Demystifying computing with magic, part III

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 and SIGCSE 2013 special sessions [4, 7]. 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 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages158-159
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781450338561
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2016
Event47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016 - Memphis, United States
Duration: 2 Mar 20165 Mar 2016

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education

Conference

Conference47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMemphis
Period2/03/165/03/16

Keywords

  • Card tricks
  • Computational thinking
  • Magic
  • Unplugged activities

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