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Carruthers, Sarah; Stege, Ulrike; Masson, Michael E. J. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2018
The role that the mental, or internal, representation plays when people are solving hard computational problems has largely been overlooked to date, despite the reality that this internal representation drives problem solving. In this work we investigate how performance on versions of two hard computational problems differs based on what internal…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Goal Orientation, Computation, Difficulty Level
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Carruthers, Sarah; Stege, Ulrike – Journal of Problem Solving, 2013
This article is concerned with how computer science, and more exactly computational complexity theory, can inform cognitive science. In particular, we suggest factors to be taken into account when investigating how people deal with computational hardness. This discussion will address the two upper levels of Marr's Level Theory: the computational…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Computation, Difficulty Level, Computer Science
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Carruthers, Sarah; Masson, Michael E. J.; Stege, Ulrike – Journal of Problem Solving, 2012
Recent studies on a computationally hard visual optimization problem, the Traveling Salesperson Problem (TSP), indicate that humans are capable of finding close to optimal solutions in near-linear time. The current study is a preliminary step in investigating human performance on another hard problem, the Minimum Vertex Cover Problem, in which…
Descriptors: Performance, Problem Solving, Graphs, Mathematics
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Gunion, Katherine; Milford, Todd; Stege, Ulrike – Journal of Problem Solving, 2009
Recursion is a programming paradigm as well as a problem solving strategy thought to be very challenging to grasp for university students. This article outlines a pilot study, which expands the age range of students exposed to the concept of recursion in computer science through instruction in a series of interesting and engaging activities. In…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Programming, Programming Languages, Middle School Students
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van Rooij, Iris; Schactman, Alissa; Kadlec, Helena; Stege, Ulrike – Journal of Problem Solving, 2006
The Euclidean Traveling Salesperson Problem (E-TSP) is a useful task to study how humans optimize when faced with computational intractability. It has been found that humans are capable of finding high-quality solutions for E-TSP in a relatively short time and with seemingly little cognitive effort. This observation has led to two general…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Cognitive Processes, Children, Adults