Computers in Physics
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A template for writing programs
1. D. Marca, Applying Software Engineering Principles (Little, Brown, Boston, 1984), p. 50 ff.
2.E. H. Carlson, AAPT Announcer 15, 46 (1985).
3.Write to me for a listing of all the formats and a brief handout to give students. If you have an IBM PC, Apple II, or Commodore 64, send a disk and stamped mailer and I will return the template as an ASCII file.
4.I recently conducted a survey in a sophomore laboratory class of engineers and a few physicists. Of the 60 students, 53 said they could write a short program and were almost evenly distributed between specifying the language as BASIC. FORTRAN, and Pascal (15,22; 14,24; and 16,12, respectively), where the first number of each pair is the number preferring that language and the second is the number saying that the language was acceptable, but not the preferred one. The course included some juniors and seniors, and most of the students, in fact, have had either a FORTRAN or a Pascal course, or both.
5.In a recent program written in QuickBASIC for a sophomore laboratory course, I did the physics in about 50 lines (added to the 100-line template), then turned the program over to a student technician to write the submenus and other housekeeping codes. The final program was over 1100 lines.
6. P. J. Plauger, Comput. Language 3, 15 (1986). This is the first of his monthly colomns called “Programming on Purpose.” All are informative and they continue until at least March 1987.
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