Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-042611-112809

Document Typethesis
Author NameLieb, Christopher
TitleConcurrent Programming in Education: Time for a Change
DepartmentComputer Science
  • Gary Pollice, Advisor
  • Micha Hofri, Reader
  • Craig Wills, Department Head
  • Keywords
  • study
  • actors
  • channels
  • education
  • concurrency
  • csp
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2011-04-26
    Availability unrestricted


    Writing concurrent programs using shared memory causes many programmers much trouble, due primarily to unsafe semantics. Memory corruption, race conditions, deadlocks, and even livelocks are trivially easy to introduce into a program and painful to hunt down due the nearly infinite possible interleavings of instructions between the threads.

    Undergraduate curricula traditionally introduce students to the idea of shared memory multithreading in a systems programming or operating systems class, but rarely expose them to any alternate models of concurrent programming. This leaves them with the idea that shared memory is the only way to do concurrent programming.

    After students were exposed to alternate models, they came to prefer them to the standard shared memory model. This happened despite their distaste of the programming language that was utilized in performing the study. The students also expressed interest in alternate models of concurrency being taught in the computer science curricula at WPI.

  • ChrisLieb_Thesis.pdf

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