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In academic year 2005-06, the Bren School considered incorporating pair programming into CS1, primarily because of reports it increased students' satisfaction with the course and improved their performance in it. Though not denying its benefits, objectors asserted that certain obstacles doomed pair programming to failure and so was not worth undertaking. We… (More)

The first programming course at UC Irvine has traditionally used graded programming assignments to assess students' programming competence and readiness to undertake the programming required in the next course. Problems with this approach led to replacing the assignments with on-computer programming exams. Several improvements in the course and its ability… (More)

The array is typically the first aggregate collection taught in first programming courses. Arrays are commonly introduced as a way to implement variable-sized lists, despite their fixed size and, in first courses using Java, the availability of the ArrayList class, which represents variable-sized lists directly. It appears the array has been used mainly… (More)

Presenting "cool" algorithms to CS2 students helps convince them that the study of data structures and algorithms is worthwhile. An algorithm is perceived as cool if it is easy to understand, <i>very</i> fast on large data sets, uses memory judiciously and has a straightforward, short proof --- or at least a convincing proof sketch --- using accessible… (More)

Presenting "cool" algorithms to CS2 students helps convince them that the study of data structures and algorithms is worthwhile. An algorithm is perceived as cool if it is easy to understand, very fast on large data sets, uses memory judiciously and has a straightforward, short proof --- or at least a convincing proof sketch --- using accessible… (More)

Teachers of large classes often employ multiple graders to score student work. Even when appropriate measures are taken to insure that scoring by different graders is consistent, inconsistencies nevertheless occur. To adjust for them, instructors sometimes normalize grades mathematically, typically by scaling each grader group's score to an average of… (More)

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