Programming Concepts (G6007)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

In this module, you are introduced to algorithmic problem solving. Your studies in this module will answer the following questions:

  • what is a problem specification, an algorithm, a computation?
  • what are their properties?
  • how does one develop an algorithm?
  • how can one rigorously argue that an algorithm computes correct solutions to a given problem?
  • how can one measure the efficiency of an algorithm and the complexity of a problem?

As part of the module, you use a simple algorithmic language (pseudo code) for the sake of writing algorithms - the focus of this module is on algorithmic thinking, not coding.

In the module, you specify and develop searching, sorting and other simple (and intuitive) algorithms. You apply and explore principles like divide-and-conquer and recursive programming.

You also look at two important properties of algorithms - 'correctness' and 'complexity'.

Algorithms should only compute correct solutions of a problem. To establish correctness, you are introduced to some relevant (propositional and predicate) logic, in an informal style (focusing on logical reasoning principles rather than logical calculi).

Finally, you discuss asymptotic complexity classes and explore the concept of time complexity of an algorithm.

As part of this module, you undertake exercise classes and coursework, based on a series of examples.

The algorithms you develop in this module should be implemented in Java concurrently or at a later stage in the further programming module.

Teaching

100%: Lecture

Assessment

100%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 33 hours of contact time and 117 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.