A-level Computing/AQA/Problem Solving, Programming, Data Representation and Practical Exercise/Problem Solving

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From the Specification : Introduction to Principles of Computation

Focus on studying the processes of computation and understanding why and where they are important in Computing. (See the Teacher Resource Bank for examples.)

From the Specification : Stages of Problem Solving
  1. Understand the problem
  2. Define the problem
    • given(s), goal, ownership, resources and constraints
    • Given(s) = the initial situation
    • Goal = Desired target situation
    • Ownership = who does what
    • Resources and constraints = tools, knowledge, skills, materials and rules, regulations, guidelines, boundaries, timings
  3. Define boundaries
  4. Plan solution.
  5. Check solution
From the Specification : Top-down Design / Step-wise Refinement

Consider sub-problems and the use of modules.

From the Specification : Decision tables

Determine logical conditions and consequential actions

Finite state machines with outputs - Mealy machine Finite state machines without outputs - Finite State Automation

  • state transition diagrams - Draw and interpret simple state transition diagrams, transition tables.
  • state transition tables
From the Specification : Algorithm Design

Understand the term algorithm.

Express the solution to a simple problem as an algorithm using flowcharts, pseudo-code or structured English and the standard constructs:

  • sequence
  • assignment
  • selection
  • repetition

Hand trace simple algorithms. Convert a simple algorithm from

  • structured English into pseudo-code,
  • pseudo-code into high level program code.

Understand the standard algorithms: Bubble Sort, Linear Search