# What part of computer science is this ?

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These questions are examples of what we're currently taking in uni, I'm confused as to what we're doing and what this topic is called ?

The teacher said we were writing simple algorithms, what for ?

What's an algorithm ? Is this for the computer, an app, a program ? In real life who does this ? And if I want to solve problems like those in the picture, what can I look for on the internet ? What do I look up ?

p.s, our teacher calls the topic : Problem solving

Last edited by Leah.J; 1 year ago

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(Original post by

These questions are examples of what we're currently taking in uni, I'm confused as to what we're doing and what this topic is called ?

The teacher said we were writing simple algorithms, what for ?

What's an algorithm ? Is this for the computer, an app, a program ? In real life who does this ? And if I want to solve problems like those in the picture, what can I look for on the internet ? What do I look up ?

**Leah.J**)These questions are examples of what we're currently taking in uni, I'm confused as to what we're doing and what this topic is called ?

The teacher said we were writing simple algorithms, what for ?

What's an algorithm ? Is this for the computer, an app, a program ? In real life who does this ? And if I want to solve problems like those in the picture, what can I look for on the internet ? What do I look up ?

The last two are boolean logic operations. Using comparisons of statement to produce a true or false outcomes.

Also an algorithm is just a set of instructions.

Maybe googling boolean logic, logic gates and arithmetic operators for programming would help you.

In real life, we do use these concepts just not in this format. In order to solve problems sometimes we are required to manipulate number or react depend if someone is happening or not.

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These questions are examples of what we're currently taking in uni, I'm confused as to what we're doing and what this topic is called ?

The teacher said we were writing simple algorithms, what for ?

What's an algorithm ? Is this for the computer, an app, a program ? In real life who does this ? And if I want to solve problems like those in the picture, what can I look for on the internet ? What do I look up ?

p.s, our teacher calls the topic : Problem solving

**Leah.J**)These questions are examples of what we're currently taking in uni, I'm confused as to what we're doing and what this topic is called ?

The teacher said we were writing simple algorithms, what for ?

What's an algorithm ? Is this for the computer, an app, a program ? In real life who does this ? And if I want to solve problems like those in the picture, what can I look for on the internet ? What do I look up ?

p.s, our teacher calls the topic : Problem solving

They are all mathematical and logical statements. It's asking you to evaluate an outcome by using the rules for execution of mathematical statements learned in GCSE. i.e. in the precedence order: brackets, division, multiplication, addition, subtraction etc. There are also conditional statements to be evaluated In the same way.

In other words, the rules governing mathematical precedence and logical expression becomes the algorithm to be followed to arrive at the correct evaluation.

Yes, after determining the rules, the algorithm (sequence of instructions) is followed. The algorithm can be converted to a computer programme written in whatever programming language one chooses.

Last edited by uberteknik; 1 year ago

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The topic is called Computational Thinking (in layman's terms it means "

There's a really good video from Harvard University with a slightly more general introduction. This might help give you a bit more of the background and context of how/why computers need to work in this way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aza...mlC7sxNDH&t=0s

*how to think like a computer scientist*" or "*how to think like a programmer*"). The examples you've got there are just a small part of that, but it's worth typing that term into Google to look for some examples of how computational thinking helps with analysing and solving problems in ways that computers are able to understand.There's a really good video from Harvard University with a slightly more general introduction. This might help give you a bit more of the background and context of how/why computers need to work in this way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aza...mlC7sxNDH&t=0s

Last edited by winterscoming; 1 year ago

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(Original post by

It's exactly as your lecturer said, 'problem solving'.

They are all mathematical and logical statements. It's asking you to evaluate an outcome by using the rules for execution of mathematical statements learned in GCSE. i.e. in the precedence order: brackets, division, multiplication, addition, subtraction etc. There are also conditional statements to be evaluated In the same way.

In other words, the rules governing mathematical precedence and logical expression becomes the algorithm to be followed to arrive at the correct evaluation.

Yes, after determining the rules, the algorithm (sequence of instructions) is followed. The algorithm can be converted to a computer programme written in whatever programming language one chooses.

**uberteknik**)It's exactly as your lecturer said, 'problem solving'.

They are all mathematical and logical statements. It's asking you to evaluate an outcome by using the rules for execution of mathematical statements learned in GCSE. i.e. in the precedence order: brackets, division, multiplication, addition, subtraction etc. There are also conditional statements to be evaluated In the same way.

In other words, the rules governing mathematical precedence and logical expression becomes the algorithm to be followed to arrive at the correct evaluation.

Yes, after determining the rules, the algorithm (sequence of instructions) is followed. The algorithm can be converted to a computer programme written in whatever programming language one chooses.

When we say problem, do we literally mean problem ? Any problem ?

And why do we have to write an algorithm, why can't we just tell the computer what to do through a programming language ?

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So we write an algorithm that would help us solve a specific problem and then this algorithm is converted to programming language so that the computer understands our language ? Or does a computer understand algorithms ? What or who converts algorithms ?

When we say problem, do we literally mean problem ? Any problem ?

And why do we have to write an algorithm, why can't we just tell the computer what to do through a programming language ?

**Leah.J**)So we write an algorithm that would help us solve a specific problem and then this algorithm is converted to programming language so that the computer understands our language ? Or does a computer understand algorithms ? What or who converts algorithms ?

When we say problem, do we literally mean problem ? Any problem ?

And why do we have to write an algorithm, why can't we just tell the computer what to do through a programming language ?

The computer cannot understand the algorithm. Humans must first break a problem down into a sequence of instructions (and hence solve the problem generically) which other humans can understand. i.e. an algorithm is constructed - it could be in plain English, or a mathematical expression with logical statements, or a flow chart, or a route map to get from a) to b), or a recipe in a cookbook, or the pictorial instructions to assemble flat pack furniture etc. etc.

The algorithm is then converted by humans into a set of instructions written in the programming language the computer can execute.

NB the computer cannot understand the algorithm. The computer is a slave to the instructions written in the programming language it is designed to work with. It can only follow exactly the instructions written for it - nothing more, nothing less. If there are errors in the instruction, the computer executes these blindly - which is why computers sometimes crash and stop working!

A simple algorithm example might be:

a) choose a cup and put a teabag into it;

b) fill a kettle with water;

c) boil the water;

d) fill the cup with freshly boiled water;

e) remove the teabag and dispose;

f) add milk and sugar to taste;

f) stir with a spoon;

g) enjoy.

The is a very simplistic algorithm which could be improved using conditional statements and rearranging to make best use of concurrent actions to minimise the time taken to make the cup. e.g:

a) choose a cup

b) fill a kettle with enough water to fill the cup

c) test: is there enough water in the kettle?

d) if too much, then pour away some water and return to instruction c)

e) if too little, then fill more water and return to instruction c)

f) if enough water then continue to instruction g)

g) boil the water in the kettle

h) while the water is boiling choose a cup

i) while the water is boiling choose a teabag

j) place the chosen tea bag into the cup

k) test: is the water boiling?

l) if no, then return to instruction g)

f) if yes fill the cup with boiled water

etc. etc.

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(Original post by

So we write an algorithm that would help us solve a specific problem and then this algorithm is converted to programming language so that the computer understands our language ? Or does a computer understand algorithms ? What or who converts algorithms ?

**Leah.J**)So we write an algorithm that would help us solve a specific problem and then this algorithm is converted to programming language so that the computer understands our language ? Or does a computer understand algorithms ? What or who converts algorithms ?

Writing it out in Plain English first is a way for a human to understand those steps before writing it in a computer language.

(Original post by

When we say problem, do we literally mean problem ? Any problem ?

**Leah.J**)When we say problem, do we literally mean problem ? Any problem ?

(Original post by

And why do we have to write an algorithm, why can't we just tell the computer what to do through a programming language ?

**Leah.J**)And why do we have to write an algorithm, why can't we just tell the computer what to do through a programming language ?

But the reason for putting things into something more closely resembling natural/human language is that computer programs are written by humans -- as a programmer it is not possible to write the code for an algorithm without first having an understanding of that algorithm and being able to work through it by yourself (or on paper).

Furthermore, people make mistakes, so one advantage of working out an algorithm on-paper first is that you will be working it out "by hand" with some sample test data, and calculating the result for yourself. When you've written the code for it, you can then use the same sample test data and verify that the program you've written produces the same result (it should do because it should be the same algorithm, but humans are error-prone and might have done something wrong in the program's source code, so doing things 'by hand' first is really helpful for catching mistakes)/

Last edited by winterscoming; 1 year ago

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