TITLE: Following Through: A Contest Rewarding Epic Failure AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: September 27, 2011 8:08 PM DESC: ----- BODY: As promised back in May, I am offering a prize for the best failed idea of the semester in the my programming languages course. We are now about halfway through the second unit of the course, on recursive programming techniques. Students finally have tools powerful enough to solve interesting problems, but also tools powerful enough to go spectacularly astray. I want to encourage students to trust their ideas enough to fail, but that's how they will learn to trust their ideas enough to succeed. Rather than fear those inevitable failures, we will have fun with them. Feel free to check out describing the contest and how to participate. As always, I welcome feedback from my readers. In particular, I am still looking for a catchy, evocative, culturally relevant, funny name for the prize. If this were the late 1980s or early 1990s, I might name it for the film Ishtar, and everyone would know what I meant. For now, I have opted for a more recent high-profile film flop -- a spectacular loser on the balance sheet -- but it doesn't have the same pop for me. I'm not as hip as I used to be and can use some help. -----