Evaluation is the process of ensuring an algorithmic solution is a good one: that it is fit for purpose. Various properties of algorithms need to be evaluated including whether they are correct, are fast enough, are economic in the use of resources, are easy for people to use and promote an appropriate experience. Trade-offs need to be made as there is rarely a single ideal solution for all situations.
There is a specific and often extreme focus on attention to detail in computational thinking based evaluation. For example, if we are developing a medical device to deliver drugs to patients in hospital we need to be sure that it always delivers the amount of drug set and that it does so quickly enough once start is pressed. However, we also need to be sure that nurses will be able to set the dose quickly and easily without making mistakes and that it won’t be frustrating or irritating for patients and nurses to use. There is likely to be a trade-off to be made between speed of entering numbers and helping avoid mistakes being made when doing so. The judgement about it being quick and easy has to be made systematically and rigorously.
The following links to cs4fn articles that illustrate evaluation.
- A perfect, working mind is locked inside a useless body: the sufferer can sense everything around but is unable to communicate with anyone.
- Daisies usually have 34, 55 or 89 petals – all Fibonacci numbers
- Magicians want to move cards around efficiently; computers want to move data around in their memory efficiently.
- How could a computer learn to read human emotions out of words?
- Computers are much better off letting our brains do the tricky thinking.
- The knapsack problem lies at the heart of many of today’s software encryption applications that let people transfer financial and other personal information over the Internet safely.
Countdown – a tale of codes and computational conundrums [cs4fn-link]
- The Internet like the real world is a mixture of wonders and worries. As with every technology it’s what you do with it that determines whether it is good or bad.
Mouse arrest [cs4fn-link]
New twists on old favourites [cs4fn-link]
Gone Phishing [cs4fn-link]
- In real life, the connection is food, but on the web the connections are links.
- Technology changes society. Whether fire, wheels, guns or skyscrapers, all have made a massive difference to the way we work, live and play. Computer technology is accelerating the change and raising whole new issues society has to tackle.
- Since the advent of the microprocessor by Intel in 1971, electronic computers have made their way into more areas of our everyday life. It is now unlikely that most people in the developed world will get through a day without some use of a computer. So what are the impacts of this technological revolution which benefits and detriments our society?
- With more and more opportunity to tell the world your stories, through web blogging, or networking sites like myspace and youtube, there are so many tales being told, but which of them are true and which of them made up.
- Imagine sitting with a laptop on the bank of a river as it flows through the city centre. Both sides of the river are lined with trees decorated with lights. Now imagine all the lights make up a giant computer screen that can display pictures or messages in 3D. And you control them…
- What happens if you’re lost in a strange city? Or looking at something you want to find out more about? In boring old reality, you’d need a map, or maybe a travel guide app for your phone. But in augmented reality, the answer could be right in front of you.
- How do you create a full-sized dinosaur without a hint of computer graphics?
- Social scientists have found that people don’t always help others, even if they realise someone’s in trouble. The only way to figure out why this happens, and what makes a difference whether bystanders help someone, is to study situations like it. But how? Scientists can’t just go around beating people up to see how others will react.
- How is it possible that a network with so many threats can also be used to securely communicate a credit card number, allowing you to buy everything from songs to holidays online?
More of our resources, including linked computing ‘story’ booklets can be found in our resources section. You may also want to look at cs4fn’s teacher resources or browse the latest cs4fn magazine.
It is suggested that:
- Primary teachers focus on the badge statements from the Pink to Purple row.
- Secondary teachers focus on the badge statements from the Purple to Black row.
- The white row overlaps with the KS4 qualification specifications.