Teaching Formal Methods in Computer Science Undergraduates.

A.Sotiriadou, and P. Kefalas

Abstract: Formal Methods refer to a variety of mathematical modeling techniques, which are used both to model the behaviour of a computer system and to verify that the system satisfy design, safety and functional properties. The incorporation of a Formal Methods course in the undergraduate Computer Science curriculum is strongly suggested by scientific societies such as ACM, IEEE and BCS. In this paper, we record out experience of teaching the 2nd year Computer Science students Formal Specification, using Z notation as a paradigm. We present a methodology for teaching formal specification as well as criteria for setting and assessing students work. We argue that students, through a rigorous mathematical approach to system specification, acquire knowledge, skills and abilities that are useful in all courses of the curriculum as well as in their professional lives as Computer Scientists.

Keywords: Computer Science Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Formal Methods, Formal Specification

Appeared in: Procedings of the International Conference on Applied and Theoretical Mathematics, Vravrona, Greece, Dec.1-3, (also appeared in Recent Advances in Applied and Theoretical Mathematics, Nikos Mastorakis (ed.)  WSES, pp.91-95),  2000

Available: Hardcopy on request from the authors.

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