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This is about the following question:

If you could rename dynamic programming...

It seems to me that this is a bad subjective question since it doesn't satisfy any of the 6 items of the guideline and therefore should be closed as too subjective.

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    $\begingroup$ I also think that it might also make sense to close the question as not a real question (as long as OP does not have good reason for why he is asking it). $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Mar 25 '11 at 0:02
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I think the historical perspective, and the answer provided by JɛffE, are enough justification to keep it around. It hasn't become messy or controversial, and we can always shut it down if it does.

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Thanks for the comments, which will help me to pose better questions in the future.
I had asked this question on the day's feedback form for the undergraduates in my Analysis of Algorithms class at the end of the lecture on dynamic programming and didn't find their answers illuminated the technique. (Well, maybe the one who answered "Tough Programming" did illuminate it from his perspective.)

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While the original phrasing is clearly aiming for subjective answers, Suresh gave a completely objective answer. Therefore I think questions like that -- rather phrased "What is a better name for X?" -- can be accepted, as have been other questions regarding teaching.

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  • $\begingroup$ It might be reasonable to keep the question open if the OP explains the problem he has in teaching more explicitly in the post and asks for names that others might have used in teaching to solve the problem. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Mar 25 '11 at 0:34
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While I think it is hasty of you to suggest that the question meets 0 out of the 6 criterea for a "great subjective question" (for example I think it satisfies #3 and may satisfy #4), I am left agreeing with you that the question (while interesting and provocative), as it stands is a subjective question and also fails to meet the theoretical nature of this stack-exchange. I believe it should be closed if the moderators plan to strictly adhere to the guidelines and specifications which were already set up.

The question may be saved if it instead asked for the historical happenstance by which the methodology became known as "dynamic programming" in the context of teaching advice, and what other labels and descriptions it might be given to assist students in understanding it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have read the guideline a number of times before, generally asking pure "what is your opinion on X?" questions fail to meet them (as far as I understand), but I checked it again before closing the question. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Mar 24 '11 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh: I think the question has a "constructive, fair, and impartial tone." I do not expect the question to erupt into a flamewar, for example. It may also "invite sharing experiences over opinions" - someone may have some great experience/insight which inspires them to share a great way to express the fundamental behavior of dynamic programming. There may be others. But I do not want to argue about which of the six points this question fulfills. I think it is clear it does not meet the majority of them, and I also think that it is clear that the question doesn't meet OTHER standards of TCSE. $\endgroup$ Mar 25 '11 at 1:15
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    $\begingroup$ Asking for historical overview for the term "dynamic-programming" is nice. This is a reasonable question here, one can expect nice answers appear, and may be of great interest to many young people (like me!) knowing nothing to the original story. $\endgroup$ Mar 25 '11 at 1:18

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