Computer-Based.Problem.Solving.Process

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Title: Computer-Based Problem Solving Process Author: Teodor Rus Length: 350 pages Edition: 1 Language: English Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company Publication Date: 2015-05-30 ISBN-10: 9814663735 ISBN-13: 9789814663731 The author looks at the issues of how computing are used and taught,
ay2,201314:6 BC: 8831- Probability and Statistical Theory T Computer-Based Problem Solving Process Teodor rus The Univers i ty of lowa, USA World scientific NEW JERSEY· LONDON· SINGAPORE·BE|J|NG· SHANGHA|· HONG K0NG·TA|E|· CHENNAI 95349789814663731 tp indd2 252/152:10pm Published by World Scientific Publishing Co. Ple. Ltd 5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224 USA office: 27 Warren Strect, Suite 401-402, Hackensack, NJ07601 UK office: 57 Sheltun StreeL, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9HE Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data RuS. TEt Computer-based problem solving process / Teodor Rus, The University of lowa, USA pages cm Includes bibliographical references IsBN 978-9814663731(hardcover: alk. paper 1. Computer-aided engineering. 2. Problem solving--Data processing. 3. Mathematics--Data ng. TitIc TA345R872015 006.333-dc23 2014047544 British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Librar Copyright C 2015 by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pie. Lid All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without written permission from the publisher: For photocopying of material in this volume, please pay a copying fee through the Copyright clearance Center, Inc, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. In this case permission to photocopy is not required from the publisher Printed in Singap Linda -Car based Problem Solving Process. indd 1 25/2/20159:29:12AM February24,201517:12 Com puter-Based Problem Solving Process- 9in x 6in b2031-fm page v To Elena. my wife. Daniela our daughter Isabella and Jacqueline, our granddaughters ay2,201314:6 BC: 8831- Probability and Statistical Theory T February24,201517:12 Computer-Based Problem Solving process-gin x 6in b2031-fm page vi Preface Computer-Based Problem solving Process is a, work intended to offer a sys tematic treatment to the theory and practice of designing, implementing and using software tools during problem solving process. This work is meant to crown my 22 years of experience in designing and implementing system software and 30 years of teaching a variety of courses in computer science curricula Teaching a course on "Introduction to System Software"in early 1980 I observed that there were no books providing a comprehensive treatment. of system software as a whole. People used books on assembly language pro- gramming or introductory books on operating system as text books for this course Based on my previous 20 years of experience with the design, imple- mentation, and use of system software tools during problem solving process, I ventured to fill out this gap ill conputer science curricula. So. helped by my daughter Daniela Rus, now a Professor of EECS MIT and Director of CSAIL, a Phd Student at Cornell Umiversity in 1980s, we started the devel- opment of a textbook for "Introduction to System Software"course under the title systen Soflware and Software Systerms: Concepts ard method- olog. Soon it bccamc obvious that this was not to bc an casy job. To make it feasible we split the system software tools into two categories tools helping pcoplc to devclop computcr programs and tools helping pco ole to execute programs on a given computer platform. Hence, the book became a two-volumc book, a volumc on programming support environ ment, and a volume on program execution environment. But the tools in the two environments are not independent of each other. To be executed pro- grams need to be first developed and programmers need to execute software tools in order to develop programs. So, how do we present them: program- ming first and then program execution or vice versa? In addition, software February24,201517:12 Computer-Based Problem Solving Process- 9in x 6in b2031-fm page vii Computer-Based Problem Solving Process tools presentation and learning requires a specific a.Igorit hmic langua.ge that handles computer concepts as well as other abstractions specific to the computer architecture and functiona lity during program development and program execution. Consequently, the plan for the book development has shown us that we need first a book on the algorithmic language we need to use to present the subject Flatter. Since "systelnwas used ill conputer sci- ence from its very beginning in conjunction with the computer architecture and computer functionality. the concept of a systeIll becane the basic brick in the development of the system software language to be used in our book And the sys tein software and software systeIns became a three-volulmle book Systems Methodology for Software(Volumc I), Eaccution Support Enviro ment( Volume II), and Programming Support Environment(Volume Ill While volume i and volume li havc bccn dcvclopcd and published by World scientific in 1990 for the completion of the entire projcct diminished. The books we published worc not rcccived by com puter community with the enthusiasm we expected. Moreover, during the last 15 years programming support environments of computer platforms evolved towards a collection of tools that support computer-based problem solving process which include programming, but are not limited to pro- gramming only. So, we were straggling with the development of volume III. While daniela moved into a totally different direction, my determi- nation to complete the project diminished and in 2007 I abandoned the project altogether. However, using Volume I to teach "Introduction to Sys- tem Software 'I realized three important things for computer professional education and computer science evolution: (1) System software is dedicated to computer experts. System software evolved as the theory and practice of the design anld iInple- mentation of program dcvclopmcnt and program exccution tools, from assemblers, loaders, compilers, operating systems, to domain dedicated software tools and APIs. Hencc, systcm softwarc, as developed so far is dedicated to the computer experts in particular, instead of being dcdicatcd to computcr uscrs in gencral (2) Complexity of software tools grows uncontrollably. Software complexity is due to the contradiction between the universal nature of problem domain and the specific nature of computer as a probler solving tool. This contradiction is resolved by making the computer a universal problem solving tool. This means that in order to be solved by a computer, irrespective of problem domain, the problem and its February24,201517:12 Computer-Based Problem Solving Process-9in x 6in b2031- fm pageⅸx Preface solution algorithm must be expressed in terms of the machine language which in fact embeds problem domain within computer Environment. That is, programming is provided as the "one-size-fits-all"solution to computer use as a problem solving tool. The increasing diversity of problem domains grows uncontrollably with computer applications and Lakes the complexity of the software tools suppor ting probleIn solving growing uncontrollably. Hence, complexity of software tools involved in probleIll solving process threatens the software technology itself (3)Computer education weakens with software complexity. The efforts to simplify computer-based probleIn solving process fail due to programming as the onc-sizc-fits-all solution. As an cxamplc consider the Web technology Though it expands ubiquitously computer uti- lization, it also requires computer uscr to learn computcr nctworks n addition to the language of system software, which complicates the methodology, rathcr then simplifying it This situation convinced me that. Volume III of the book Sy stem. Soft- ware and software Systems: Concepts and Methodology should not be ded icated to the programming support environment. Instead, I should roll back the history of computer software development identifying the cor nerstones of its evolution and the changes needed to redirect the software tools towards assisting the computer-based problem solving process, includ- ing program development and execution. Hence, the new book should be titled: Compuler -Based Problem solving Process. Systelll software is treated in this book as an illustration of tool development assisting the problems raised by computer use for conputer progralllIning and prograIn execution Therefore this book will give its readers opportunities to make contributions towards the developinent of a software technology that will free IoIl-expert computor users from the requirement to be computcr cxpcrts Distinguish- ing between people in charge of software development(computer experts and people in chargc of using computcr to solvc domain spccific problcms provides new solutions to the problems raised by the contradiction between universality of problem domain and specificity of the computcr as a prob lem solving tool. In particular, this provides viable solutions for controlling software complexity and enabling appropriate computer education. In these solutions computer education is split between computer programming and program execution, carried out in computer science as computational thinh- ng, and computer use, carried out as the computational emancipation of problem domain or thinhing computationally

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