An op-ed in the Washington Post from Monday discusses "senioritis" as a symptom of bad (read lecture-style) teaching. This is, as usual, discussed in the context of high school teaching. But it seems to me that this is something college teachers should think about as well - not because I believe it's our job to go to any length to get students to care and pay attention, but because I think interactive teaching makes the subject matter more obviously interesting, and we all deserve that (and barely anyone does it).
I'm teaching the 400-level Algorithms class at Maryland this summer. It's obvious to me how to do interesting somewhat interactive lectures on the standard algorithm subjects, it's less obvious to me how to make these lessons truly interactive non-lectures. The "math class approach" of problems and presentations is certainly one option. But I'd love to do lessons more in the true spirit of "interactiveness." Any suggestions?
(While I'm picking your collective brains, I'm also trying to decide on a good textbook that's an actually readable reference that I can also take some homework problems from. I'm currently planning on Algorithm Design by Kleinberg and Tardos. Is there another book I should be seriously considering?)
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