Interactive Problem Solving Using Logo

Interactive Problem Solving Using Logo

Interactive Problem Solving Using Logo

Interactive Problem Solving Using Logo

Synopsis

This book is unique in that its stress is not on the mastery of a programming language, but on the importance and value of interactive problem solving. The authors focus on several specific interest worlds: mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and games; however, their approach can serve as a model that may be applied easily to other fields as well. Those who are interested in symbolic computing will find that Interactive Problem Solving Using LOGO provides a gentle introduction from which one may move on to other, more advanced computational frameworks or more formal analysis. What is of primary importance, however, is the text's ability -- through its presentation of rich, open-ended problems -- to effectively cultivate crucial cognitive skills.

Excerpt

Problem Solving . Problem Solving is a ubiquitous human activity. If we want to do something but we do not know how, then we have a problem. The problem is the gap that separates us from where we want to be. In natural settings, problems are represented to us by the outside world. The sources for the problems may be derived from our own goals or they may be given to us by a teacher, a client, an advice seeker, etc. Problem solving often consists of two major activities: On the one hand we need to understand the problem; on the other hand we need to solve it. These two activities are not independent of each other: Attempting to solve a problem usually contributes to a better understanding of that problem, as well as to a better understanding of how to solve problems in general.

Problems may be represented in many different ways, influencing the difficulty substantially. The building blocks and tools that we have available to understand and solve problems influence our perception of them and our ability to solve them. These building blocks and tools can be either of a physical nature (e.g., a nail and a hammer) or they can be conceptual artifacts (e.g., musical notation or the "language" of mathematics). A powerful tool kit offering many interesting building blocks for problem solving that has emerged over the last few decades has been the computer and the developments surrounding it. Computers support problem-solving activities such as writing and using programs. They provide us with feedback to our solution attempts, serve as testbeds for our ideas, and thereby enhance our incremental understanding of problems.

Interactive Problem Solving with Computers . The computer, when used in an environment that supports interactive programming, can provide a rich opportunity to explore a variety of interesting subjects. The case studies presented here attempt to exploit this opportunity. They describe various interest worlds and provide an initial platform for investigation of related problems. The interest worlds documented in this book are: mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and games. The approach is by no means limited to these areas but serves as a model that can be applied to other fields of study as well. By providing and encouraging exploration into rich, open-ended problem domains aimed at capturing your interest and imagination, you will cultivate your cognitive talents in the areas of problem solving and formal thinking.

The computer, as one of the newest technological developments, holds a great attraction to many at first (especially when used for playing games, etc.). This enthusiasm soon vanishes when users grow tired of the available programs and realize that improving existing programs and creating new ones requires a . . .

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