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I Have Installed Visual Studio

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Tonight, I installed Visual Studio 2010 Pro as part of my student software bundle. I have done nothing interesting with it, or even really used it. However, I now have Microsoft development tools on my computer. This is big. Not just big- huge. It will get even bigger if I start *gasp* learning Microsoft's .NET languages. C# is the most...
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Academia Doesn't Understand What Industry Needs

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Today I had my first lab for Data Structures I, the same course I am working to test out of and drop. It was brutal. I wanted to beat someone. The assignment was straight-forward. Design a Computer class with three fields, the standard getter/setter methods, and a toString() method basically. The JUnit was new for me, but pretty easy. In a matter...
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The Excuse "I'm Just a Beginner" Is No Longer Valid

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Today I came across this thread, where the OP refuses to do any critical thinking and continues to ignore the correct advice presented to her. When called on it, she uses the excuses of "I'm a beginner" and "but my professor didn't teach me that."


In this case, the instructor actually spelled out selection sort in...
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Getting Started with Data Structures

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I've received a few PM's over the last couple weeks with requests asking how to get started learning data structures. This entry will cover a list of competencies associated with an ideal Data Structures and Algorithms I course. Some courses I've seen may focus on OOP more than the more advanced topics listed, and push the rest to the...
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Spock to Sulu: Use the Debugger

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I had a moment today at work that reminded me of the episode Who Mourns for Adonis in the original Star Trek. In this part of the episode, Spock is on the Enterprise trying to track down the generator Apollo uses to power his godlike abilities. Sulu reports that he cannot locate the generator, so Spock directs him to search the entire planet...
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Some Fun Graph Theory Research I've Been Doing

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As some of you may already be aware, I've been working on and off for the past couple months to develop a heuristic for solving the travelling salesman problem. The point of the TSP is to find the optimal Hamiltonian circuit in a Graph. A couple days ago, I finished my implementation (after finally getting some time to actually code the thing)...
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Isn't That the Point of a Weed-Out Class?

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Where have the weed-out classes gone? Why is our educational system allowing students to advance to more challenging classes when they clearly lack a grasp on the basics? Something needs to be done. This thread is a symptom of the problem. There is no reason a student should be in a data structures class when he or she clearly does not...
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Why Math Is Important for Programmers

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The other day while helping out in Java, I came across this thread...
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Democrats, Republicans, and Even Programmers Love to Gerrymander

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We just studied Gerrymandering, or drawing electoral boundaries to give an advantage to some party, in AP Government. As part of this, we had to Gerrymander a grid of D's and R's to favor either the Dems or the GOP. We also had to play an online "game" to Gerrymander a state. Personally, I found this process very irritating and...
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Both Drag-and-Drop Tutorials are Up

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By popular demand, I've finally gotten a chance to sit down and crank out the long-awaited Java Drag-and-Drop API tutorials. I have just published the second and last tutorial on this API. The first tutorial is on dragging, and the second covers dropping. Enjoy! :)

http://www.dreaminco...cs-of-dragging/
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