The greedy trap and learning from mistakes

David Ginat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Educators' approach towards their students' mistakes can have significant impact on the students. This paper presents a rather less considered approach of teaching by capitalizing on mistakes. In the course of teaching our students algorithm design, we noticed the phenomenon of students' "over-reliance" on intuition rather than rigor. In particular, we noticed a repeated erroneous trend of turning to intuitive, but inadequate greedy algorithmic solutions. We capitalized on the student errors for influencing their attitude and beliefs regarding intuition and rigor. The paper displays the student errors and our capitalization-on-errors approach, with colorful and novel algorithmic tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
JournalSIGCSE Bulletin (Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education)
StatePublished - 2003
EventProceedings of the 34th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education - Reno,NV, United States
Duration: 19 Feb 200322 Feb 2003


  • Pedagogy
  • Student errors


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