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Using simulation in an objectsearly approach to CS1 and CS2 Owen Astrachan

Summary: Using simulation in an objects­early approach to CS1 and CS2
Owen Astrachan
Duke University
Claire Bono
University of Southern California
(listed alphabetically)
Our philosophy is that CS1/CS2 students learn best as apprentices, by studying the work of more
experienced program designers and writers and by extending and modifying programs provided by these
experienced programmers. Object­oriented programming supports this philosophy well and permits
our students to explore a realm of programs not possible using a more traditional ``structured'' ap­
proach. Our approach emphasizes using objects before creating them, reading and modifying programs
before designing them. Although our philosophy transcends a particular object­oriented language, we
have chosen C++ for our courses; our approach facilitates its use by novices. In this paper we discuss
our approach, and suggest simulation as a rich area for case studies, labs, and assignments when em­
ploying this objects early approach. We provide details of two simulations we have used in our courses:
a simulation of the card game war and a queueing simulation.
1 Introduction


Source: Astrachan, Owen - Department of Computer Science, Duke University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences