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CPSC 110: Weeks 9 and 10

Published 18 April 2021 at Yours, Kewbish. 1374 words. Subscribe via RSS.


Introduction

Last week, I think I predicted that these couple weeks would be some of the hardest so far in the course, and I think I wasn’t far off. The lab and problem set for week 9 were especially difficult - it seemed to be very much a ‘it’s a matter of thinking’ type of problem. Generative search and this type of recursion are techniques I haven’t even touched outside of Racket, so I think the lack of experience definitely didn’t help, as well as my not understanding the problem half the time. Week 10’s work wasn’t much better - I’m still working through the lab and problem set as of now. However, I feel like Week 10 ‘clicks’ more than Week 9, but maybe that’s just because Week 9 had a large problem example instead of smaller, more digestible ones. However, going through the practise problems and solutions has been helping, and I’ve really learned that you cannot rush it - taking my time to work through problems fully has been a lot more helpful than trying to speedrun a couple easy check-expect cases.

As with every other CPSC 110 post, if you’re not doing the course or don’t have the very niche interest of tackling aforementioned generative recursion and accumulators, this is the part where you might want to go read one of my other posts. I promise there’s some interesting thoughts somewhere in my post history, so feel free to go check those out instead.

Notes - Week 9

This week covers generative recursion, and applies it to backtracking search, a method of search that generates all possible permutations of a problem in a tree before eliminating invalid ones.

Notes - Week 10

Week 10 deels with accumulators, a new technique used to preserve context that’s often lost in recursive functions.

Conclusion

Only a couple modules left - though those might take a while to get through, given that they’re the last, and probably most difficult sections of the entire course. I foresee a lot of cross-module work, as well as more complex program design. I’m looking forward to tackling it, but a bit hesitant to find out what ‘graphs’ and ‘mutation’ are supposed to mean1. I’m still on track to finishing CPSC 110 well before summer break, but I think I might have to take things a little slower given with how school’s going. Perhaps more consistent but less intense work with the course will be more effective, anyways?

I haven’t found the time to write a proper post in a while, but I think it’s high time I went back to more regular posts - I have a list of pretty viable ideas that I’d like to expand more on, and maybe a couple addendums and things to other posts that I might update. YK was started as half a joke, but I think it’s become more a place to swirl thoughts together and hypothesize about the very niche things I’m into. I don’t think my posting style’d fit in more micro-blog formats, so I plan on continuing to tend this digital garden (hey, am I trendy now?) for a very long time - and that means keeping my consistently posting schedule. I got a bit lax in the past month - while my very rigid posting schedule maybe wasn’t the best for quality in 2020, it did incentivize me to stick to it, and at least put something out. Anyways, I hope I’ll manage to edit up my latest post and have it up soon, and follow it up with a bunch of other thoughtchains. We’ll see2.


  1. Did Kiczales intentionally name the last couple units the most vaguely just to add to the mystique? ↩︎

  2. Also, if you’ve read this far, it probably means that you’re one of the few people that I talk to regularly and hey, if you unironically check the footnotes, I think I can trust y’all enough. (Please don’t spill to others though, at least since I’m theoretically not supposed to talk about this yet.) So - life update! I made it into UBC, which still hasn’t entirely hit. It’s absolutely crazy that I’ve got here, and at 15, too. (Not to mention the very spicy Schulich Leader scholarship - still kinda in shock.) 2020 and 2021 so far have been absolute rollercoasters, but hey, with GCI, GfTW, and now this - it’s definitely been worth it. ↩︎

- Yours, Kewbish


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