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Towers Of Hanoi
Tower Of Hanoi

This KLA is transcribed from the SIGCSE 2004 Special Session on KLAs.

Overview To KLA

Authors: Joanne Houlahan, Michael Sisk, Linda Lahti, and Leland Beck

Summary: To understand and appreciate the necessity and beauty of recursion

Learning Goals: to be added

Course And Level: The KLA is appropriate for CS1-late.

Class Size: This KLA is appropriate for any class size larger than 10.

Preparation Time: No preparation time is required.

Execution Time: This exercise should take between 5-15 minutes.

Planning For KLA

Materials: The only objects needed are the students.

Preparation: Minimal preparation is necessary. They must simply know the story of the towers.

Execution Of KLA

Description: Select 4 or 5 student "disks" to come to the front of the room. Denote the left, right and middle slots. Get the student's names, and arrange them in order by their height (shortest at the front of the line on the right and the tallest at the back of the line on the left). Explain that no "up staging" is ever allowed, and only 1 student can move at a time. The goal is to line them all up on the right with the least number of moves (optional; have extra student count the number of moves). Have the seated students tell our "disks" where to move. Point out recursive cases as they happen (ie, if there are 5 total, and 3 get moved, point out they solved the 3 problem). Applause when done.

Variants And Extra Topics: below

Building Up: Begin with 3 students first, then go to 5 or 6.
Code: Show real code version.

Constraints On KLA

Would your KLA work if your students had the following constraints:
Limited Vision: (including color-blindness)
Limited Hearing: one, few and many
Limited Mobility: one, few and many
Trouble Speaking: one, few and many
Touch Aversion: (including cultural) one, few and many

Pitfalls Of KLA

Need varying heights and sufficient space in front of room.

Feedback And Use Notes

Feedback: add your feedback here!

From the SIGCSE 2004 KLA Special Session
"Good idea as long as the heights differ enough to be seen."
"Some students are self-conscious about their height."
"Four to five students disks could take a long time. Three sounds more reasonable."
"I'd do this using "manipulative" of Fisher Price infant toy of stacked rings."
"Could student heights cause an issue?"

Use Notes: add your use notes here!

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