Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I went through more programming today. Most of the lesson revolved around debugging and style. Once he adhered to a stricter style, he was able to reason out the assignment for himself. I explained to him that the best way to write a function is to begin with a plan. A good structure for a plan is to specify what I call a precondition and a postcondition. Precondition defines all of the things we assume to be true upon the instance of the function call. What variables have stored what information, the state of variable arguments, and where the main program is in its execution. The postcondition largely states the changes it will make to those conditions specified in the precondition (as well as specifying "side effects" such as printing messages to the screen)."
"We reviewed topics for the exam coming up next week. We covered maximum flow and did some examples together to calculate the maximum flow on all paths and the formula to calculate the max flow for the network as a whole. We explained the Knapsack problem as it relates to dynamic programming, and I sent a YouTube video that shows the solution in action. We were running out of time, so I sent the student some online resources to solve the Edit Problem, also related to Dynamic Programming, as well as a video that shows it in action."
"We worked on code for a Java program that had several errors and missing methods. After the student completed the code, we went over the code and the design in details. Then, I probed some changes to the program, and he was able to do it with minor help. He was motivated and eager to complete the lesson."
"We covered all the introductory Java materials including variable naming, commenting, if statements, AND OR logic, and structure of classes. The student needed help mostly with the associating values to variable names and a few syntactical practices. His attitude was great and he worked well throughout the session. I did leave him with some extra practice using the coding site to practice more basic Java skills. He worked through his next assignment for his class and I think he has a much better understanding of the material now."
"The student and I had an excellent first session; we created an account for him on a coding website and worked through the first two sections of tutorials. He really enjoyed the activities and was very receptive to the material. The one area he had trouble with was doing rotations. He was using absolute left and right instead of left/ right relative to the computer, but we cleared up the confusion and he did excellently."
"We reviewed a basic Perl script that reads in a file, splits each line along the spaces, and outputs the file. We then showed how to do a simpler Perl script that reads in and outputs a file. The student has a clear plan about how to learn Perl, and he is going to write his own script for next time for me to review."