PPIG 2023 - 34th Annual Workshop
Towards a definition of the concept of logic of an algorithm
Federico Gómez Frois, Sylvia da Rosa
Abstract: Within the framework of an empirical study carried out with students of an introductory programming course of a Computer Engineering Under-graduate Program, the students were asked to design an algorithm to solve the linear search problem and implement the solution, using two imperative programming languages (Pascal and C++) in two different groups of students. It was found that the solutions proposed by students followed different strategies (different "logics") to solve the problem. This fact led to the need to propose a definition of the concept of logic of the algorithm, as far as we know, not found in the literature, as well as to explore the reasons that lead each student to follow one strategy or another. This article describes the activities carried out during the study and includes selected excerpts of students’ responses. The results are analyzed in the framework of the theory of the investigation (Genetic Epistemology of Jean Piaget) with the focus on students solutions according to the proposed definition of logic of the algorithm. Conclusions and some future work that may eventually lead to a more exact definition are included.