On abstraction and informatics

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    Abstract

    One often hears, and less often reads, the claim that informatics and its application is so difficult because it involves demanding abstractions. Abstractions in informatics supposedly are even harder than those in mathematics and the physical sciences. If abstraction is so important in informatics, then you would expect that we have good ways of dealing with it and communicating about it. To some extent, this is indeed the case, but unfortunately these ways are not widespread. It is our duty to get to grips with abstraction, and especially to address it in the teaching of informatics. In this article, I will not solve the problems posed by abstraction, and certainly not the problem of teaching abstraction. But I would like to put it more prominently on the agenda. In order to deal with abstraction, you will have to investigate it, dissect it, analyze it, establish terminology, etc. I will give a, somewhat personal, overview of abstraction, showing that it is not a single, atomic concept, but a diverse complex of interrelated concepts. It is my hope that this will help in embedding abstraction more explicitly in the informatics curriculum.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInformatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution and Perspectives (5th International Conference, ISSEP 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia, October 26-29, 2011, Selected Papers)
    EditorsD. Bezáková, I. Kalas
    Place of PublicationBratislava
    PublisherComenius University
    Pages40-40 (+12 pages on CD-ROM)
    ISBN (Print)978-80-89186-90-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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