Demystifying computing with magic, continued

Daniel D. Garcia, David Ginat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering.-Robert A. Heinlein Some beginning students have fuzzy mental models of how the computer works, or worse, sincerely believe that the computer works unpredictably, "by magic" [2]. We seek to demystify computing for these students using analogy, by showing them something that even magic itself isn't really mystical, it is just computation. This is a continuation of our standing-room only SIGCSE 2012 special session [4]. Magic is one of the most colorful examples of "unplugged" (i.e., without-computer, active learning) activities. It adds a unique facet in that it holds a hidden secret that the audience can be challenged to unfold. Once solved, students are often enthusiastic to perform the magic in front of others. In this session, we will share a variety of new magic tricks whose answer is grounded in computer science: modulo arithmetic, human-computer interfaces, algorithms, binary encoding, invariants, etc. For each trick, we will have an interactive discussion of its underlying computing fundamentals, and tips for successful showmanship. Audience participation will be critical, for helping us perform the magic, discussing the solution, and contributing other magic tricks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2013 - Proceedings of the 44th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages207-208
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9781450320306
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Event44th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2013 - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: 6 Mar 20139 Mar 2013

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2013 - Proceedings of the 44th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education

Conference

Conference44th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDenver, CO
Period6/03/139/03/13

Keywords

  • Card tricks
  • Computational thinking
  • Magic
  • Unplugged activities

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