Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing Machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
SDMC's Turing group is for students developing an advanced level of experience and skill in computer programming. Turing is not a competition-training group per se; however, the overall plan and development of the group is conceived with an understanding that students in this ability range will commonly have an interest in the prevailing CS competition at this level, the United States of America Computer Science Olympiad (USACO).
Turing class experience will include instruction on a series of Computer Science topics blended with project-oriented practical experience. There will typically be a blend of lecture and direction by an instructor and practical facilitation by teaching aides. Students should bring their own laptop devices (fully charged).
Turing admits students of grade levels 8 - 12. We note that this includes the 8th grade level, which overlaps with the definition of the feeder CS group, Ada; this is not an error. We recognize that some 8th graders will benefit from further development (Ada) while others may feel confident in attempting next-level challenges. We recommend that rising 8th graders consult with the CS leader about which group choice is most fitting.
Participation in Turing is not limited to SDMC's "core" math students - SDMC recognizes that Computer Science is a distinct discipline and that many students may have Computer Science as a primary interest rather than mathematics per se. Thus, students may "register" for SDMC's Computer Science independently of our core math program. To do so at this time, we ask applicants to "sign up" using a simple email process as follows:
Please copy/paste the following template into an email message and enter the expected information:
Student Sign-up Event: Turing
SDMC ID Code: (if not an SDMC member, leave blank.)
Send your signup message to firstname.lastname@example.org
The teaching model for the Turing group leans heavily on a team of student mentors who provide a mix of group instruction and one-on-one interaction with students working on projects. The lead instructor/mentor since September 2017 has been Michael Chen, a current 12th grade student at Canyon Crest Academy.
Michael learned programming in Python in middle school, and founded the Programming and Problem Solving Club at Canyon Crest Academy. As the CCA programming team captain, Michael has led his team to win 4th place at the 2017 American Computer Science League All Star competition, 13th place at the 2017 Virginia Tech Programming competition, and 1st place at the 2018 Stanford ProCo Programming competition. He also got regional first place in the 2017 American Computer Science League, and is in the Platinum division in the USA Computing Olympiad (USACO).
In the summer 2018, Michael was a computer science instructor at Alpha Star Academy, where he taught the USACO Silver class. He also teaches CS STEM program at Casa de Amistad, a nonprofit that serves students from underserved communities. He has been the lead instructor for the Turing group at San Diego Math Circle since September 2017.