Prolog as Description and Implementation Language in Computer Science Teaching

Henning Christiansen
Roskilde University, Computer Science Dept., Denmark

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Ingår i: Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Teaching Logic Programming: TeachLP 2004

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 12:4, s. 43-54

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Publicerad: 2004-10-04


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Prolog is a powerful pedagogical instrument for theoretical elements of computer science when used as combined description language and experimentation tool. A teaching methodology based on this principle has been developed and successfully applied in a context with a heterogeneous student population with uneven mathematical backgrounds. Definitional interpreters; compilers; and other models of computation are defined in a systematic way as Prolog programs; and as a result; formal descriptions become running prototypes that can be tested and modified by the students. These programs can be extended in straightforward ways into tools such as analyzers; tracers and debuggers. Experience shows a high learning curve; especially when the principles are complemented with a learning-by-doing approach having the students to develop such descriptions themselves from an informal introduction.


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