Looking for software to aid in the teaching of Computer Science

Looking for software to aid in the teaching of Computer Science

Post by Ernest Ki » Sat, 12 Dec 1998 04:00:00



I was wondering if anyone out there may have suggestions on software
that aids in the teaching of computer science.  Specifically software
that deals with:

A) Finite state machines, Turing machines, and such.  Maybe a program
that would help students create them, display them, print them out,
etc.  

B) Circuit design.  We have a course where students learn how various
components of a chip are designed, ie. flip-flops, ALU, etc.  Again
the software should be able to help students create, display, and
print them out.

Any pointers towards software that can help out in the teaching of
these materials would be greatly appreciated.

-Ernie

 
 
 

Looking for software to aid in the teaching of Computer Science

Post by Thad Flory » Mon, 14 Dec 1998 04:00:00


|
| I was wondering if anyone out there may have suggestions on software
| that aids in the teaching of computer science.  Specifically software
| that deals with:
|
| A) Finite state machines, Turing machines, and such.  Maybe a program
| that would help students create them, display them, print them out,
| etc.  
|
| B) Circuit design.  We have a course where students learn how various
| components of a chip are designed, ie. flip-flops, ALU, etc.  Again
| the software should be able to help students create, display, and
| print them out.
|
| Any pointers towards software that can help out in the teaching of
| these materials would be greatly appreciated.

You may want to check out the "electric" program available at FSF GNU
archive sites.  The latest version is electric-5.4g4.tar.gz

From its docs:

    A state-of-the-art computer-aided design system for VLSI circuit design.

    Electric designs MOS and bipolar integrated circuits,
    printed-circuit-boards, or any type of circuit you choose.
    It has many editing styles including layout, schematics,
    artwork, and architectural specifications.

    A large set of tools is available including design-rule
    checkers, simulators, routers, layout generators, and more.

    Electric interfaces to most popular CAD specifications
    including VHDL, EDIF, CIF, and GDS II.

It runs on:

    UNIX:
      Electric runs on most UNIX variants, including SunOS 4.1.3, Solaris 2.5.1
      and 2.6, GNU/Linux v1.x and v2.x kernels with related distributions.  It
      also runs on HPUX, AIX and older versions of SunOS.

    Macintosh:
      Macintosh users must run System 7 or later. Electric compiles best under
      Metrowerks version 1.7, although it has been built with MPW 3.0 and
      THINK_C 5.0.  A Metrowerks project file is included.

    Windows:
      Electric runs under Windows 95/98 or Windows NT 4.0.  The system compiles
      with Visual C++ 5.0.  The Visual C project files are included.

Thad

 
 
 

1. LINUX experiences in dual-boot computer science teaching labs?

Hello,

I am investigating the options and possible problems in making Linux
available in an undergraduate computing laboratory.

Because of a commitment to some MS-windows based software such as
MatLab and Case Tools, we would require that each machine be dual boot
with Linux and NT or Win95.

I would like to hear from anyone who has experience of setting up and
maintaining such a laboratory.  

In particular, I am interested in

- optimal configurations e.g. installing Linux on each machine
  v. centralising Linux on one or more servers with just enough on
  each user machine to boot a remotely mounted Linux.

- Information on optimum server capacities for supporting 30 to 50
  machines (running a mixture of Win95 W3.11, NT and Linux) together
  with a relational database.

- manpower needed to maintain this mixed environment setup (including
  typical UK annual costs for such manpower).

- user friendly and secure mechanisms for dual boot (ideally we would
  like users to be able to just click on an icon to switch between
  operating systems, perhaps with a password to `protect the
  innocent'.)

- Experience of commercial strength relational database servers for
  Linux in an academic environment.

If you have experience and relevant information about any of the above
which you are able to share, please get in touch with me BY EMAIL ONLY

newsgroups).

Representatives from my department would be keen to arrange to visit
academic sites in the UK which have adopted Linux in a dual booting
laboratory environment in order to see how well it works, and find out
if there are any potential problems to be aware of.

Chris Fox

--
Dr. Chris Fox,  Dept. of Mathematical & Computing Sciences, Goldsmiths

URL: http://www.gold.ac.uk/~mas01cjf, Tel/Fax: +44(0)171 919 7856/7853

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