Week 8

3rd and last Week of Workshops

The weeks are flying by. This is the last week of workshops. I have been enjoying these workshops and one of the reasons for this is the amount of work Professor Rodger puts into organizing them. I have been trying to pick out what has made these workshops so successful and I think it might the following: they are well organized, the content is very relevant and interesting for the participants, and the food is great.

Here is the link to week three workshop events. Alice Workshop Alice Workshop

These pictures were from a previous week. Liz is presenting one of the tutorials she created. Professor Rodger did present the majority of the tutorials, however each of the undergrads (including myself) presented at least one tutorial. This was a great experience as it really gives a different perspective of how difficult it is to gage how quickly to go when presenting tutorials. What pace should you take? How do you know when people are falling behind while you are presenting? How do you keep the attention of those who have caught on and could go much faster?

On Wednesday we went to another undergrad summer research talk. This one was done by Professor Owen Astrachan about computational thinking . He is using this approach to a new class that he is teaching. Part of his presentation included the following YouTube video that includes pictures of all the undergrads working on projects this summer. I don't know how permanent this link will be, but here it is for now.

This week I demoed my geometry world and did my final presentation of a tutorial that showed how to create a simple quiz. I also experimented with creating a movie from one of the example worlds I made for an art teacher who attended the first week workshop. And since I was already playing with embedded YouTube videos I uploaded my very first YouTube video and have embedded it here:

Okay it isn't very exciting but the educational purpose of this world is for art students in middle school. This model can be programmed into various shapes and used as an aid to sketching. The simple shapes and forms seen from the front, side and at an angle can help students visualize what they want to sketch.

For my geometry world there is a square, rectangle and circle. The user is asked to enter the perimeter or area of each of these shapes. It is also possible for the teacher to modify the "quiz" by adding in custom dimensions, and selecting which shapes they want to include. I have also made a companion version which requires the user to finish the program by including a calculation to determine the area and perimeter.

I worked on these worlds while the workshops were running and in between helping the participants.

The Weekend

I discovered recently that there was a family that I had connections with in the town where I group up in the Fraser Valley. They showed me around Chapel Hill and their community. It was a great chance to step away from the Duke campus and see what else is around including University of North Carolina.

There is a great rivalry between Duke and UNC. It fact there are only two kinds of people in Durham and Chapel Hill: UNC fans or Duke fans. My friend's son, who attends the local Chapel Hill elementary school, has strong ties to UNC and was questioning my allegiances. Was I a basketball fan? and did I cheer for UNC? Basketball is really big especially as UNC recently won the NCAA championship.

I do not believe it is possible to remain neutral on this subject, but I did try. In remaining "neutral" I have likely offended both sides and I am now in hot water no mater what! If you don't believe me check out this Wikipedia article which states: [The Carolina/Duke rivalry] is considered one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports: a poll conducted by ESPN in 2000 ranked the basketball rivalry as the third greatest North American sports rivalry of all-time