RES.TLL-004 | Fall 2013 | Undergraduate

STEM Concept Videos

Problem Solving

Basic Programming Techniques


In this video, Niaja Farve, doctoral student of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, explains repetitive programming techniques, a very fundamental and essential programming skill. First, using a light-hearted example of eating cereal, Niaja explains how to break problems into simpler yet similar pieces. She then explains how to combine solutions of these simpler pieces to recursively or iteratively solve the whole problem. Next, students are presented with a classic string manipulation problem to apply their new skills. Finally, students are given a more complex programming task: solving the Towers of Hanoi problem.

Learning Objectives

After watching this video students will be able to:

  • Divide a programming problem into simpler, analogous pieces.
  • Solve the problem by combining solutions to simpler pieces.

Funding provided by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Developed by the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) at MIT for SUTD

MIT © 2012

It is highly recommended that the video is paused when prompted so that students are able to attempt the activities on their own and then check their solutions against the video.

During the video, students will:

  • Consider the idea of repetition in a simplified, non-programming example: eating cereal.
  • Learn the basic code framework of recursive and iterative techniques.
  • Formulate recursive and iterative solutions to a string manipulation example.
  • Devise and check a recursive solution to the famous Towers of Hanoi problem.