Advanced Problem Solving in Computer Science for high school students and teachers

Instructor: Dr. Ivor Page, Professor of Computer Science, UT Dallas

The Summer Advanced Problem Solving Course at UT Dallas began in 2010. It meets each morning, 9am to 12pm for the first 2 weeks of Summer at the University (Visit here for the dates & fees). There will be approximately 90 minutes of classroom instruction followed by 90 minutes of problem solving using the students’ laptops. The aim of the course is to help students who can already program well in Java or C++ become more mature and confident programmers through problem solving. There is at least as much to be learned about general problem solving techniques as there is about programming techniques.

The classroom instruction will cover a broad selection of algorithmic techniques such as recursion, brute force, backtracking, greedy methods, divide and conquer, and dynamic programming. Students will be exposed to problems in geometry, physics, probability theory, basic number theory, arithmetic, sorting, and graphs. These kinds of problems are found in many high school programming contests and in ACM ICPC university-level contests. The aim is to enable students to solve university-level problems by the end of the Students will solve a graduated series of problems that will help them develop good problem solving skills on paper and good implementation skills on the computer. The problems will be carefully selected from several online judges. Some problems will be from previous contests. There will be at least one programming contests during the course in which students will compete individually for prizes.

Teachers will benefit from working though the same problems as the students with the support of the course instructor(s). Our hope is that teachers will be able to use the experience and knowledge gained to enhance instruction in their own schools. Networking with other high school teachers and the UTD instructor(s) should form the basis for a long-term collaborative relationship that will strengthen Computer Science Education in high schools in the region. There will be time for group discussions about the course and about Computer Science in general.

Extensive notes will be provided to all participants. Advance registration is required at

Questions about registration, reduced rates, and housing should be sent to [email protected] Any questions about the technical content of this course should be sent to Dr. Ivor Page, [email protected] Have a wonderful summer!