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Unit 6: Theoretical Computers: Fun with Finite State Machines

The representation of computers and computer processes using the construct of finite state machines

CAS Tenderfoot

Created by CAS Tenderfoot
last edited Dec 28 2018 by CAS Tenderfoot


Open any GCSE textbook and you will see a diagram describing computation in terms of Input – Process - Output. It is a convenient starting point for a discussion. Ask a class the question; ‘What is a computer?’ and you’ll receive a variety of answers. Some will focus on a physical description, others might try to explain how a computer works, naming internal components. This Unit explores the representation of computers and computer processes using the construct of finite state machines ranging from the humble hairdryer through to Turing’s model of a computer.

The resource below is the full slide deck for the day’s training.

The other supporting resources are available through the CAS Tenderfoot website

Level: Teachers’ professional learning

Duration: 1-day training session

Teaches: input-process-output; computer components; finite state machine; Turing’s model of a computer

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