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Semi-weekly reflection time again!  You have from now until the end of Saturday to put your reflection on the codex and claim your loot.

Cornell university has a problem meeting the demand for computer science classes.  And they’re not the only university.  It’s a problem across the US, UK, and many other countries.  The Cornell Daily Sun posted a well written article about the issue and how Cornell is dealing with it. A lovely quote from Nikita Gupta, interviewed for the article, is:

“The one thing that really excites me about computer science is that I can go into any industry and know that a software engineering role will be needed,” Gupta said. “I can go into fashion, I can go into food, I can go into social service, I can go for the consumable hardware products.”

We’ve remodeled the Map case over on the right.  If you’re in Esab, you won’t notice this difference, yet.  But those of you in the Village of Cigol should now see an additional map over there.  If you don’t see it, please check in with Loremaster Rellim about it.

None of you are quite there, yet, but when you leave the “N00b” label behind and become N00bLords or higher, you’ll have a new privilege: set your own custom Avatar image.  As soon as you achieve N00bLord, you’re eligible to purchase this access in the Exchange.  It may take the Loremasters up to a day to notice the purchase, then your access should be enabled.  You’ll have a new section near the bottom of your profile settings in which you can upload your preferred avatar image.  Enjoy!

Canadian Computing Competition

For those of you who are working on Python (or many of the other written programming languages), there is a competition in February sponsored by the University of Waterloo, the Canadian Computing Competition.  They’ve posted past competition papers online for you to study and practice with.

This is one of the many national competitions that lead up to a Computing Olympiad, culminating in the International Computing Olympiad, the highest competition for pre-college computer science students in the world.

If you’re interested in taking on a somewhat bigger challenge than the ones listed here at Gnimmargorp, this may be right up your alley.  It also leads directly into the sort of algorithmic thinking you’ll use if you pursue a computer science major at university.  If you have questions while you work on it, let Loremaster Rellim know.

Bebras challenge coming up!

The Bebras challenge is a set of computer science questions that test your abilities at computational thinking.  These are the core skills of computer science, no matter which language you use.

The Bebras challenge doesn’t use language programming; instead it asks you to solve problems using the same types of skills you’d use when programming: abstraction, iteration, recursion, decomposition, algorithm formation, and so on.

The challenge will officially open in November, but you can practice your skills now with some early challenges.  We’ll have official logins later, to save your 2016 Challenge work.  This is for practice, to hone your skills.

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