Educational Magic Tricks Based on Error-Detection Schemes

January 2017


Ronald I. Greenberg

Loyola University Chicago

Magic tricks based on computer science concepts help grab student attention and can motivate them to delve more deeply. Error detection ideas long used by computer scientists provide a rich basis for working magic; probably the most well known trick of this type is one included in the CS Unplugged activities. This paper shows that much more powerful variations of the trick can be performed, some in an unplugged environment and some with computer assistance. Some of the tricks also show off additional concepts in computer science and discrete mathematics.

Suggested Citation

Ronald I. Greenberg. Educational magic tricks based on error-detection schemes. In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, pages 170–175. ACM SIGCSE, July 2017. Bologna, Italy.