Software Carpentry

Helping scientists make better software since 1997

Should Modeling Be Part of This Course?

Jon Pipitone has a good description on his blog of work the grad students in our department are doing to translate work in climate change into software engineering terms. Their first step is to represent the ideas in MacKay’s excellent Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air in two of the graphical notations that computer scientists use for system design. I was initially very skeptical, but looking at their work so far, I’m quite impressed. My question is, would it be useful for scientists to know how to do this themselves? More specifically, is the lecture on data modeling that I’ve planned to include in Version 4.0 worthwhile or not?


Written by Greg Wilson

2009/10/21 at 13:20

Posted in Content, Version 4

One Response

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  1. Obviously, you know my opinion is a strong YES. We can discuss if ohter kinds of modeling would be useful, but I think most people would agree that data modeling should be part of the course.

    Howevr, not sure you need to mention normal forms, it may scare the students (and only explaining the first two is not enough for a good “relational” design), what about explaining the same under the name “design principles”?.Also, regarding ER and UML, I’d just say that, wrt data modeling, they are are basically the same thing (with different notation)


    2009/10/22 at 11:42

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