Improving mathematically oriented programming skills in computer science studies

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We describe an instructional approach to enhance mathematical orientation in programming skills among beginning Computer Science students. We were motivated by the belief that adequate mathematical education is a crucial component in a programmer's training, since mathematical skills are an indispensable component of proficient programmers' knowledge. We use elementary mathematics to anchor the new CS knowledge and skills, by engaging the students in solving authentic mathematically oriented problems, whose solutions require mathematical inquiry, as well as mathematically oriented programming skills. Solving problems of this type continuously throughout CS studies enables the students to grasp the CS professional work, and in particular the role of mathematics in the work of proficient programmers. We describe three examples of problems, for which we analyze the advantage of using mathematics and recommend on pedagogical activity accordingly. We also exemplify and analyze the implementation of our approach in class.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number29
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Instructional approach
  • Mathematically oriented programming skills
  • Problem solving
  • Professional point of view


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