Anisa Curry Vietze
Taught by College second-year Rachel Choi and Double Degree second-year Drew Dansby.
How did you become passionate about Sudoku?
Rachel Choi: I have known the most basic rules ever since I was in elementary school. I remember learning the basic rules from my dad and solving some puzzles in the Highlights magazines. I began growing a passion for it in the past two years after downloading a Sudoku app that taught me more advanced strategies and buying one of those bulky Sudoku books at a bookstore.
Drew Dansby: My grandma introduced me to it, and we did a lot of Sudoku puzzles together. Then I started buying my own puzzle books and eventually learning advanced techniques.
What does a class look like? How did you have to reimagine this class for COVID-19?
RC: We do in-person classes on Tuesdays and classes over Zoom on Thursdays.
For the in-person classes, we socially-distance in a classroom in King and present a PowerPoint presentation on a screen. We review the answers for the homework, do an icebreaker, learn the new strategy of the day, practice identifying examples of the new strategies, and then we solve a puzzle from start to finish together. Students say answers out loud by saying, for example, “Row 6 Column 4 is 9”, and we explain our thought processes behind each cell.
For the classes over Zoom, we follow the same routine but use the annotate option to solve puzzles from start to finish. Our class is very collaboration-based, which can be difficult during a pandemic, but we have been able to make it work. The annotation feature on Zoom has especially been helpful.
How have meetings gone so far? What have been your challenges and successes?
RC: Our class meetings have been going well. The energy in the room, especially when we are solving a puzzle together, is definitely there. It has been a challenge to come up with new ideas for classes so that they don’t become too repetitive because COVID-19 has placed limitations on what we can or can’t do. Since this is the first time SudoCo is being taught, and it’s our first time teaching a class, we’re hoping to figure out what works and what doesn’t through trial and error.
Teach us something!