- by Eric Fode
The teacher at Eastern Washington University that is now teaching the algorithms course is new to eastern and as a result the course has changed drastically mostly in the right direction. That being said I feel that the class could use a more specific, and industry oriented (since that is where most students will go, though suggestions for an academia oriented class are also welcome) direction, having only worked in industry for 2 years I would like the community's (a wider and much more collectively experienced and in the end plausibly more credible) opinion on the quality of this as a statement for the purpose an algorithms class, and if I am completely off target your suggestion for the purpose of a required Jr. level Algorithms class that is standalone (so no other classes focusing specifically on algorithms are required). The statement is as follows: The purpose of the algorithms class is to do three things: Primarily, to teach how to learn, do basic analysis, and implement a given algorithm found outside of the class. Secondly, to teach the student how to model a problem in their mind so that they can find a an existing algorithm or have a direction to start the development of a new algorithm. Third, to overview a variety of algorithms that exist and to deeply understand and analyze one algorithm in each of the basic algorithmic design strategies: Divide and Conquer, Reduce and Conquer, Transform and Conquer, Greedy, Brute Force, Iterative Improvement and Dynamic Programming. The Question in short is: do you agree with this statement of the purpose of an algorithms course, so that it would be useful in the real world, if not what would you suggest?