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Introducing Nondeterminism

, , The Open University of Israel, Israel

JCMST Volume 25, Number 4, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


Non-determinism is an essential concept in mathematics and one of the important concepts in computer science. It is also among the most abstract ones. Thus, many students find it difficult to cope with. In this paper, we describe some didactic considerations which guided the development of a "Computational Models" course for high school students, a course in which the concept of non-determinism is introduced, among other issues. Some of these considerations are relevant to college and university students as well. We also discuss students' perceptions of non-determinism and their achievements in this area. Our findings show that many students prefer to avoid non-determinism, even when it can significantly simplify the solution's design process. We analyze and categorize the students' solutions, thus shedding light on their perceptions of the abstract concept of non-determinism.


Armoni, M. & Gal-Ezer, J. (2006). Introducing Nondeterminism. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 25(4), 325-359. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved September 23, 2019 from .



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