Due: March 20th, 11:59p AOE
It is our happy job to announce that this quarter we are going to host the Stanford CS109 Probability
for Computer Scientist Challenge. This challenge is going to be completely optional (and in the genuine sense
of the word optional – not in some mischievous “this is extra credit but if you don’t do it, your grade will
suffer” sort of way). Our intention is to give you space to have fun with the material, to be inspired and to be
inspiring. It also serves as a way for you to demonstrate what you have learned in a creative context.
For the challenge, create a probability driven project of your choosing that highlights concepts from the class
and does something interesting. Each of you is eligible to submit one entry for the challenge, where an entry
consists of a screen capture and a short write-up of the probability theory behind your work. The challenge
entries will be due March 20th at 11:59pm Anywhere on Earth. We will release the results on the following Monday. Though as we will explain, you win just by playing.
This challenge is genuinely optional. We appreciate that many of you are busy – and our intention
is not to create any more obligatory work. When we say optional we really mean it. We will only apply bonuses
for the challenge after we have calculated final grades for the class. Thus, if you don’t participate you are going
to get the exact same final grade in CS109 as you would have received had there been no challenge. We don’t
recommend that you work on your challenge entry if it means you won’t have time to study for the class.
The entries will be evaluated by the CS 109 staff (see official rules below), on the following dimensions:
An entry does not have to be strong on all evaluation dimensions. For example a submission that is an
expression of a truly creative idea would be well received, even if it does not use the hardest concepts from
CS109 and doesn’t have much social benefit.
We will reward serious challenge entries with runner up prizes, based
on the amount of effort that was included, and the extent to which the work demonstrates understanding of
the CS109 material. In addition we are going to give one grand prize. If you win a grand prize we will replace all of your quiz scores with 100%s.
Your submission will have two parts, a demonstration video and a short writeup (the minimum needed to
explain what is cool and probabilistic about your submission).
The demonstration video should just be a screen capture that shows your program running. The idea behind
this submission format is to allow you to use any programming language without having to worry about your
program running on our machines. The writeup does not have to be formatted in any way. It is another
medium for you to explain to us why your submission is interesting. You should include a probabilistic
explanation of your program.
Use the two submission parts in anyway you like. If your idea is best expressed via a writeup, you can submit
a short and sweet video. If your entry is best expressed via a video, you can keep your writeup minimal.
Don't forget to have fun.