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Architecture Abstraction As An Aid To Computer Technology Education

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.111.1 - 5.111.12



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S P Maj

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D Veal

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

Architecture abstraction as an aid to Computer Technology Education

S P Maj, D Veal Department of Computer Science Edith Cowan University Perth, Western Australia Abstract

Reports such as the 1991 ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Curriculum Task Force set benchmarks for award accreditation and provide the foundations of computer science curriculum worldwide. The report identifies recognizes the ‘need for diversity and well-intentioned experimentation in computing curricula’. Computer Science is a relatively new discipline and given the rapid advances in technology is subject to on going debate, development and fragmentation. It is typically the requirement of many disciplines, such as Multi-media, Software Engineering, E-commerce etc to incorporate computer technology as part of their curriculum. However, a detailed market analysis within Australia clearly indicated that both students and employers perceive the standard computer technology curriculum as increasingly irrelevant.

Work to date clearly indicates that this standard approach provides technical detail and complexity that is inappropriate for introductory courses on computer and network technology. As part of an international study the same investigation is currently being conducted with several European universities. The results to date parallel those obtained from the WA study. Accordingly a new curriculum was designed to address this problem. This new curriculum is based on a modeling a PC as an interconnection of nodes. Evaluation of the curriculum indicates that this abstraction can be used as a new educational framework allowing technical detail to be introduced and controlled thereby ensuring that it is meaningful and therefore readily understandable to students not only from computer science but also other disciplines. Work to date indicates that this new model is not only technically valid but also supports increasing levels of technical complexity and hence articulates to the standard computer technology curriculum. Furthermore the abstractions used in this model are independent of technical detail and can therefore accommodate rapid changes in technology.

1. Introduction

Reports such as the 1991 ACM/IEEE-CS Computing Curricula 1 provide the foundations of computer science curriculum world wide and set benchmarks for accreditation by professional bodies. Within Western Australia an exploratory market audit was conducted of a wide range of industrial and commercial companies. This was complemented by a further detailed analysis of the IT department of a statewide rail company. From this survey a set of guidelines were developed for the type of skills expected of computer science graduates

Maj, S. P., & Veal, D. (2000, June), Architecture Abstraction As An Aid To Computer Technology Education Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8168

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