AdaIC NEWS                                       Fall 1995

Supporting Ada in
Ada is a natural to meet the needs of both educators and students. Right now, Ada 95 has opened up a major opportunity


A Window of Opportunity on Campus
Making Courseware Available for Downloading
Working with Academies Produces Benefits for All Educators
Table 3: Ada Courseware

From an educational point of view, Ada offers a potent combination of features. The Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) is supporting efforts that will provide important materials to educators who want to put that power to work in their classrooms.

The AJPO has assisted development of a freely available Ada 95 compiler, the Free Software Foundation's GNU Ada 95 Translator (GNAT).

An inexpensive academic compiler/textbook package will be available around the turn of the year.

The AJPO has supported development of freely available Ada curriculum materials.

Additionally, the AJPO has also worked to put Ada into the highschools, to assist the Service schools and Academies to expand their use of Ada, and to increase the training options available to DoD projects. (For some comments on DoD training initiatives, see "Supporting the Warfighter", on page 4 of this issue.)

Taking advantage of a window of opportunity on campus
Over the years, Ada has seen steady growth on campus. (For details, see the Catalog of Resources in Ada and Software Engineering -- which can be obtained at no charge from the AdaIC.)

Right now, a major opportunity is opening up for Ada. Programming-language education is changing. Pascal has been waning on campus as schools consider more powerful alternatives and put more emphasis on their students' ability to market their skills in the economy. Ada is a natural to meet the needs of both educators and students.

Ada compiler vendors have responded with academic discounts and other programs. The AJPO, too, has responded on a number of fronts.

Table 3

The following courseware is available for downloading from the AdaIC's Internet host. For detailed instructions on accessing the host via gopher, ftp, or World Wide Web browsers, see pages 10-13.

Courseware currently available on the AdaIC's Internet host

"Developing a Team Based Software Engineering Approach to CS1"
Marshall University
James Hooper and Akhtar Lodger

"Laboratory Experiences in Ada and Data Structures (LEADS)"
Norfolk State University
George Harrison

"A Comprehensive Software Engineering Education Experience" Norfolk State University
George Harrison

"Teaching Ada In A Real-Time Software Systems Course"
Southeastern Louisiana University
Carl Steidley

"Introductory Computer Programming and Data Structures with Ada"
University of North Dakota
H. K. Dai

"Incorporating Object-Oriented Paradigm in Systems Analysis and Systems Design Courses using Ada"
University of Dayton
Raghava Gowda

"Using Ada in a Senior Level Compiler Course"
Wright State University
Charles Farnum

A Senior Level Course in Concurrent Programming with Ada
University of Houston - Clear Lake
Kwok-Bun Yue

"A Software Engineering Course in Ada for CS and ECSE Undergraduates"
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
John F. McDonald and Hans J. Greub

"An Incremental Approach to Software Engineering using Ada"
University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa
David Cordes and Allen Parrish

One of the AJPO's efforts started in 1992 with a Broad Area Announcement (BAA) seeking proposals for development of curricula in software engineering and Ada. That first notice has been followed by others, and more than 70 contracts have been awarded for development of Ada curricula.

Making courseware available for downloading
Earlier this year, on-line course materials started becoming available for downloading over the Internet, and more are on the way. They are accessible over the Internet via the host computer of the AJPO-sponsored Ada Information Clearinghouse (AdaIC); they are also available via the Asset Source for Software Engineering Technology (ASSET).

The curriculum documents available go from brief summaries to complete courseware. They cover a wide range of particular topics and approaches. Depending on the needs of a given educator, they can provide brainstorming material, a thorough strategy, or a complete course ready to use. New Ada 95 materials will be of interest to educators wishing to update their courses to cover object orientation.

Presently, 11 packages are available. (See Table 3 for a list.)

Working with Academies produces benefits for all educators
Besides making materials available to educators generally, the AJPO has been paying particular attention to the needs of the Service schools and Academies.

Last year, the AJPO surveyed DoD Service schools and the Academies to determine their needs in transitioning to Ada 95. The most overriding need was for resources to help instructors update their courseware for Ada 95.

In response, the AJPO developed an educator's CD-ROM that contains "best of breed" courseware.

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