MIKE/JOHN: Do either of you know Henry Walker at Grinnell? See his
signature file at end below. Friend or foe of Ada, or simply a fan of
Lewis Carroll? It would be handy to have a friend in important education
places like this, even if just to help assure PL-neutrality is done right.
PS: The whole content of this message about AP CS (see url below) and
university intro CS1-CS2 should be of interest to concerned software folks
everywhere, independent of language passion.
>Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 05:46:56 -0700
>Reply-To: "James C. Taylor" <[log in to unmask]>
>Sender: SIGCSE Member Forum <[log in to unmask]>
>From: "James C. Taylor" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: RESPOND!: Feedback Requested on Directions for AP CS
>To: [log in to unmask]
>>From (and reply-to): "Henry M. Walker" <[log in to unmask]>
>In April, 1999, the College Board approved a request from the Advanced
>Placement (AP) Computer Science (CS) Development Committee to form an Ad
>Hoc Advisory Committee to explore future directions for AP CS. Since that
>time, an advisory committee has been appointed, and discussions have begun
>concerning possible directions for AP CS. (More information on the
>committee and on the process may be found at
>As the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee begins its discussions concerning possible
>directions, it will be helpful for committee members to receive feedback
>concerning desired outcomes for the introductory CS1-CS2 sequence at the
>college and university level. (At the high school level, the corresponding
>course typically is labeled CS AB.) The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee
>anticipates that colleges and universities may choose significantly
>different mechanisms to achieve the desired outcomes. Rather than initiate
>another round of language and pedagogy wars, the Committee has put aside
>(for awhile) any consideration of outcomes for CS1. Further, the Committee
>wants to focus on high-level goals -- independent of a specific
>language. Thus, comments are specifically solicited for the following.
>All of the following questions refer to goals to be met at the end of the
>introductory CS1-CS2 sequence.
> 1. To what extent should object-oriented design be a central part of
> CS1-CS2? For example, at the end of CS1-CS2, should students
> be comfortable working with the concepts of classes, objects,
> is-a and has-a relationships, aggregates, single inheritance, and
> encapsulation? (If object-oriented design should not be part of
> CS1-CS2, please outline an appropriate alternative.)
> 2. At the end of CS1-CS2, should students be comfortable programming in
> some language, using concepts of conditional execution, iteration,
> and recursion?
> 3. Within CS1-CS2, should problem solving emphasize high-level
> constructs (e.g., wrappers, iterators), low-level constructs (e.g.,
> pointer manipulation), both, or neither?
> 4. What example classes should be included in CS1-CS2 (e.g., stacks,
> queues, lists, trees, hash tables, priority queues)?
> 5. Within CS1-CS2, to what extent should students understand abstract
> classes that need to be subclassed for instantiation?
> 6. Within CS1-CS2, should students have extensive experience with dynamic
> memory allocation and/or memory deallocation?
> 7. What techniques of program testing, program verification, and/or
> program documentation should be included in CS1-CS2?
> 8. To what extent should exception handling be emphasized within CS1-CS2?
> 9. What additional high-level topics which should be a central part of
>In providing feedback, please make your comments language independent;
>references to specific languages are especially discouraged at this stage.
>Please send your comments either individually or collectively to the
>members of the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee:
> Owen Astrachan, Committee Chair, ([log in to unmask])
> Corky Cartwright, ACM Ed Board Representative, ([log in to unmask])
> Gail Chapman, College Board Representative, ([log in to unmask])
> David Gries, ([log in to unmask])
> Cay Horstmann ([log in to unmask])
> Frances Hunt, Educational Testing Service Representative ([log in to unmask])
> Richard Kick, ([log in to unmask])
> Fran Trees ([log in to unmask])
> Mark Weiss, AP CS Development Committee Representative ([log in to unmask])
> Henry Walker, SIGCSE Representative ([log in to unmask])
> Ursula Wolz ([log in to unmask])
>An on-line version of these questions may be found at
>We look forward to receiving your feedback.
>SIGCSE Representative to the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee
>[log in to unmask]
>Henry M. Walker
>Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
>Grinnell, IA 50112
>I'm sure I'm not Ada, for her hair goes in
>such long ringlets, and mine doesn't go in
>ringlets at all; and I'm sure I can't be Mabel,
>for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh!,
>she knows such a very little! Besides, she's
>she and I'm I and--oh dear, how puzzling it