NIM: A Game-Playing Program
This note illustrates some ideas about how to initiate beginning students into the art of planning and writing a program complex enough to be considered a project rather than an exercise on using the language or simple programming ideas. The project is to write a program to play a simple game ("one-pile NIM" or "21") as invincibly as possible. We developed the project for a class of seventh grader children we taught in 1968-69 at the Muzzey Junior High School in Lexington, Massachusetts. This was the longest programming project these children had encountered, and our intention was to give them a model of how to go about working under these conditions.