October 21, 2008

Analysis Ponderings

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:09 pm by carolynresearch

There’s nothing like really listening to what people say, and really watching what they do, to make you see assumptions you make.

I ran a think-aloud session with two more undergrads with SPIN yesterday, and when they tried to fix an incorrect critical section algorithm, they decided to put the critical section in an atomic block. I asked a bit about their reasoning – they were thinking about Java synchronization. OK, I understand that. It fits somewhat into what I’ve been thinking about with respect to levels of abstraction, somehow. Maybe, at least. I think I need more subjects – I’m still being a bit surprised by things they say and do.

It got me thinking, though, about whether this is something more significant. Is there an assumption that there’s one solution that works? Or is it just that I assume more understanding of what the problem is than I should?

I think I’m in the part of my analysis where nothing makes sense. Math is so much easier than people.

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