Practice makes perfect, yes I can prove it

CS 473: Head-banging

Each student must register for one of five head-banging ("discussion") sessions, held every Tuesday 4:00-4:50, Tuesday 5:00-5:50, Wednesday 2:00-2:50, Wednesday 3:00-3:50, and Wednesday 5:00-5:50, all in 1214 Siebel Center. Attendance is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory.

Head-banging sessions are opportunities for you to develop your problem-solving and presentation skills. After an initial presentation by one of the course staff, you will work in small groups (no more than 5-6 students each) to solve problems we suggest, with feedback and suggestions from the course staff and each other. If necessary, we may also briefly review material from the lectures, but we will not present any new course material. We will post each week's head-banging problems on Thursday, after everyone has had a chance to work on them from scratch.

We will not provide detailed solutions to the head-banging problems. The solutions aren't the point; the point is for you to practice solving problems.

We strongly encourage you to continue working on head-banging problems after the head-banging sessions. We will happily answer questions, provide hints, and give feedback on proposed solutions. In particular, we strongly encourage discussion on Piazza after the last Wednesday section; students who post correct solutions or insightful hints will get some extra credit. We may even sketch high-level solutions in office hours and/or on Piazza after a week or so, if there is enough demand (although this will negate the extra-credit offer), but these won't have the same level of detail as our homework or exam solutions.

Please attend only the head-banging session for which you are officially registered. Unfortunately, because of this semester's record enrollment (again), you may only change sections is by swapping with another student; students who would like to swap should contact one of the TAs. Similarly, if you are not actually registered, you please do not attend any of the sections; we just don't have room. Come to office hours instead.


When you are solving a problem, don't worry.
Now, after you have solved the problem, then that's the time to worry.
— Richard Feynman (reportedly written on his blackboard at the time of his death in 1988)
Student: Whenever there is any question, one's mind is confused. What is the matter?
Master: Kill, kill!
— 曹山本寂 / Ts‘ao-shan Pen-Chi / Sozan Honjaku (c. 900)