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Alice is a fairly new programming language developed by the Stage3 research group at Carnegie Mellon University. This program is aimed to attract students.

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Presentation on theme: "Alice is a fairly new programming language developed by the Stage3 research group at Carnegie Mellon University. This program is aimed to attract students."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alice is a fairly new programming language developed by the Stage3 research group at Carnegie Mellon University. This program is aimed to attract students to the field of computer science, and then provide students with basic concepts that they can use when learning higher level languages. Alice focuses on visual learning and allows students to see the program as they create it. Finally, Alice’s drag and drop feature prevents users from making syntax errors, which could cause major complications in other languages. Since enrollment in computer science departments has been steadily decreasing over the last five years, colleges and universities have been seeking fresh approaches to the computer science curriculum. At the University of Colorado, faculty have decided to add Alice as a part of their curriculum to teach beginner computer science students introductory programming. Therefore, Dr. Clarence (Skip) Ellis and I worked to test this program in preparation for the classroom and develop homework problems and solutions for the class.  Completed tutorials  Read text “Learning to Program with Alice”  Did selected exercises  Pointed out important features  Developed a set of homework problems and solutions The first homework problem created by Dr. Ellis instructed the creator to design an interactive program in which a person, who is holding a magnet, would point at metal objects to see what would happen. If the person is smaller than the object, he/she would move one meter closer to the object; however, if h/she was larger than the object, the object would move one meter closer to the person. Extra credit would be given for students exemplifying creativity beyond the requirements  Dragging and Dropping of Objects and Commands  Changing visibility of objects  The vehicle command  Adding personal music files  Exporting objects to other programs  Creating your own people  The Built-in Gallery  Tutorials and Example Programs An Example of Objects from Alice’s Gallery which includes about 700 objects We believe that students will be able to learn Alice in the period of a semester. Since Alice forces users to drag and drop objects instead of typing lines of code, novice programmers will be able to focus on their task without worrying about simple mistakes. Also, Alice teaches the users good programming habits including structure and naming of variables. However, we still found many bugs that can make it frustrating, but not nearly impossible, when programming. Alice will provide a smooth introduction for beginners in the field of computer science. The third version of Alice is currently being developed by the Stage3 research group in conjunction with the developers of The Sims ®. This version will aim to eliminate many of the bugs and errors users experienced in Alice 2.0 and also give the program better graphics. Another problem that we developed involved a horse race where a user was to click on a circle, denoting that he/she was betting on that particular horse. The horses would then race, using random intervals for movement. Extra credit would also be given for users demonstrating creativity. For example, the addition of a title screen would count as additional creativity. Example Homework ProblemsBackground Information Introduction Methods Interesting Features Results Future Research Alice: Reinventing Introductory Computer Science Jason Grant, University of Maryland, Baltimore County & SMART 2006 Dr. Clarence (Skip) Ellis, Professor of Computer Science University of Colorado, Boulder For more information, please contact Jason Grant at


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