Finite state machines and other models

Jim Green, Consett Academy


Look in any computing textbooks aimed at Key Stages 3 and 4 and you will probably find an illustration of a computer in terms of a simple Input / Process / Output model. This is very helpful for abstracting away much of the technical detail of a particular device, and is a useful starting point for children to consider what a computer does. All computers ‘compute’ but for curious children this simple model simply begs new questions. What is a computation? How might it be represented? Computer scientists have developed models that tackle these questions. Finite-state machines are one way to represent the steps involved in a particular process.

Jim Green's biography

Jim is Teacher and Learning Leader of Computing at Consett Academy. He teaches KS3-5 Computing and is a CAS Master Teacher.

Relevant Key Stages: KS3, KS4

Room: BSTC G.34 - seminar room 2, ground floor, Barbara Strang Teaching Centre

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