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Integrating elements of data science into high-school teaching: Naïve Bayes-classification algorithm and programming in Python
Published November 4, 2020
307-316

Probability theory and mathematical statistics are traditionally one of the most difficult chapters of mathematics to teach. One of the authors, Péter Princz has experience in teaching various topics via computer programming of the problem at hand as a class activity. The proposed method is to involve programming as a didactic tool in hard-to-...teach topics. The intended goal in this case is to implement a naïve Bayes-classifier algorithm in Python and demonstrate the machine-learning capabilities of it by applying it to a real-world dataset of edible or poisonous mushrooms. The students would implement the algorithm in a playful and interactive way. The proposed incremental development process aligns well with the spirit of Tamás Varga who considered computers as modern tools of experimental problem solving as early as in the 1960s.

Subject Classification: 97D40, 97D50, 97K50, 97K99, 97M60, 97P40, 97P50, 97U50

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Better understanding mathematics by algorithmic thinking and computer programming
Published November 4, 2020
295-305

Tamás Varga’s mathematics education experiment covered not just mathematics, but also other related topics. In many of his works he clearly stated that computer science can support the understanding of mathematics as much as mathematics supports informatics. On the other hand, not much later than the introduction of the new curriculum in 197...8, personal computers started to spread, making it possible to teach informatics in classes and in extracurricular activities. Varga’s guided discovery approach has a didactic value for other age groups as well, not only in primary school. Its long-lasting effect can be observed even in present times. Having reviewed several educational results in the spirit of Tamás Varga, we have decided to present an extracurricular course. It is an open study group for age 12-18. Students solve problems by developing Python programs and, according to our experiences, this results in a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.

Subject Classification: 97B10, 97B20, 97D50, 97N80, 97P20, 97P30, 97P40, 97P50, 97U70

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