FUNDAMENTALS OF PROGRAMMING A
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The main aim of the course is to provide students with the fundamental techniques of imperative programming. The course also aims at providing students with the ability to apply analytical techniques to solve simple practical problems and to translate these solutions into executable programs. Finally, the course develops analytical and abstraction skills and it aims at improving the ability related to the decomposition of problems into sub-problems.
Taking Dublin Indicators into account:
Knowledge and understanding:
During the course, the main ideas related to imperative programming are introduced. Particular emphasis is dedicated to the comprehension of algorithmic techniques on which imperative languages rely. Most of the suggested literature is in italian, even though proper english words and english slides are used during classes, in order to help students in reading also international scientific papers and books. During the course, students are encouraged to learn fundamentals of programming. Students also acquire adequate knowledge of computers architecture and information representation. Moreover, students are able to comprehend applications of mathematics to computer science.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
Acquired theoretical knowledge is applied to solve specific problems, which are typically related to mathematics. During the course, some exercise sessions are dedicated to the solutions of problems. Many solving methods are applied to mathematical and numerical problems and they are presented from an algorithmic point of view. Students are able to use computational instruments as a support to mathematical processes and as a way to acquire new information.
Exercises proposed during classes can be solved individually or in groups and they often can be solved in different ways. Students can compare their approach to the solutions proposed by other students and to the solutions shown during classes. Such comparisons enhance the development of specific skills which are useful to better understand the considered problems.
Discussions during classes and exercise sessions allow students to improve their communications skills. Such discussions concern specific algorithmic techniques to solve the proposed problems and they focus on advantages and disadvantages of the proposed approaches. Students learn to work individually and in groups.
The study of algorithmic techniques and their application to heterogeneous problems help students to improve in-depth comprehension of the topics. Acquired knowledge can be adapted to solve problems which may be different from those specifically seen during classes. Students acquire computational techniques useful to work in groups and autonomously.
Basic notions on functions, set theory, and logics.
Course contents summary
The first part of the course presents concepts relating to the hardware and software architecture of computers and the representation of information, with a main focus on the representation of integers and real numbers. Next, the fundamentals of programming were introduced. In particular, the notions of variable, data type, algorithm, expression, functions. recursive functions will be treated. Focusing on programming in C language and hints of Python.
1) Representation of the information
- Definition of an alphabet, string, language (examples)
- Definition of information
- Binary encodings and their properties
- Representation of numbers in computers
2) Hardware and software architecture
- Problems and solutions
- Definition of process, program, algorithm
- Abstract machines and machine hierarchy (hints)
- Computer architecture (CPU; memories and memory hierarchy)
3) Introduction to high-level languages and their description: problem solving.
4) Programming in C language
- Development of algorithms
5) The Python language
P. J Deitel, H.M Deitel. Il linguaggio C- Fondamenti e Tecniche di Programmazione, Pearson.
-S. Das, Computers Fundamentals and C Programming, McGraw-Hill India, 2018
-D. Mandrioli, S. Ceri, L. Sbattella, P. Cremonesi, G. Cugola. Informatica arte e mestiere, McGraw-Hill, 2014.
-A. Bellini. Linguaggio C, guida alla programmazione con elementi in Python. Sesta edizione.McGraw-Hill.
- Exercises available on elly.smfi.unipr.it platform
The majority of the course consists in frontal lessons.
Assessment methods and criteria
The final exam consists in a written test and a programming test. The final grade depends on both tests.