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eBeckett: Using The Work Of Samuel Beckett To Teach Fundamental Computing Concepts. Damian Gordon. Motivation. Learning to program can initially be very difficult Two barriers to learning this skill are;

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ebeckett using the work of samuel beckett to teach fundamental computing concepts

eBeckett: Using The Work Of Samuel Beckett To Teach Fundamental Computing Concepts

Damian Gordon

motivation
Motivation
  • Learning to program can initially be very difficult
  • Two barriers to learning this skill are;
    • the abstract nature of programming, concepts such as variables, data types, arrays, etc. have no real world counterparts, and
  • programming requires an exactness of specification that contrasts strongly with the flexible nature of the English language.
slide4
So…
  • To understand how to program, you need to know how a computer computes…
slide5
So…
  • To understand how to program, you need to know how a computer computes…
  • von Neumann Architecture: This means that they execute programs by accessing both instructions and data on the same storage device, which makes the computer a very flexible device.
slide6
So…
  • To understand how to program, you need to know how a computer computes…
  • von Neumann Architecture: This means that they execute programs by accessing both instructions and data on the same storage device, which makes the computer a very flexible device.
  • The computer performs the following sequence of steps;
  • Fetch the next instruction from memory at the address in the program counter
  • Decode the instruction using the control unit
  • Increment the program counter
  • The control unit commands the rest of the computer to execute the instruction
  • Go to step 1
slide7
So…
  • To understand how to program, you need to know how a computer computes…
  • von Neumann Architecture: This means that they execute programs by accessing both instructions and data on the same storage device, which makes the computer a very flexible device.
  • The computer performs the following sequence of steps;
  • Fetch the next instruction from memory at the address in the program counter
  • Decode the instruction using the control unit
  • Increment the program counter
  • The control unit commands the rest of the computer to execute the instruction
  • Go to step 1
  • Fetch-Decode-Execute (FDE) cycle.
slide8
But…
  • How do we explain all this to the students?
cartesian theatre2
Cartesian Theatre

of the Absurd

slide13

Beckett's most perfect piece

of writing for the theatre

Krapp’s Last Tape

slide15

Krapp’s Last Tape:An Extended Analogy

  • Little Man Computer Krapp
  • the LMC room Krapp's Den
  • the stored information Krapp's Tapes
  • The analogy of the LMC paradigm becomes the extended analogy of "Krapp's Last Tape" which will hopefully be more dramatic and memorable for the students.
slide16

Krapp’s Last Tape:An Extended Analogy

  • Student’s required to undertakes exercises
  • based on KLT and …
some feedback
Some Feedback
  • "Good practice for understanding specifications“
  • "It was a bit of a laugh and brought the class together“
  • "It made me think outside the box"
idea s encountered
Idea’s Encountered
  • Stored Program
  • Indirection (pointers)
  • Analysis of complex requirements
  • Serle’s Chinese

Room Problem