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The Boston Globe


Helping students crack computer science code

Rob MacDonald scrawled an equation on a whiteboard, graphed it, then asked the students in his advanced calculus class to write a formula to calculate slope at any point on the curve.

It was just the third day of school, and the seniors at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill furiously went to work, with most punching numbers into calculators and scribbling in notebooks. But one student, Lucas Cassels, turned to his laptop and a programming language called Python, which he has used to write a basic software application that can complete the assignment for him. All he had to do was input MacDonald’s equation, pick a point, and the app spit out the slope.

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