Computer Science Education

Mr. FoRK fork_list@hotmail.com
Mon, 27 Jan 2003 18:51:33 -0800


> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "johnhall" <johnhall@isomedia.com>

> 1. Is anyone doing old fashioned Data Flow diagrams anymore?  The program
director assures me lots of people do.
> I've never worked for any, though.
I haven't seen any in over 12 years. But I'm starting a new job so maybe
they use them there.

> 3. I've wound up using a Problem / Group Brainstorm / Professor Critique
method for trying to teach design.
> This why each kid gets a shot, gets to see what the rest of the class came
up with, and then gets my ideas.
> Anyone have a better suggestion?
> I have trouble coming up with Design problems that are simple enough to do
but not trivial.
> The ability of the students to screw up trivial problems can not be
over-estimated.
I always ask interviewees to design software for playing the game of
Scrabble.

> 4. Not a single one of the kids really knew what a list was or could
implement even a simple list routine.
> The people who taught the earlier courses admit they never covered it.  I
was shocked.
> Am I expecting too much from students who have had 2 semesters of
programming?
Hmm. I sure hope not.

> 7. Do 'normal' undergraduates have enormous problems going from generic
descriptions to concrete practice?
I think so yes. The ability to go from generic to concrete is a skill that
needs to be taught and practiced.

> 9. If you were designing a CIS program, would you be teaching Structured
Analysis
> instead of Data Structures, Operating Systems, or Software Engineering?
No. I'd leave Operating Systems as an optional 'advanced' course though.