Some NA students, teachers, and alumni have been counting down to the holiday break by puzzling with a purpose--improving their programming ingenuity.
Steven Goldburg, who teaches math, physics, and computer science in the Upper School, discovered the “Advent of Code" problem solving competition. and shared it with the math department, as well as students, both current and former. According to the creator, Eric Wastl, it is "an Advent calendar of (25 days worth of) small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like. People use them as a speed contest, interview prep, company training, university coursework, practice problems, or to challenge each other."
The NA puzzlers have tacked the problems with a variety of programming languages: Mr. Goldburg uses Java; Afek Taragan, who teaches EDI in the Lower School, uses Python; and Tom Duquette, who teaches Upper School math, uses Excel. Several sudents, including junior Toria Kauffman, and NA alumni-- Taylor Harwin '04, Seth Zerishnek-Gower '17, Connor Yager '16 and his brother, Chase '18, and Patrick McElroy '19--have joined in this year.
Problems do not have to be solved the day they are released; they stay available, so if you have some time over the holidays, give them a try! If you want to participate on the NA leaderboard, send Mr. Goldburg an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy holidays and happy puzzling!