposed
to figure out what function person A is using.

> Vincent Aravantinos wrote:
>> Those are typically the comments of a
>> "used-to-functional-programming" guy.
>> It certainly doesn't match what a beginner would think (no beginner
>> will call a
>> function a "value").
> This reminds me of a "game" I used to teach my math students the
> concept of a function. I think it should be able to be used for an
> introductory computer science class as well.
>
> Essentially, the game involves having person A come up with a rule.
> Person B will have to provide an input value, and A has to faithfully
> give the result of the rule/computation. Examples of functions could
> be \x->x+2, \x->2*x, etc. More interesting examples involves the
> function that returns the first letter of the name of the input (f
> "one" = "o"), or the successor of a "red, yellow, green" traffic light
> symbol.
>
> When doing this, A and B will quickly have to agree on the allowed
> input values (the domain) and in order to have a chance it is also
> helpful if B knows the range of output values (the image). And for
> sure - they will have to agree that the rule x = y => f(x) = f(y) has
> to hold in order to be able to guess what "f" is. [I would also
> disallow closures for this game - otherwise it would be too hard to
> guess.]
>
> The reason this exercise is good is that it teaches the students (in a
> fun way) the important concepts behind a function. It will make them
> understand that a function is just a computation, but also point out
> the importance of defining the types (sets) of inputs and outputs. I
> think that after playing this game, you can venture to talk about the
> "name" of the function, and they will realize that it does not matter
> what the name of the function is - just what it does.
>
> Perhaps after this, you can teach the concept of treating a function
> as a value, or input to another function? Person A makes a function
> that takes person B's function, etc.
>
> Thanks,
>
> PKE
>

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