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Questions about Reading Assignment:
Name the two most important things/concepts which you learned from the reading the chapter “The Architecture of Complexity”

1. give a one paragraph explanation why you consider these concepts important

The two concepts I believe were the most interesting were the redundancy / hierarchy of systems allowing you to simplify their description and the difference between process and state descriptions. Process and state descriptions are important to learning because they give the “user” of the system a visual description (state description) of the system as well as instructions on how to use the system. Using both of these descriptions allows the user to visually see what is going on as well as give them hands on experience when following the instructions. Using the fact that many systems are redundant really simplifies how the system works. It allows users of the system to see it in different smaller modules which makes complex systems seem simpler and makes them easier to understand. I often do this when working on hard and complex problems. Breaking them down into smaller more simpler problems allows me to more effectively reach a solution.

2. are the concepts relevant to your work, to your interest, …. – if yes, why?

They are relevant to my profession because as I enter the job world as a computer scientist, I will be participating in the creation of complex systems. And so knowing how to effectively break down these systems into simpler ones and effectively use and create state / process descriptions will help me be more effective and productive.

Question: Can one cover the mutilated “8x8” matrix with 31 domino blocks?

1. try to find an answer to this problem! ‡ document briefly your thinking — including all the important intermediate steps and failing attempts (i.e., create a “think-aloud protocol”)

At first I simply assumed it was impossible because if 1 domino can fill 2 squares, and there are 8x8=64 squares, then 312=62 won’t cover all of them! But I figured this to be too easy and / or I misunderstood the problem so I trialed and errored for a while by visually placing dominoes in different combinations on the board but then realized that it would take a very long time to solve doing it this way. I don’t really know anybody in the class to collaborate with so I asked my roommate what he thought and then searched for an answer on google.

2. which resources did you use to solve the problem?

The internet and my peers.

3. which process did you use?

Trial and Error.

4. which practice (of you or others) did you use?

Practice? I used trial and error for a little while to try and solve the problem but then gave up. I don’t really know what is meant by practice.

5. could computers be useful to solve this problem?

Yes because they are MUCH faster than human beings and so a program could be made where the computer did trial and error until all possible trials were used either ending in a solution being found, or finding that no solution exists.

6. what have you learned solving the problem: in general and for our course?

I didn’t solve the problem

7. what have you learned not being able to solve the problem: in general and for our course?

I’ve learned that the trial and error method isn’t really useful unless you can learn from previous trials as stated by Simon in his essay. I’ve always known that collaboration is a great thing but it was demonstrated again today because if it weren’t for my roommate and google, I would have desperately sought to find an answer to the problem and it would have been very frustrating. But I had a hunch that there might not be a solution to the problem and my roommate and what I read from google agreed with me.

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