5.1. Unit Overview¶
This unit examines algorithms and procedures in more detail. The Logo apps, started in Unit 4 and continued in Unit 5, introduce the concept of procedural abstraction and students learn to define and use procedures -- named blocks of code that perform a specific task -- as well as when and how to use procedures with parameters. By encapsulating the algorithms into named procedures and introducing parameters to help generalize the algorithms, students are led to see the advantages of procedural abstraction. In addition to designing and testing their own algorithms, students are also provided an introduction into the analysis of algorithms. Students compare various searching and sorting algorithms, including examining the efficiency of each. For the searching and sorting algorithms, students analyze them both experimentally and through mathematical concepts such as functions and graph. The impact section of this unit provides another opportunity for students to explore a computing innovation, such as web searching, and the effects it has on society.