CSCI-539 Puzzles for Computing

Spring 2020 (2195) · MWF 12:00-12:50 · GOL-2590

Syllabus ----- Schedule ----- Derby results

Course description:

In this course, students will explore puzzle creation as a way of learning to pose well-formed computational problems. The first half of the course will explore various types of logical puzzles (including new types developed by students) that can be both generated and solved analytically, and students will write a variety of programs to do so. The second half of the course will explore puzzles inspired by both computing and non-computing fields and how to take vague problem descriptions and creative ideas and turn them in to feasible, solvable, concrete problems. Students will work in teams to develop a final puzzle challenge to be solved collaboratively.

Course learning outcomes:


Grading policy

As can be seen on the course schedule, students will be expected to both solve and construct puzzles, both by hand and on paper. Puzzle solving will be graded based on correct solutions but in many cases discussion of the solving process will be expected. The second half of the course, including the final project, will be done in teams, and teamwork and participation will be considered as part of the final grade.
ComponentPortion of final grade
Individual homework50%
Puzzle hunt creation25%
Puzzle hunt solving10%
Teamwork / in-class participation15%

Academic Honesty

Unless otherwise specified, all activities in this course are open-everything-except-other-people. Discussions at a high level with other people are generally OK, but you are still expected to create original content from your own brain for each assignment. Team assignments are open-everything-except-people-other-than-team-members. Copying content - or providing content to be copied - will make all of us rather sad, and will be dealt with according to CS department policy.