Principles and applications of algorithmic problem solving

Ferreira, Joao Fernando Peixoto (2011) Principles and applications of algorithmic problem solving. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Algorithmic problem solving provides a radically new way of approaching and solving problems in general by using the advances that have been made in the basic principles of correct-by-construction algorithm design. The aim of this thesis is to provide educational material that shows how these advances can be used to support the teaching of mathematics and computing.

We rewrite material on elementary number theory and we show how the focus on the algorithmic content of the theory allows the systematisation of existing proofs and, more importantly, the construction of new knowledge in a practical and elegant way. For example, based on Euclid’s algorithm, we derive a new and efficient algorithm to enumerate the positive rational numbers in two different ways, and we develop a new and constructive proof of the two-squares theorem.

Because the teaching of any subject can only be effective if the teacher has access to abundant and sufficiently varied educational material, we also include a catalogue of teaching scenarios. Teaching scenarios are fully worked out solutions to algorithmic problems together with detailed guidelines on the principles captured by the problem, how the problem is tackled, and how it is solved. Most of the scenarios have a recreational flavour and are designed to promote self-discovery by the students.

Based on the material developed, we are convinced that goal-oriented, calculational algorithmic skills can be used to enrich and reinvigorate the teaching of mathematics and computing.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Backhouse, R.C.
Barbosa, L.S.
Keywords: algorithmic problem solving, algorithms, calculational method, algorithm construction, algorithm derivation, computer science education, mathematics, mathematics education, elementary number theory, teaching scenarios
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 11707
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 09:04
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 08:57

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