Student Projects

Independent-learning super-curriculum projects: reading, research and ideas shared by Perse students

Collatz Sequence using Assembly Language on Little Man Computer

Joshua S, Y10

The Collatz Sequence starts with any positive number and either halves it if it is even or triples it and adds one if it is odd, continuing until it reaches 1 after which it stops. The unproven theory says that for all positive integers this sequence should eventually reach one.

When I first looked at the collatz sequence problem for purposes of assembly language, the first thing I did was decompose the required algorithm into its component parts; an even/odd checker, a part that would triple a number and add 1, a part that would halve a number and a part that would stop the algorithm once one was reached. I then realised that it was nowhere near as hard as it seemed – each of the four main elements were fairly simple, the hardest being the division. Mr Gwilt demonstrated the method to achieve the odd/even checker in class. The triple and add one was easy – simply add the number to itself twice and add one, although this exact code isn’t demonstrated in my code below, as I also integrated the stop code into the odd function*. The division, however, required a more complicated algorithm, and two variables. It worked by loading the value of x and storing it as y​, then looping code that would load y, subtract one, and store the new value. It would then undergo a check in which y was doubled and then x​ subtracted – if y was half of x​, the program would divert to another label called output, which would output x​ and return to loop​, else it would continue looping until it got there.

* by subtracting one from the accumulator (which I had just loaded with the current value of x, the variable used to hold the current term) then using the BRZ command, I could check if x was currently 1, then divert to the stop code if it was. Since I had subtracted one, I had to add two to get the triple-add-one effect, and store a new x.

You can try out Little Man Computer (by Peter Higginson) online here:

NumberBlocks : designing a numbers puzzle game

Jem B, Y9

I decided to make a puzzle in the Japanese style (simple rules, no language requirements) and I came up with the below. I then wrote a program to solve these puzzles and also generate new ones.

The rules

The grid given has numbers and some boundaries between them. The goal is to add more boundaries to enclose blocks of numbers, such that each block contains the numbers from 1 to the size of the block: e.g. a size-1 block contains the number 1, a size-2 block contains the numbers 1 and 2, etc. Blocks may be of any size or shape.

Example puzzle         The solution







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Tic Tac Toe in Python

Liam K, Y7

I came up with this idea because I was trying to think of a game that would work in a text based environment. It took around 2 hours to complete with it first being without functions but that didn’t work because it would need to use certain code over and over again making it too long and tricky. The AI itself for the one player game took around an hour to complete because of its algorithms that make it work, most of them were simple, but there were a lot. I think that the AI is impossible to beat, but see if you can beat it!

Play here:



By Sung P – Y9

Tanks played a major role in the First World War. When we think of tanks, we this of huge machines that can blow things up and also a transport which is well armoured.

The word ‘tank’ literally means ‘land vessel’. Winston Churchill donated/gave a huge amount of money for the funding of tanks. But the first use of tanks wasn’t until The Battle of the Somme. They were mainly successful but there were pros and cons.

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How has Sherlock Holmes Been Portrayed Through the Ages and How Does it Compare to the Books?

By Charlie S – Y8

Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed many times in different media, from actors Basil Rathbone and Peter Cushing in the early twentieth century to the more recent Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr, each one a slight variation on the original books, with spin-offs such as Young Sherlock (books [1] and film [2]), Mr Holmes (film [3]) and the Baker Street Irregulars (graphic novels [2011]). I thought it would be interesting to compare some of the many versions of him to see which is the most fitting to the original books by Arthur Conan Doyle.

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To what extent is Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler a feminist play?

By Georgia G – U6

 Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler is often labelled a feminist play, but this has not been universally accepted. This essay explores arguments for and against the assumption that the play is feminist; one can argue that it is since its protagonist is undoubtedly oppressed by society’s patriarchal conventions, contemporary audiences identified with her for this reason, and there are reasons to suggest that we can all sympathise with Hedda. Arguments to the contrary are that Hedda is in fact entirely unsympathetic so cannot positively advocate feminism, that Ibsen’s intentions point away from feminism, or that her suffering is the result of her own weak character, not society’s gender inequality. I will conclude that Hedda Gabler is an implicitly feminist play since it asserts that women are primarily human beings, and equal to men in the sense that they are allowed universality, and are not restricted to the feminine. To complete my research, I used a range of critical articles from 1891 (the year the play premiered) to today, as well as extracts from books on Ibsen and his plays. Conscious that a play is about more than the written word, my research includes references to Hedda Gabler productions and the views of actors and directors, again from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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Investigating images of bioluminescence from the Protein Data Bank and use these to design and create a garment through laser cutting

By Rachel G – U6

The Protein Data Bank Europe issued a challenge to students to create a piece of artwork that incorporates science (via their collection of protein molecule images) with art. I was intrigued by this idea of crossing the boundaries of art into science and vice versa, and was excited by the opportunity to have access to PDBe’s specialist software to design some interesting images for use in my project, and subsequently chose to attempt my own interpretation of this challenge. One idea for inspiration they presented me with was bioluminescent proteins; an area of biology which I knew little about, and after some research into the science behind bioluminescence and its uses, I found it an interesting topic to research.

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Fordlandia: Why Henry Ford’s Utopian City in the Jungle failed

By Daniel R – Y9

This essay aims to explore why the now mostly derelict city of Fordlandia in Brazil was established by the American industrialist Henry Ford in the late 1920s. Ford aimed to overturn the British monopoly of rubber production, but no Ford car ever used rubber from his ill-fated plantation. This essay looks at the failure of this project whose name is associated with a man of unprecedented industrial success.

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