Apr 14, 2011

Folk Dance Your Algorithms! (Intercultural Computer Science Education, Sapientia University, Romania)

An interesting post by Nathan Yau, of Flowing Data, crossed my path today.  I anticipated something about interesting information visualizations, but to my surprise, I had a chance to view a couple of videos of.... folk dancers!    Nathan shared information about about Algo-rythmics, a project created by researchers from Sapientia University (Romania) that blends art, culture, and technology to enhance computer programming education: 

Before viewing the videos below, take a moment to read the abstract from a research paper written by some of the people behind the Algo-rythmics project:


"Over the last decades more and more research has analysed relatively new or rediscovered teaching–learning concepts like blended, hybrid, multi-sensory or technologically enhanced learning. This increased interest in these educational forms can be explained by new exciting discoveries in brain research and cognitive psychology, as well as by the accelerated integration of technology (computers, intranets, internet, etc.) in education. We have investigated how the educationally valuable outcomes of these trends could be implemented in computer-programming education and in what ways this process could be catalysed by arts (dance, music, rhythm, theatrical role-playing). We present a theoretical basis for technologically and artistically enhanced multi-sensory teaching–learning strategies. This work focuses particularly on how dance can be involved in computer science classes."
Sapientia University, Mathematics–Informatics Department, Tirgu Mures/Corunca, Soseaua Sighisoarei 1C, 540485, Romania
"In the case of each algorithm we chose such implementation version that fits best with the characteristics of the corresponding folk dance. After students have understood the key features of the algorithm the teacher should discuss with them the possibilities the algorithm can be optimized." AlgoRythmics  (Also see the Alog-rythmics Facebook page)

FYI: There will be additional algorithm concepts presented through folk dances in the near future on the AlgoRythmic's YouTube channel.  

Insert-sort with Romanian Folk Dance
Bubble Sort with Hungarian ("Csango") Folk Dance
Credits (as listed on the AlgoRythmics YouTube Channel)
Created at Sapientia University, Tirgu Mures (Marosvásárhely), Romania.
Directed by Kátai Zoltán and Tóth László. 
In cooperation with "Maros Művészegyüttes", Tirgu Mures (Marosvásárhely), Romania.
Choreographer: Füzesi Albert. 
Video: Lőrinc Lajos, Körmöcki Zoltán. 
Supported by "Szülőföld Alap" and evoline company.

Select-sort with Gypsy Folk Dance

Shell-sort with Hungarian (Szekely) Folk Dance

Nathan Yau, Flowing Data, 4/14/11
I Programmer, 2/10/11
Clyde Smith, All World Dance, 4/13/11

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