4.3 introduction to programming (13 hours)

--- Nature of programming languages ---


State the fundamental operations of a computer.



Teaching Note:

These include: add, compare, retrieve and store data.

Complex capabilities are composed of very large numbers of very simple operations.


Sample Question:


JSR Notes:

It is the most fundamental part of the CPU (Central Processing Unit), called the ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) that does the fundamental arithmetic, and the logical comparisons. But the Teaching Note point about retrieve and store data is very important; nothing can be done until data is taken in, and it's useless to do any fundamental operations at all unless you can then output the result. (You could alternatively refer to retrieve and store data as input/output, if you wish.)

In terms of the other Teaching Note, the way I've put it in class a couple of times, on a computer, fundamentally, all calculations are ultimately moving along a number line: addition is to the right, subtraction is to the left, multiplication is multiple moving along the line, and moving on up to compound arithmetic and algebra and to calculus and beyond is just lots and lots of combinations of these fundamental operations.