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The Orange Game - Routing and Deadlock in Networks

When there are a lot of people using one resource, such as cars using roads, or messages getting through the Internet, there is the possibility of “deadlock”. A way of working cooperatively is needed to avoid this happening. The resource begins with instructions on how to play the orange game. The activity contains...

The Muddy City - Minimal Spanning Trees

Our society is linked by many networks: telephone networks, utility supply networks, computer networks, and road networks. For a particular network there is usually some choice about where the roads, cables, or radio links can be placed. This resource explores the need to find ways of efficiently linking objects in...

Beat the Clock - Sorting Networks

Even though computers are fast, there is a limit to how quickly they can solve problems. One way to speed things up is to use several computers to solve different parts of a problem. In this activity sorting networks are used to do several sorting comparisons at the same time. This resource begins with a discussion...

Lightest and Heaviest - Sorting Algorithms

Computers are often used to arrange lists into some sort of order. For example, sorting names into alphabetical order, appointments or e-mail by date, or items in numerical order. Sorting lists helps us find things quickly, and also makes extreme values easy to see. If the wrong method is used, it can take a long...

Battleships - Searching Algorithms

Computers are often required to find information in large collections of data. They need to develop quick and efficient ways of doing this. This activity demonstrates three different search methods: linear searching, binary searching and hashing. This resource begins with the introductory activity of battleships....

Twenty Guesses - Information Theory

This resource asks the question ‘How much information is there in a thousand page book?’ It continues by exploring how to estimate how much space is needed to store the information and introduces a way of measuring information content. The resource begins by discussing what is meant by information and how amounts...

Card Flip Magic - Error Detection

When data is stored on a disk or transmitted from one computer to another, it is usually assumed that it doesn’t get changed in the process. But sometimes things go wrong and the data is changed accidentally. This activity uses a magic trick to show how to detect when data has been corrupted, and how to correct it...

You Can Say That Again! - Text Compression

Computers only have a limited amount of space to hold information, so they need to represent information as efficiently as possible. This is called compression. By coding data before it is stored, and decoding it when it is retrieved, the computer can store more data, or send it faster through the Internet. This...

Debugging a Scratch game

A small resource which includes a "debugging strategy" sheet with suggestions to students as to how to proceed. It also contains a bug-ridden Scratch game. The activity requires students to identify and fix the bugs. Although this is a single worksheet activity, it can serve as an example/template for a whole host...

Debugging system for students

A resource which provides learners with a user friendly strategy to utilise when they come across a bug they do not understand. SNOT stands for Self, Neighbour, Other, Teacher, and it includes a framework for recording who students have sought help from, and who they have helped along with record sheets to record...

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