Stuart Spence Blog

Computer scientist and educator. Creator of ChessCraft. Senior scientific programmer at Environment Canada.

Fri 29 March 2019

ChessCraft in Universities?

Posted by Stuart Spence in ChessCraft   

There is a possibility that ChessCraft will be used to teach artificial intelligence in a university course! My commandline interface already supports round robin tournaments, and a professor expressed some interest today. It occurred to me that if I prepare a package, lots of AI professors could use it. And …

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Sat 01 July 2017

Your Perfect Code Might Be Terrible for Teaching

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

When I post tutorial videos people often make suggestions on how to improve my computer code. Thank you for your code suggestions! However, we may have a problem.

I often find that code suggestions are not teaching suggestions. Almost all computer programmers are not experienced educators, so this is understandable …

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Mon 28 March 2016

Sorry! I'd Like to Help You but I Can't

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

When I post tutorial videos, I get a lot of requests for personalized help. I want to help! Your project might even sound really cool to me. But here I'm going to explain why I probably cannot help you today.

Unfortunately, It's Inefficient

One of the exciting things about the …

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Thu 24 March 2016

Learning to Code by Writing, not Copying

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

"Yeh, If your a experianced coder, five mins no problem but if your a bigginer it can take hours." - Rowen Henderson8

"it would help a lot if you ppl would copy and paste the code into your videos on the bottom." - Emjay Club

"Fantastic but please add the script somewhere …

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Sat 29 August 2015

Outpost Bureaucracy: The Power of One is Strong

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

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What's the longest journey you've ever taken through university bureaucracy? Mine is probably longer. After five months of appeals, I'm finally able to register at Concordia as a McGill student for an equivalent course. Just like the comic above - I was arbitrarily denied for no good reason after getting approval …

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Tue 24 March 2015

These McGill Survey Results Will Make You Giggle

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

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Prepare to be amused and blown away. If you're a university student you may think your department is bad, but McGill's education department is worse. For several years now McGill education students report having the most boring, most random, most tuition-wasting, and most impossible-to-fail courses. This makes me really sad …

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Tue 24 March 2015

Mike Shortt Reports: Methodology

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

This post gives more details on the surveys and methodology, if you're interested. I decided it was too boring for a general audience so I cut it out of my original post. But you are an eager beaver! So here you go. And feel free to send me a message …

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Sat 07 March 2015

Why Do For-Profit Companies Give Software to Schools?

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

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Have you ever noticed that for-profit companies often advertise free or cheap software licenses to students, teachers, and schools?

Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, and countless others all offer deals on their software and services to schools. Why do they do that?

This post is written for educators, not tech experts …

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