DeNero Discussion 0: Getting Started

Congratulations, you found the Discussion 0 worksheet!

To find your discussion room, check your email. Unless you opted for the mega section, you should have received an email with your discussion group number, location, and time. All small-group discussion sections meet in person. There are two groups at a time in each discussion room, so when you arrive, find your group.

What everyone will need:

  • A way to view this worksheet (on your phone is fine)
  • A way to take notes (paper or a device)

What the group will need:

  • Someone taking notes on a device who is willing to share their screen of notes with a TA. They should open Discord. (It's fine if multiple people do this, but not everyone has to.)

Any time you want to talk to a member of the course staff over Discord, just send a message in your channel's text chat to @discuss, and one of us will join your voice channel to help out.

Part 0: Get started [5 minutes]

Please start on Berkeley time, 10 minutes after the scheduled start time (12:40, 2:10, or 3:40).

To start, whoever sees their watch/device clock reach Berkeley time first should say, "Shall we start?" Everyone else: "We shall!"

Second, pick who will share their screen when talking to a TA. Anyone using a laptop or tablet who has already joined the course Discord can do it.

  • When you open Discord, join the voice channel for your discussion group and post a message (such as 6️⃣🍵🕑🇨🇦) in the chat to let the staff know you made it this far.
  • Keep Discord open. Someone from the course staff might visit your channel during the discussion. It's up to you whether to share your screen the whole time or just as needed.

Part 1: Meet your group and learn their names [10 minutes]

Order yourselves by birthday: January 1 at the start and December 31 at the end. Then, on your turn, say your name and where you're from, then say the same information for each person who had a turn already, starting from the most recent turn. For example, the intros might go:

  • Eva: I'm Eva from Minneapolis
  • Lem: I'm Lem from San Diego, and [turning to Eva] you're Eva from Minneapolis
  • Alyssa: I'm Alyssa from Sacramento, [turning to Lem] you're Lem from San Diego, and [turning to Eva] you're Eva from Minneapolis.

If you forget someone's name or where they're from, that's fine; everybody is here to learn. When it's someone's turn, give them time to try themselves, but if they need help, offer it.

Tip: Now is a great time to write down the names of the people in your group so that you can look them up later.

Part 2: Learn about each other [30 minutes]

Here's a game called partitions. Each round, you will split your group into two halves with equal numbers of people (or differing by 1 if there are an odd number of people). The goal is for both groups to find a rare fact that all of their members have in common, that no one in the other group also has in common. For example, Group A may find that they are all left-handed, while Group B may find that they all collect Pokémon cards. For each round follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Split into two equal halves (or differing by 1).
  • Step 2: The two groups separate for 5 minutes to talk and find some rare fact about them that they all share.
  • Step 3: After 5 minutes, regroup and have each group give their shared fact. If no one in the opposing group has that fact in common as well, then everyone in your group scores a point. (So in the above example, if Group A’s fact is that they’re all left-handed, and no one in Group B is left-handed, everyone in Group A scores a point.)

Play for 3 rounds using 3 different ways of splitting your group into halves. Since you will be part of a different half-group each round, keep a personal tally of your points. Whoever scores the most points wins. (But you don't win anything — this is just for fun.)

Important: The facts you choose cannot be determined by sight (such as height or hair color). They also cannot be based on preferences (such as favorite TV show). Some ideas:

  • Places you've been: Paris, Disneyland, In-N-Out
  • Things you've tried: zip-lining, meditation, fishing
  • Stuff you can do: ski, crochet, juggle, recite digits of pi

When you're done, it's time for the final challenge! Find a fact that's true about all of you but you don't think is true of your TA. When you're ready, send a message to @discuss in your group's Discord text channel that says, "Fact time!" Wait for a TA to join, share your fact, and see if it's true of them too. Any facts related to age or education are off limits for the final challenge.

Part 3: Solve a problem together [20 minutes]

Imagine you can call only the following three functions:

  • f(x): Subtracts one from an integer x
  • g(x): Doubles an integer x
  • h(x, y): Concatenates the digits of two different positive integers x and y. For example, h(789, 12) evaluates to 78912 and h(12, 789) evaluates to 12789.

Definition: A small expression is a call expression that contains only f, g, h, the number 5, and parentheses. All of these can be repeated. For example, h(g(5), f(f(5))) is a small expression that evaluates to 103.

What's the shortest small expression you can find that evaluates to 2023?

Just for fun, post your group's solution in the text chat of your group's channel.

Discuss: How might you use a computer to find the shortest possible small expression that evaluates to 2023?

Part 4: Document the occasion [2 minutes]

Take a group selfie and add it to the text chat of your group's Discord channel. Then, please all fill out the attendance form (one submission per person per week).

Part 5: (Optional) Compare your answers with the other group in your room

If there's another group in your room and they finish at about the same time, share your answer to Part 3. Did you come up with the same way of reaching 2023?

(You can also spend some time getting to know them. You'll be sharing a room all semester.)

You're done! It's ok if you finish early.