id: 06619330
dt: j
an: 2016e.00440
au: Marzocchi, Alison S.
ti: Using the Tower of Hanoi puzzle to infuse your mathematics classroom with
computer science concepts.
so: Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Technol. 47, No. 5, 814-821 (2016).
py: 2016
pu: Taylor \& Francis, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
la: EN
cc: D50 A20 P20
ut: computer science; logic puzzles; problem solving
ci:
li: doi:10.1080/0020739X.2015.1133855
ab: Summary: This article suggests that logic puzzles, such as the well-known
Tower of Hanoi puzzle, can be used to introduce computer science
concepts to mathematics students of all ages. Mathematics teachers
introduce their students to computer science concepts that are enacted
spontaneously and subconsciously throughout the solution to the Tower
of Hanoi puzzle. These concepts include, but are not limited to,
conditionals, iteration, and recursion. Lessons, such as the one
proposed in this article, are easily implementable in mathematics
classrooms and extracurricular programmes as they are good candidates
for ‘drop in’ lessons that do not need to fit into any particular
place in the typical curriculum sequence. As an example for readers,
the author describes how she used the puzzle in her own Number Sense
and Logic course during the federally funded Upward Bound Math/Science
summer programme for college-intending low-income high school students.
The article explains each computer science term with real-life and
mathematical examples, applies each term to the Tower of Hanoi puzzle
solution, and describes how students connected the terms to their own
solutions of the puzzle. It is timely and important to expose
mathematics students to computer science concepts. Given the rate at
which technology is currently advancing, and our increased dependence
on technology in our daily lives, it has become more important than
ever for children to be exposed to computer science. Yet, despite the
importance of exposing today’s children to computer science, many
children are not given adequate opportunity to learn computer science
in schools. In the United States, for example, most students finish
high school without ever taking a computing course. Mathematics
lessons, such as the one described in this article, can help to make
computer science more accessible to students who may have otherwise had
little opportunity to be introduced to these increasingly important
concepts.
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