Boston Lisp Meeting: Monday 2009-08-31 - Emmanuel Schanzer
A Boston Lisp Meeting will take place on Monday, August 31st 2009 at 1800 at MIT 34-401B, where Emmanuel Schanzer will speak about Teaching Mathematics and Problem-Solving through Programming.
Additionally, we will have two 5-minute Lightning Talks, each followed by 2-minute Q&A: Gregory Marton will talk about Teaching Linguistics through Programming and Alex Plotnick will talk about Gabriel's Gimmick, an odd little idiom for (mis)using the sequence functions.
Also, there will be a buffet offered by ITA Software. Registration is not necessary but appreciated. See details below.
Emmanuel Schanzer will speak about Teaching Mathematics and Problem-Solving through Programming. Most people agree that students should be exposed to some form of Computer Science before graduating high school, but there is little consensus about what kind of exposure is best. At the same, Algebra has been identified as a pivotally important concept for students, both as the crucial gateway to higher forms of mathematics and as an indicator of future success. This talk explores Bootstrap http://www.bootstrapworld.org/, a particular approach to computer science education that focuses on Algebra instruction as a natural format for computer programming. Over the course of nine classes, students are exposed to functions and variables, and use their knowledge to design and build a simple videogame. Bootstrap is currently active in middle schools around the country, using volunteer teachers from companies and universities to teach programming to children as young as ten years old.
Emmanuel Schanzer is the Program Director for Bootstrap, an organization which trains volunteer teachers to bring functional computer programming to underprivileged middle school students around the country using the curriculum he's developed since 2004. He began teaching Computer Science in 2000, teaching students at Cornell University how to program in Scheme, and later constructed Bootstrap to teach the same concepts as part of an afterschool program. He is now a Doctoral Candidate at Harvard University, studying Cognitive Science and Mathematics Instruction.
At every meeting, before the main talk, there are two slots for strictly timed 5-minute "Lightning Talks" followed by 2 minutes for questions and answers.
The slots for next meeting are still open. Step up and come talk about your pet project!
The Lisp Meeting will take place on Monday August 31st 2009 at 1800 (6pm) at MIT, Room 34-401B.
As the numbers indicate, the room is in Building 34, on the 4th floor. This is the usual location, on 50 Vassar Street, Cambridge.
Many thanks go to Alexey Radul for arranging for the room, and to MIT for welcoming us.
Dinner: ITA Software, a fine employer of Lisp hackers (disclaimer: I work there), is kindly purchasing a buffet to accompany our monthly Boston Lisp meeting. Anyone who attends is welcome to partake.
We appreciate it if you let us know you're coming, and what food taboos you have, so that we can order the correct amount and kind of food. Tell us by sending email to boston-lisp-meeting-register at common-lisp.net. We won't send any acknowledgement unless requested; importantly, we'll keep your identity and address confidential and won't communicate any such information to anyone, not even to our sponsors.
Somehow, we the organizers got mixed up at the July meeting, and the promised buffet didn't materialize. I offer my sincere apologies to all concerned for this blatant failure.
The previous Boston Lisp Meeting on July 27th had about 30-odd participants. Bruce Lewis talked about OurDoings, and Richard Kreuter about Unary REQUIRE. http://fare.livejournal.com/145087.html.
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