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For anyone that is doing CS at Columbia University or considering CU, if you like these types of coding challenges, definitely look into Professor Ross's Programming and Problem Solving class. It was one of the best CS classes I took at Columbia.

Here is his website: http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~kar/teaching.html

Each semester consists of 4 different open ended programming problems like these. You work as a team to compete against other members of the class. There's no tests and each class is run as an open seminar where people talk about their strategy and implementation and consider the best approach to solving these problems.

This was my favorite from my year: http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~kar/4444f02/node18.html

I wish lecture notes and videos were available for this course...

You might want to check out Peter Norvig's CS212 on Udacity. From what I've seen over the past 6 weeks it's an excellent course problem solving and `good taste` in programming.

Yes, that is already on my list, after I complete the compilers class from Coursera. Although the bad side of these kind of courses is that not all of the domains are interesting to everyone, e.g. I almost fell in sleep when Norvig talked about Poker rules :)

I thought I was the only one who found the Poker part boring.

It always blows my mind how many CS academics have these god-awful mid-90s era webpages.

It's worse than that. This webpage presents the information in a clear, readable text format with no unnecessary clutter. Why, it's such an old design that it's similar to what Gutenberg was cranking out on his printing press and to what you can buy today on your Kindle. Imagine that!

They're probably too busy doing Computer Science to bother keeping with the late trends in web design.

I absolutely love it. I think it shows you have reached a certain level of academic distinction when you can get away with a css free homepage, preferably hosted unix style at http://dept.yourinstitution.edu/~yourinitials

It's like when people get to a certain level of wealth they stop sending status signals.

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