Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Puzzle Hunt

Most springs I teach 15-251, "Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science." The course usually has about 200 students, which makes it a ton of fun. Over the past 3 years, the first assignment has been a "Puzzle Hunt," in which groups of four students compete to solve a bunch of puzzles and run around the campus. The first team to finish usually wins iPods for everybody.

This year's theme was "Save Gates!" The story was that a rogue professor from the math department was planning to sabotage the new computer science building (Gates), so the students had to foil the secret plans of this envious enemy.

I have to say I had a lot of fun making this assignment.

You can see some of this year's puzzles here: (for those of you who are curious, this number is the 15251st prime in this sequence of numbers; finding this number was the first step of the hunt).


  1. I want to be in that class!

  2. Probably the most fun I've ever had doing a homework assignment :D Your blogs are great! Can't wait to read more entries.

  3. Cool! A very creative teaching method! I like how you combine fun but educative task.. :)
    I would love to be in your class ... Anyway, if you need ideas for fun lesson methods perhaps you can get it from this Download Games website.