AdaIC News Winter 1995

Spotlight on Education:

Ada Plays Important Role at DoD Service Schools

Training programs are in place to teach Ada to officers, enlisted people, and DoD civilian personnel who have specialties in computer programming, data processing, acquisition, and program management.

Many DoD Service schools have been teaching Ada since it was introduced in the early 1980s.

All of these programs have grown and changed significantly the initial introduction of Ada. With the impending approval of Ada9X as ISO-IEC 8652, the schools are in a transition stage with Ada.

The latest version of the Catalog of Resources for Education in Ada and Software Engineering (CREASE), an AdaIC database report, devotes a section to the results of a survey that was conducted in the summer of 1994 to assess the current state of Ada education at the Service schools.

All three Service academies teach Ada to students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer science.

The Air Force Academy

Ada is the first language that is taught to Air Force Academy students who are majoring in computer science. Ada is used in all of the core computer-science courses, and it is used in a variety of other courses including the software-engineering design sequence.

Ada is also moving outside the computer-science curriculum. The Academy's Department of Astronautics is converting to Ada from Pascal and FORTRAN for Astronautics course work. Under AJPO/USAF partnership, the Academy's Department of Astronautics intends to convert to Ada by the academic year 1995-1996.

West Point

Since Ada's introduction, the U.S. Military Academy has taught Ada to students majoring in computer science.

Currently, Ada is taught in computer-science courses that cover software design and engineering. Computer-science majors are introduced to Ada in the Analysis of Programming Languages course, which they take during their junior year.

During their senior year, students majoring in computer science take a course that introduces them to software engineering with Ada. In this course, the object-oriented design method is emphasized as students explore the advanced features of the Ada language.

During the 1994-1995 academic year, the Military Academy plans to teach Ada on a trial basis in one section of the freshmen-level Introduction to Programming course.


The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) uses Ada in senior-level software-engineering and design courses.

In the first-semester introduction to software-engineering course, Ada is used to teach software-engineering principles. This first course is mandatory for computer-science majors. In a follow-on elective course, students are presented with information on object-oriented programming, CASE tools, and Ada.


Among the Service schools that offer advanced degrees, the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) has been teaching Ada as its primary programming language since the early 1980s. All of the core computer-science courses and software-engineering-related courses use Ada to some extent.

Naval Postgraduate School

The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) teaches Ada in a number of courses in the software-engineering track. Beginning with the second computer-science course, software engineering students use Ada in all courses. During the 1993-1994 academic year, Ada 9X features were covered in the Introduction to Software Engineering course.

The Training Schools

The CREASE also discusses the military training schools, which teach officers and/or enlisted personnel who have programmer, information-systems operator, or similar specialties.

For instance, the Air Force 333rd Training Squadron trains approximately 700-800 enlisted personnel in Ada programming each year.

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