NKS Experimental Design and Implementation for Students
The goal of the research I will present in my talk is to help high school or beginning college students who may have little programming experience do NKS experiments. This research stems out of my previous work as a high school science teacher and my current work as a researcher in programming languages and programming pedagogy. Specifically I am interested in extending my work with the TeachScheme project, which tries to foster introductory programming education through curricula focused on the program design process (presented in the book How to Design Programs), pedagogical programming language levels, and a student-friendly programming environment, to the domain of NKS.
I will present preliminary results related to three questions posed in my research. First, what might make good NKS experimental design methodology that can be summarized on a notecard, similar in flavor to the scientific method presented in introductory science courses? Second, what new NKS-specific programming languages, embedded in a general purpose language, might be developed that will simplify both generating and analyzing data from NKS experiments, while meshing well with the TeachScheme approach? Third, how can the tenets of the TeachScheme program design methodology transfer to Mathematica, the lingua franca of NKS?
(April 20, 2004)