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Research

Day 5: Algorithms – Logarithms, Big-O, & Binary Search

If I told my 16-year-old, art student self I’d be writing a blog post about logarithms, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’ve tried hard to avoid math for much of my life, yet here I am, not only learning about it but enjoying it! This post is an outline of what logarithms are and how they tie into computer science by way of Big O notation and binary search.

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Research

Day 4: Data Structures – I Made a Hash Table

Apart from hashtags, my association with hashes is encrypting passwords in a database. That association is correct in terms of what a hash is, but there are also hash tables, hash functions, hash maps, and oh my gosh, more hash things for sure. Let’s focus on a hash function and a hash table and building a rudimentary one in JavaScript.

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Research

Day 3: Data Structures – Stacks & Queues

Stacks and queues are quite similar in that they are both linear and abstract data structures (meaning they describe the behavior of a different data structure, like a linked list or array). All the action in terms of adding and removing items happens at their ends, and their main difference is in which end that adding/removing happens.

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Research

Day 2: Data Structures – Trees!

Day 2 of Data Structures…let’s talk about trees! What is a binary tree versus a binary search tree? Isn’t the DOM a tree? All of this and more!

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Research

Day 1: Data Structures – Linked Lists

Linked lists are very similar to arrays in that they are a one-dimensional list of elements. Unlike arrays, however, in a linked list, you cannot just jump to index 4, you have to walk through the list, starting with the “head”, or the first element in the list, and work your way through to the fourth element. They are very useful for lists where you need to add/remove elements, but not so useful if you need to search elements.

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Research Thoughts

Computer Science Bootcamp

I’m studying up for a real-deal interview. There will be whiteboards. There will be coding questions much more involved than FizzBuzz. There will be algorithms and math and data structures and all of the things I have successfully avoided for much of my career. This is potentially a dream job, and if I put the […]

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Ideas Research

Pricing and Economic Relativity

I’m usually not one for non-fiction, but the times have changed. I’m currently reading Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions by a cool dude named Dan Ariely. In short, we humans are constantly influenced by “hidden forces” that cause us to make decisions that don’t always make logical sense. Can’t say I’m surprised.

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Research Thoughts

On Progressive Enhancement

In a nutshell, progressive enhancement is building “content out”, separating the structure of a website (HTML) from its presentation and behavior (CSS and JS). Content should be available regardless of the capabilities of the device, and should not rely on styling or scripting to function at a base level. There are some strong opionions for and against, but it sounds like a good idea to me!

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Research

There is no fold.

…the amount of time in view steadily rises as we move downpage to a peak between about 1200 pixels down. This portion of the page is viewed for nearly three times as long as the top of the page. Amen to that – awesome reference point for clients stuck in the ’00s. Via this tweet.

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Design Research

Cargo Cult CSS

About every other day I read a blog post about a new take on CSS best practices. I think either “I’m doing right!” or, “Ohh that makes sense, I’ll change my ways”. Cargo Cult CSS is another of these posts, and resulted in an “Ahh…now I’m really confused, but this was an excellent read.”

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Games Ideas Research

Embodied Learning: Research & Thoughts

Chemistry in the SMALLab. Credit: Ken Howie Photography> In this post I’ll go over two applications of embodied learning. First is SMALLab, a learning environment using motion-capture technology and large scale projections to track movements in space, and second is Science Choreography, a project through Wesleyan University and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange that combines […]

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Games Research

Reinventing Board Games

Dominic Crapuchettes (founder of North Star Games) talks about the renaissance of modern board games. A few main points: Tablets are making traditional board games obsolete. Similar to books vs. ebooks: the production process is very expensive compared to buying a game from the App Store, and the convenience of a tablet is certainly desirable. […]

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Research

Themes from DML 2013

Had a great weekend at DML 2013: met a ton of excellent people, heard excellent talks, and had some excellent dinners in Chi City. A few resonant themes and takeaways: Civics are not in crisis, agency is. It seems like civics are the problem because of widely popularized (and hilarious) media showing ignorance (Jaywalking). The […]

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Design Games Research

DML Conference 2013

In a couple of weeks (March 14-16) I’ll be heading to Chicago for the annual Digital Media and Learning Conference organized by the DML Research Hub. The theme this year is “Democratic Futures: Mobilizing Voices, and Remixing Youth Participation”. There has been a longstanding narrative of youth political apathy and disengagement from democratic life. As […]

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Research

Research on Curriculum Design and Quest to Learn

Article: Quest to Learn as a Model for Higher Education Pretty much exactly what I want to do. In this article, Justin W. Marquis goes through a few key features of Q2L and examines how they might be applied to higher ed, particularly the application of design and systems thinking. Tools: Q Design Packs from […]