teaching pointers with excel?
Does anyone know of any tools for teaching pointers based on excel (or any other spreadsheet?). I've taught a lot of people to use spreadsheets over the years, and everyone readily understands the difference between a cell address and the value stored in it, and again that the value may actually be the result of a formula in the cell. You can even use the INDIRECT function for an extra layer of, er, indirection. If anyone does use excel for this purpose I'd appreciate some pointers (ha ha) rather than re-invent the wheel.
I think this is a fabolous idea. Being a teacher, I was faced with explaining pointers several times and I'd consider using your approach the next time I'll have to explain pointers.
Ignore my ignorance
that's a good idea ... esp. the Offset() function which is as close to pointer arithmatic as you can get!
I agree that it's a good idea for teaching general principles of pointers, but I've found that cons-pair diagrams work best for explaining data structures that use pointers (linked lists, binary trees, etc).
Yes, but one of the benefits of using excel is that including diagrams as part of the learning model is incredibly easy!
I've only ever taught pointers using the analogy of a card catalog - that it's easier to sort the cards than the books, and each cards points to a specific book on a specific shelf.
LP= Long Pointer ?
So you explain a card catalog - it's not that big a deal (tho sad that they're gone). Just the idea that you have a bookshelf full of books, so you write a number on the book and on the card, then put the books' titles on the cards.
The only slight problem with the book analogy is that each book doesn't occupy a certain "slot" on the bookshelf. What's nice about the Excel analogy is that the concept of a cell is very close to the concept of a location in memory.
"The only slight problem with the book analogy is that each book doesn't occupy a certain "slot" on the bookshelf"
I prefer the "windows shortcut" analogy for explaining pointers. While it's not 100% accurate, it's accurate enough for most people.
one meeeellion dollars!
Philo said: "Now demonstrate this with Excel:
I usually avoid spelling corrections, but something as insidious and subliminal as 'fabolous' must be corrected.
'Fabolous' is a rapper who spells out his name in his raps
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