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I'm looking at helping a friend learn programming (I'm NOT asking about the ideal first language to learn programming in). She's had a predominantly mathematical background (majoring in Maths for both her undergrads and graduate degree), and has had some rudimentary exposure to programming before (in the form of Matlab simulations/matrix operations in C etc) - but has never been required to design/execute complex projects.

She is primarily interested in learning C/C++ - so, with respect to her background, what would be a set of suitable problems that would both engage her interest ?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

http://projecteuler.net/ Cotains Math Problems

http://poj.org/ an active online judge with ACM problem sets. problems mostly requires better than average knowledge in math and algorithms

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With her background Project Euler is perfect. –  user1249 Jun 25 '11 at 6:46

Since she had a degree in Math solve some mathematical problems.

  • Implement class Matrix that reprezents a matrix of numbers with all operations(methods, operators)
  • write an app that calculates integral using Monthe-Carlo method

A bit more complicated

  • Use Simulated annealing/ genetic algorithm to optimize given function.
  • Runge–Kutta methods

Or ask her what kind of Matlab calculacion she was doing or is useful to her.

Also check the http://projecteuler.net/

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