ACM SIGCSE 2014 Special Session:
Engaging Mathematical Reasoning Exercises

Time: Thursday, March 6, 1:45P to 3:00P
Place: Regency V

Goals for the Session

SIGCSE attendees interested in math thinking have routinely wished for a place where engaging math reasoning examples and assignments that help connect mathematics and software development can be shared and discussed. Providing such a forum is the purpose of this session. The exercises and assignments will help faculty find ways to incorporate mathematical reasoning in CS1, CS2, data structures and algorithms, discrete math, and software engineering courses.

SIGCSE 2014 Presentations

Presentations from SIGCSE 2013


There is near universal agreement in the community that computing students should learn analytical reasoning principles and understand the connections between mathematics and software construction. In the process they realize the importance of the mathematics they learn for software development. Educators need compelling examples and assignments to make such connections, and often they are difficult to come up with, because the background of students at different institutions vary widely. This session aims to provide a forum at SIGCSE where educators can share joys of teaching mathematical reasoning principles throughout the computing curriculum.

The proposed special session will borrow much from the organization of the highly successful, annual "Nifty Assignments" session at SIGCSE. Unlike that session which focuses on programming assignments, the focus of the present session will be on exercises that are engaging essentially because of the mathematical reasoning involved. Also, unlike that session, this session will feature innovative classroom exercises and activities that help highlight the connections between mathematics and software development, not necessarily just major, take-home projects. Ideally, the exercises can be done within one or two class periods and will have corresponding reasoning projects that can be assigned offline to reinforce the concepts considered.

Submission Information

An ideal submission will be a page or less and will include the items listed below. However this is just a guideline. Please feel free to adapt the outline to your specific needs.
  • Title and Authors
  • Objectives
  • Why Is It Engaging
  • The Exercise
  • Reasoning Topics Covered
  • Audience
  • Discussion (Difficulty, Strengths, Weaknesses, Dependencies, Variants)
  • Links\Attachments

Submission Due Date:December 6, 2013
Notification Date:December 16, 2013
Submissions and Questions: Joe Hollingsworth ( or Murali Sitaraman (

Session Organization

  • Introduction and motivation for the special session (~ 5 mins.)
  • Presentation of 4-5 featured engaging exercises (~ 55 mins.)
  • Discussion and plans for future sessions (~ 15 mins.)

Session Organizers

  • Joe Hollingsworth - Indiana University Southeast
  • Murali Sitaraman - Clemson University