This in from the Norwich Guidon:
The dining hall may serve the same food each semester, the same professors may teach year after year, and some traditions are forever, but there is one change for Norwich students to look forward to next fall: Brand-new classes.
Instead of assigning a textbook, Professor Jeremy Hansen, an assistant professor of computer science, is asking his students to choose one of their favorite games and purchase that for class.
Hansen is offering a new course titled Gaming and Algorithms.
“Although the class is a 400 level course, the material is not that advanced,” Hansen said, “It’s more for non-computer science and non-computer security folks to be introduced to the things people really shy away from in computer science like algorithms, probability and gaming theory.”
This elective course is explained nearly entirely through games, according to Hansen. “Most people know how to play chess or checkers, but we are going to find out the purpose and strategies of the games,” Hansen said.
Meeting once a week, Hansen plans to divide the three hours into sections.
“(The students) will not be simply sitting at the computer and playing Bejeweled for an hour and a half, but the students will document things like rules and analyzing the state of the game,” Hansen said.
The course itself does not get into computer programming but, “if there are students with any programming backgrounds in the class, I may have them build the stuff because they have the resources,” Hansen said.
“It really boils down to games and problem solving,” Hansen said, but outside of the problem solving, he plans to look in the role of theme in a game.