Rooting Formal Methods within Higher Education Curricula for Computer Science and Software Engineering – A White Paper

10/12/2020 ∙ by Antonio Cerone, et al. ∙ 0

This white paper argues that formal methods need to be better rooted in higher education curricula for computer science and software engineering programmes of study. To this end, it advocates (i) improved teaching of formal methods; (ii) systematic highlighting of formal methods within existing, `classical' computer science courses; and (iii) the inclusion of a compulsory formal methods course in computer science and software engineering curricula. These recommendations are based on the observations that (a) formal methods are an essential and cost-effective means to increase software quality; however (b) computer science and software engineering programmes typically fail to provide adequate training in formal methods; and thus (c) there is a lack of computer science graduates who are qualified to apply formal methods in industry. This white paper is the result of a collective effort by authors and participants of the 1st International Workshop on "Formal Methods, Fun for Everybody" which was held in Bergen, Norway, 2-3 December 2019. As such, it represents insights based on learning and teaching computer science and software engineering (with or without formal methods) at various universities across Europe.

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