Reductive thinking in computer science

Michal Armoni, Judith Gal-Ezer, Orit Hazzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the role of reduction in computer science and describes a study on undergraduate students' perception of the concept of reduction. Specifically, based on an analysis of students' answers to questions addressing different computer science topics, we present several findings regarding the ways in which undergraduate students conceive of and apply reduction. These findings can be interpreted within the framework of the tension that exists between the following two factors: The need to think in terms of high levels of abstraction, on one hand, and the fact that reduction introduces a new approach to be used in problem-solving situations, on the other. In addition the paper suggests several teaching applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-301
Number of pages21
JournalComputer Science Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


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