Sunday, January 8, 2017

NCSS 2017 Days 5 and 6

Bad Blogger!

I missed the deadline to post last night so I left it for the tutors' day off (today).

Morning Lecture:
I snuck into the Context Free Grammars lecture (which is in the web stream of NCSS) because I'm rubbish at recursive parsing. You'll be happy to know I'm still rubbish at recursive parsing but might actually have a crack if I got time to practise them rather than hiding under the bed like I would have before said CFG lecture. 

Morning Labs:
We then had a teacher meeting during the morning labs in which we asked teachers for feedback on what they had done so far and what would best suit their needs in the coming days. The feedback was excellent and some adjustments have already been made to the program because of it. For instance we'll be having a 'working lunch" next week to allow teachers to share ideas for how some of this stuff works in the real classroom.

Afternoon Lecture:
And now I get the pay-off from skipping a lecture. I had to madly read this morning's lecture and also this afternoon's lecture so that I was comfortable enough to tutor the students in the afternoon lab. I managed to get into the afternoon lecture in time to hear about and galvanize my understanding of the H bridge (which has always been a bit wishy washy) before heading off to labs. The end result of this is no pretty embedded notes from yesterday. 

Afternoon Labs: 
The problem of being at the limit of your understanding is that it's much harder to confidently lead the students on their path to understanding. (Electronics and me are acquaintances rather than buddies just yet). So I had a bit of a humbling experience explaining the bits I was confident with and sidling up to one of the more advanced tutors to confirm answers to trickier questions. It didn't help much when our voltage divider activity didn't have the correct reading and we were desperately trying to debug the wiring and the code only to realise that the multimeter was not working properly - FAR OUT! 

Crypto Challenge
That evening we had the cryptography challenge -- not historically my favourite - I think it's more the timing than anything else - it hits you at your most tired - but I also tend to try for clever ciphers rather than cipher volume (which is the way to get more points) and they don't always come off. This year crypto was brilliant. The tutorial was accessible even to the inexperienced coders and our teacher cracking team got some of the basic codes out and there was lots of hi-fiving so that was pretty fun and I got my silly code finished - then rejected for being too hard -- then accepted after some negotiation and adjustment, just a pity by that time the challenge was pretty much over so none of the students got to "have a crack" har har. The other (more competitive) team came equal first so the teachers had a great night!

My cipher:

:double_vertical_bar: :skull_and_crossbones: :biohazard_sign: :aries: :keycap_number_sign: :skull_and_crossbones: :cancer: :orthodox_cross: :keycap_number_sign: :double_vertical_bar: :white_frowning_face: :taurus: :taurus: :keycap_number_sign: :black_spade_suit: :star_and_crescent: :cancer: :capricorn: :keycap_number_sign: :aquarius: :virgo: :keycap_number_sign: :capricorn: :wheel_of_dharma: :star_and_crescent: :keycap_number_sign: :wheel_of_dharma: :white_frowning_face: :taurus: :taurus: :keycap_number_sign: :white_medium_small_square: :leo: :keycap_number_sign: :peace_symbol: :star_and_crescent: :capricorn: :biohazard_sign: :wheel_of_dharma: :keycap_number_sign: :skull_and_crossbones: :keycap_number_sign: :virgo: :skull_and_crossbones: :white_frowning_face: :taurus: :keycap_number_sign: :leo: :peace_symbol: :keycap_number_sign: :black_spade_suit: :skull_and_crossbones: :capricorn: :star_and_crescent: :scorpius: :double_exclamation_mark: :keycap_number_sign: :double_vertical_bar: :skull_and_crossbones: :biohazard_sign: :aries: :keycap_number_sign: :peace_symbol: :star_and_crescent: :taurus: :taurus: :keycap_number_sign: :orthodox_cross: :leo: :black_spade_suit: :cancer: :keycap_number_sign: :skull_and_crossbones: :cancer: :orthodox_cross: :keycap_number_sign: :radioactive_sign: :scorpius: :leo: :aries: :star_and_crescent: :keycap_number_sign: :wheel_of_dharma: :white_frowning_face: :sagittarius: :keycap_number_sign: :biohazard_sign: :scorpius: :leo: :black_spade_suit: :cancer: :copyright_sign: :keycap_number_sign: :black_up-pointing_double_triangle: :cancer: :orthodox_cross: :keycap_number_sign: :double_vertical_bar: :white_frowning_face: :taurus: :taurus: :keycap_number_sign: :biohazard_sign: :skull_and_crossbones: :gemini: :star_and_crescent: :keycap_number_sign: :capricorn: :aquarius: :gemini: :radioactive_sign: :taurus: :white_frowning_face: :cancer: :yin_yang: :keycap_number_sign: :skull_and_crossbones: :peace_symbol: :capricorn: :star_and_crescent: :scorpius: :double_exclamation_mark:

I love it! : )

Sunday was tutors day off so I hung out with my family and came back in time for the relaxed games evening and some one on one tutorial with the very generous tutors, I'm getting closer to having another stab at Parsing Prolog soon and I feel much better about electronics until tomorrow : ) Thanks gang!

Monday tomorrow, Programming Challenge, I love the programming challenge. Go the teachers!

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