Case Study 3 (Algorithms)


The recent material we’ve covered in class has underscored the power of algorithms. We have seen how frequently they impact our daily lives, as well as their extensive consequences.

This case study puts you in the shoes of a programmer and a user of an algorithm. We have crafted two scenarios for you to experience these dual perspectives:

  1. Davidson’s Housing Lottery
  2. Davidson’s WebTree Lottery

Your job will be to create new algorithms for these services and then imagine you are a student, who is heavily relying on the outcome of these lotteries. May the odds be ever in your favor…

  1. Introduce case study and assign roles (5 min)
  2. Click on the scenario above that corresponds to your group. Read the scenario and then discuss how you would use the following information to create your algorithm. (15 min)
  3. Read the next scenario that places you in the position of student. We will show you his/her information. Based on the weights you’ve decided earlier as the programmer, calculate the student’s lottery number. What happened? (10 min)
  4. Debrief as class (10 min)
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