Richard Rasala

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The <i>Java Power Tools</i> or JPT is a Java toolkit designed to enable students to rapidly develop graphical user interfaces in freshman computer science programming projects. Because it is simple to create GUIs using JPT, students can focus on the more fundamental issues of computer science rather than on widget management. In a separate article[4], we(More)
Computing has become a diverse and multi-faceted discipline. It is imperative that computing curricula evolve so that they will effectively convey this breadth. An awareness of the societal implications of computing must also be at the core of all computing curricula. Furthermore, we observe that new computing curricula must be responsive to change, that(More)
classes should emphasize uniformity and parsimony by encapsulating information that needs to be hidden and by providing information that needs to be communicated. The decision about what needs to be hidden or communicated must be made in the context of the particular software that is being designed. Hiding hedges a designer's bets about what implementation(More)
At educational computer conferences and exhibits, one is overwhelmed by the extensive use of computers as learning tools in almost any subject. However, the one subject which stands out for its limited use of computers is computer science. There is a tendency in computer science education to focus on what goes on in the mind: design and analysis of(More)
Computer science as a discipline is changing rapidly. New developments in software and hardware are changing the way we write programs, design systems, and create applications. The role of the first year curriculum in computer science is to lay the foundations for becoming a professional in the field. We examine the ways in which the changing nature of(More)
ion which demonstrate that an abstract approach to thinking and designing is vital. In this section, we will describe several abstractions we introduce at Northeastern and explain what principles each helps to elucidate. Loops, Decisions, and the Swimming Fish Lab The Swimming Fish laboratory exercise is designed to require students to program a loop with(More)