**The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)**

So You Think You Know BASIC? (Questions about BASIC programming language)

[image] Sports Special Look for math exercises in various sports that your students follow so avidly. Here are some examples of things to be computed in different sports: Baseball Batting averages Basketball Points per minute Hockey Penalty minutes per period Football Pass completion percentages Another interesting exercise is to make a prediction model. It is easiest to do with the win-lose record for each team. For example, about halfway through the football season, the win-lose record for four teams might look like this: 5 Dallas Cowboys 4 3 Pittsburgh Steelers WON 2 San Francisco 49ers 1 Boston Patriots 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 LOST Using this graph, a team that is higher and to the left has a greater chance of beating one lower and right. The further apart the teams, the greater point spread would be expected, i.e., the 49ers might be expected to beat the Patriots by one touchdown, whereas Dallas might be expected to tromp Boston by three touchdowns. Make a big chart for the class that can be updated daily or weekly and predict all the games each week. How accurate is this prediction model? Try other variables instead of win-lose record, such as third down conversions or total yardage gained. Some students might wish to write a computer program for the prediction model. In such a program, several variables can be averaged together or even given different "weights" to make an even better model. A word of warning: No model, no matter how many variables are considered, is perfect. Indeed, if the outcome of sporting events could be perfectly forecasted, there would be no more "sport". Here is the output from one such program: EXPECTED EXPECTED TEAM1 SCORE TEAM2 SCORE BOSTON 19 BUFFALO 17 NY JETS 21 CLEVELAND 14 NY GIANTS 10 MIAMI 28 OAKLAND 21 DENVER 18 etc. 194 So You Think You Know BASIC? List the seventeen fundamental statements in the BASIC language 1 7 13 2 8 14 3 9 15 4 10 16 5 11 17 6 12 A. lf there were a decree that said you had to use fewer statements, draw a line through the 5 statements you could easily do without. Are there 5 others that you could get along without? B. Circle the four that really do the most for you and which you would hold on to until the very end. Look back over your list and your decisions and consider: C. After getting rid of all 10 statements asked for in A., is there anything you really cannot do? If there is. you ought to think about changing some of your decisions. D. Which statements are necessary, and which just make programming easier? What value do you place on these latter statements? E. Consider other items in life similarly. What possessions do you enjoy (make a list of 12)? Which ones could you give up if you had to? How important to you are things that are nice but not necessary? [image] Insert the numbers from 1 through 8 in the eight boxes, one digit to a box, in such a manner that there are no consecutive numbers next to each other, horizontally, vertically or diagonally. John R. Cossen Bellerose, N.Y.