Using tangram shapes and graph paper will show how important it is to make each instruction as clear and unambiguous as possible.
Exploring how many ways paper can be folded into a rectangle shows how some methods can be more efficient than others.
A series of instructions on how to accomplish a task
Having more than one meaning
Having the best outcome for the least amount of work
To work at an answer
To fold a paper in half the wide way
To fold a paper in half the long way
Not only can a computer “misunderstand” what you mean for it to do, but you can tell a computer to do the same thing several different ways.
Computers "understand" things differently than we do. Partly, this is because computers can't "guess" what we want based on our tone of voice or our body language. If you tell your friend "Aperture is a hard word. Can you spell that?"" It is very likely that your friend will try to spell "aperture." If your friend is a computer, however, it would probably spell the word "that." If you give an ambiguous instruction, a computer will evaluate it the way it has been told to, whether it is what you meant or not.
Tangrams are a Chinese geometric puzzle consisting of a square cut into seven pieces that can be arranged to make various other shapes. This won’t require the use of every single piece each time, and we will lay the shapes out on graph paper.