Problem with recursion? (was [plt-scheme] Re: Novice needs helpwriting function )

From: Marco Morazan (morazanm at
Date: Fri Jan 4 12:07:18 EST 2008

On Jan 4, 2008 12:00 PM, Grant Rettke <grettke at> wrote:
> On Jan 4, 2008 10:56 AM, Marco Morazan <morazanm at> wrote:
> > The naive definition above is elegant, not contrived, and something
> > inexperienced students can understand.
> Is it true that once students get the "what" of recursion, they will
> immediately understand the "how"?

Immediately? No IMHO. It takes time to digest and lots of practice. At
the beginning, following the structure of the data provides a context
for understanding. Once experience leads to an understanding of
structural recursion, students have a base to move onto tail- and
generative-recursion. For example, you really need to have some
understanding about recursion to understand quicksort.



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